Top three books about ADHD

Whew, so the week got away from me! We’ve had a fair lot of kid fallout this week, mostly with one dis-regulated, stressed out teen.  So, the posting took a back seat to dealing with all that.  However, I’m here now and so I want to post this quickly.

On this post, here, I wrote about ADHD for the first time in my blog.  I wrote specifically about the stigma attached to the label.  I did not write about all the many layers to ADHD and the different aspects that go hand in hand with consideration of it: the diagnosing of it, the approaches to it, how it works in school and the family and life in general.  You see, if I was going to address all my thoughts on all those things, I’d have to write a book!  But,  happily for you all, there are many, many books out there already.  Great resources abound! Not so great ones do too…so read wisely.  But, do read.  Do the homework.  ADHD is worth a little effort.  Whether you live with it yourself or love one who does, it helps so much to learn a bit about it.  It makes it just a little easier to understand; and that understanding, every drop of it, is critical to overall quality of life.

To that end, I’m listing MY top three resource books on ADHD.  This is MY personal list, my choices.  There is NO official list, anywhere, of the best of the best of these.  Believe me, I’ve looked. I’m a consumate researcher, perhaps even a compulsive one.  That urge to research and find out all that I can about anything I’m dealing with is perhaps my own control freak urge…but it works for me.  Thus, I now have a mini library on quite a few topics.  ADHD has been a topic of research in our library for eight years.  I’ve read many many theories and help books.  I’ve even seen shifts in the theories.  All told, it’s an overwhelming crop of resources.  Check for yourself, google it.

So, for what it’s worth, these three books, below, are (IMHO) the best sources for getting a handle on ADHD: the good and the difficult, the whole bag.  They have a breadth and an easy to understand way of explaining what ADHD is and why; but they don’t talk down to you or oversimplify either.  They have a good scope – addressing ways that help and ways that hinder.  No one has the time to read everything, facing that flood of information can instantly stop many in their tracks.  So, for me, these three books are the top three, most helpful books I’ve read over eight years of dealing with ADHD in my family.

Check ’em out (and if you click on the picture it will take you to Amazon):

This book, ADHD, Living without Brakes, is a great concise overview of ADHD.  It explains the behavior(s) of those with ADHD in an easy to grasp and remember kind of way.  This book gives a great overview that pulls lots of research together and goes over it simply.  It’s sort of the best primer on ADHD that I’ve found.  It’s positive but not preachy; it’s realistic but not a stigmatized downer.  It’s pricey for it’s size, but it packs a worthwhile punch in information.  It’s sort of ADHD 101.  (Also good for handing out to teachers and/or family members who cannot figure out why your kid does what he/she does).

Next:

This book, Scattered, by Gabor Mate kind of took me by surprise.  A good friend had recommended it and I’d kind of stalled her on reading it.  I was busy, I didn’t think it really was going to be anything I hadn’t read before, etc etc.  Then she mentioned that the author also co-wrote this book, (which I also HIGHLY recommend for parenting kids as they grow, especially into teens, most excellent).  So, with that, I figured it was worth a look.

Turns out, it was SO much worth that look that I ordered two more copies of it, gave one to my son’s teacher and also ordered it on audio download so my husband could listen to it in the car. Yeah.  That good.  And kind of radical in that this was an approach that jived up with my recent sea changes in parenting.  This book goes into the physiological underpinnings of ADHD, in depth, but then it pulls out and explains (from the author’s first hand experience of having ADHD  himself) the hows and why’s of many behaviors and also gives real suggestions on how to work to address the child/adult as a whole  person with this way of functioning.  Meaning, if you can understand some of the whys underlying the behaviors, it’s easier and more targeted to get to either working with them or through them; conversely it’s an eye opener to appreciate some of the remarkable traits common to ADHD as well.  Instead of trying to parse out only the tough symptoms and treat each one, it takes the bigger view of what’s underneath and why.  Because that, the source, is where a more comprehensive approach needs to start.

And, yup, a good part of it comes down to attachment.  Go figure.  Not in every aspect.  But in  more than has been discussed before.  Which then leads me to my next book, one of my top parenting books, ever:

This book, The Connected Child,  is one of the best parenting books I’ve got.  And I’ve got  a LOT of great parenting books.  It is most commonly known, I believe, in adoption circles, and in the land of therapeutic parenting.  Who knew that it also applied to ADHD?  Well, it doesn’t list ADHD as it’s topic.  So don’t be all confused if you get the book and look in the index for ADHD…  But, if you have a child with ADHD, this book can make a huge difference in your understanding of that child.  Whether biological or adopted, this book can help you connect to your child.  Sounds simple…simplistic even?  Au contraire!  Not at all, and it is an intentional way of parenting that can do wonders for any child, biological, adopted, with needs or not.  So, this is not officially an ADHD book.  But it totally jives up w/ Mate’s book, Scattered, above, and it so IS an ADHD book.  In fact, the two rather function as a set, in a way, they complement each other…particularly as applied to living with ADHD.  So it’s on my short list.

Last note: None of these books advocate or oppose any one way of working with ADHD.  There is no ONE approach to dealing with it.  It is a complex thing, goods and toughs,  and takes a multi-layered approach.  And, {now stepping up on my own personal soapbox} anyone who says it’s “this way or the highway“?  Run, don’t walk, from that.  There is no one way to address this.  No magic bullet.  It’s an individual approach to dealing with things that need some help.  Some things work, some don’t.  In fact, it’s moving target…because things change.  So, best to read as much as you can so you’re informed and know options and some whys and hows.  Information is always better.  Try the books!

2 thoughts on “Top three books about ADHD

  1. Pingback: To the reader who was looking for « International Adoption Reader

  2. I’ve been ADHD since before there was a name for it. There is always a way to figure out how to cope with it. It’s never easy, and a daily struggle, but there are good parts, too. I haven’t read these books, but hopefully they talk about the great parts, too. Keep on keeping…ooh shiny object! hahahaha

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