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A woman of color completes the ALSUP on  her digital tablet

Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (ALSUP )

Overview of ALSUP

The ALSUP or Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems guides the parents to change the lens through which they see their child's behavior.

STEP 1: Reframing Childhood Behavior or "Lagging Skills"

It is common for parents to explain their child's behaviors with phrases such as:

"My daughter is just lazy."

"He just needs more motivation."

"She is trying to manipulate me to get what she wants."

"My son is very attention seeking."

These beliefs are not always helpful and can often set up an adversarial relationship between parent and child.


The ALSUP helps to reframe the child behavior by focusing on "Lagging Skills". Remember that "a child does well if they can". So if a child is not meeting an expectation it is likely because they don't know how or are lacking a certain skill. The Lagging Skills step can open the eyes of parents to see the child as someone who "wants to do well" but just might need some help.

STEP 2: Identifying Unsolved Problems

The next step is to identify the Unsolved Problems. An unsolved problem is an expectation a child is having difficulty meeting.

There are four guidelines for writing unsolved problems:

  1. Unsolved problems should contain no reference to the child’s challenging behaviors. Unsolved problems begin with the words Difficulty and are followed by a verb.  

  2. Unsolved problems should contain no adult theories.

  3. Unsolved problems should be split, not clumped together.

  4. Unsolved problems should be specific. 

ALSUP Resources

Review these resources below to learn more about the ALSUP, what to expect from your child or student's Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems Assessment and how it relates to the CPS method.


Preview of "ALSUP Guide: Collaborative & Proactive Solutions" pdf

The ALSUP (2020)

Preview of "ALSUP Guide: Collaborative & Proactive Solutions" pdf, Page 2

ALSUP YouTube Video

Two Asian-American teenagers watch a Youtube Video outside in a park on their laptop


Thank you to Dr Ross Greene for the development of this program. The program and forms were developed by Dr Ross Greene and The Grove: Comprehensive Psychiatry and Wellness takes no credit for them. Learn more about Dr Greene and his approach at

Continue Learning

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CPS Method

Read our overview of the CPS or Collaborative and Proactive Solutions method.

Caucasian father helps child go over homework


Next, read about Plan B training at The Grove Comprehensive Wellness and Psychiatry.

A parent sits on the couch pondering the book she is reading on Collaborative and Proactive Solutions or CPS

Books on CPS

Find our recommended book list on the CPS method as written and developed by Dr. Greene.


Visit A Psychiatrist Today

Text "appt" to 480-470-3442 to schedule your child's ALSUP and develop new skills to solve challenging childhood behaviors.

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