ADHD & ADD Books

Reviews of recommended books for parents of children with ADD or ADHD.

I have been reading books about ADHD in children for well over thirty years now. Thankfully there is much more available then when I began reviewing ADHD books! I have personal experience with raising children with ADD, both with and without hyper-activity, and have found some useful tips in many of them. Personally while I do believe diet can influence ADHD behavior, it is not the underlying cause. In addition, I am on the side of those who believe ADHD is quite real, and can be a disability (and also a positive personality trait, the main being enthusiasm and hyper-focusing). The ADHD books I review below are some that I have found beneficial over the years.

Parenting Children with ADHD Parenting Children With ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach
by Dr. Vincent J. Monastra

Monastra is a proponent of using medication and goes into great detail on the different types of medication, emphasizing continuing medication during the afternoon and weekend. His thesis is that children need this to function and it is unrealistic to expect otherwise. He also provides a detailed parenting plan, with many examples, for helping children with ADHD be more cooperative and successful. He does not sidestep how difficult this can be, but rather offers realistic input on how to implement these strategies. This is a book that will help your child behave while also improving relationships. One of the interesting things I learned was how important protein was in your child's diet while on medication. He also offers good ideas on self care while implementing his behavior plan.
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All About ADHD All About ADHD: A Family Resource for Helping Your Child Succeed with ADHD
By Thomas Phelan

Its been interesting reading Dr. Phelan's books over the years. I found his best known parenting book, 1-2-3 Magic, applied with sensitivity, to be a miracle for my very hyperactive son and OCD daughter. This book takes a different approach but is a good introduction to ADHD for parents new to the topic. He provides a detailed overview of the current medical diagnosis and what this looks like in reality. He reviews medication and parenting advice, as well. One thing future editions might include is that intitiating a task is difficult with ADHD, and how useful a 1-2-3 counting technique can be for starting or for stopping activities.
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Attnetion Girls! Attention Girls! A Guide to Learn All about Your AD/HD
By Patricia O Quinn

This book is written for girls who have been diagnosed with ADHD and want to learn more about it. It does a good job of presenting the different ways ADHD manifests itself in girls, in ways that girls can relate to. In addition to laying out the problems, it provides encouragement and a few strategies, the main one being Dr. Quinns well known Stop, Look, Listen! I like the encouraging and sympathetic outlook it presents. I did find some of the names of the girls, used as examples, a bit cringe inducing (think Moaning Myrtle from another book) especially for girls who are already feel ostracized. However, its refreshing to see a book at aimed the specific issues that girls face. I would suggest in the future more information on social aspects would be very helpful, since that is so important to girls at this age. I wish I and the adults in my life had this book when I was younger!
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What Your ADHD Child What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew: Working Together to Empower Kids for Success in School and Life
by Dr. Sharon Saline

This book is easy to read, almost chatty, with many personal stories and examples. Saline provides experiences from years of psychotherapy practice with children, plus her own experience in helping children and families with ADHD. It covers the gamut of difficulties that can arise with ADHD in boys and girls, providing a number of examples of ways to work things out for you and your child.
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Getting Ahead of ADHD Getting Ahead of ADHD: What Next-Generation Science Says about Treatments That Work?and How You Can Make Them Work for Your Child
by Joel T. Nigg

A summary of scientific research on ADHD, its causes and treatment. The author describes ADHD as an extreme on a continuum, which can be useful in certain situations but is often a disability, on the extreme end. It is described as problem related to self regulation, of attention and cognition, activity and emotion. It can impact both starting tasks as well as ceasing behavior. Slower processing can lead to incorrect assessment of situations. He describes the current scientific thinking on many treatments including supplements, food, sleep, exercise, and stress. He also goes into depths on the discussion of epigenetics - gene interaction with environmental factors. In conclusion, he sums up evaluation and support.
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Putting on the Brakes ADHD Putting on the Brakes: Understanding and Taking Control of Your Add or ADHD
by Patricia O. Quinn and Judith M. Stern

This has been the most popular book specifically for children with ADHD over the years, and this edition is much improved. It provides a good overview of what ADHD is like and provides lots of encouragement and suggestions for success.
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Driven to Distraction

Driven to Distraction
by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

Probably the best selling book on ADHD of all time, Doctors Hallowell and Ratey provide a great overview of ADD and ADHD in all life stages, from child to adult. It covers medical information, diagnosis, life skills and much more.
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Answers to Distraction

Answers to Distraction
by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

In an easy to read format of questions and answers, Doctors Hallowell and Ratey address many of the common (and some unusual) questions about living with ADD and ADHD. This comprehensive book is a great resource for someone who already knows something about Attention Deficit Disorders and wants to learn more. It is both affirming and informative - with questions running the gamut from organization, personality, employment, parenting, heredity, relationships, and self esteem to medication. This book is useful for anyone who has ADHD or lives with someone who does.
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Taking Charge of ADHD Taking Charge of ADHD, Third Edition: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents
by Russell A. Barkley

This is a traditional look at ADHD, by a well established authority, with a bit more emphasis on hyperactive ADHD. It is not as optimistic as some of the books above, but does provide a lengthy overview of ADHD and treatment. Treatment options include medication, accomplishment reward charts, behavioral management and accommodations. He also has a lengthy discussion of comorbidities. His approach is scientific and he encourages parents to take the same approach. He provides a good discussion of the effectiveness of various treatment methodologies.
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