Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems


Summary of the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems

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. 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.

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. 

Review the forms above and video for examples.

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