by Beth Ann Hill, with James Van Haren, M.D.
Purchase The ADHD Book
Beth Ann Hill offers accurate information and wise counsel in a readable, empathetic book. A former middle-school teacher and the mother of two girls with ADHD, Hill was humbled to find that neurology kept getting — and keeping — the upper hand. She likens parenting a child who has ADHD to living in a chronic state of crisis, and reassures parents that this is the hardest thing they will ever do. "Here," many readers will think, "is someone who knows my life. Someone who gets it."
In one section, Hill describes her efforts to try to help her daughter without medication — and then how four evaluations, expulsion from preschool, and constant family and marital discord finally persuaded her and her husband to fill, and use, the prescription given by the doctor.
In question-and-answer format, chapters cover topics of interest to parents: understanding ADHD, coping with the diagnosis, and lifestyle issues.
Two chapters that break with the Q-&-A format are "Pulling It All Together," which gives a clear overview of the multi-modal "pyramid" that represents the best course of treatment for any ADHD child, and the last chapter, which includes family "coaching" exercises. For example, to teach about "personal space," try conversing with your child at six inches' distance, then from seven feet away, and two feet away. Many of these activities involve other family members, including siblings, which further supports the emotional growth of the ADHD child.
The only flaw I found in this book was the generic medication dosage chart. Since dosages are determined individually, the "right" dosage won't be found on a generalized chart. The information in every other area is sound.
Hill's thoughtful answer to "Should I tell other people that my child has ADHD?" makes it clear that ADHD is a private, but not a shameful, matter. Because ADHD is a medical condition, she says, "not everyone needs to know about it." Because it affects your child all the time, however, she recommends telling anyone who is regularly involved (close neighbors, coaches) with your child's life.
The book is useful all the way to the end. Hill includes a glossary, sample incentive charts, a driver's contract for teens, and several useful checklists that will help parents navigate the ADHD maze.