When Moms and Kids Have ADD

Like mother, like child? How to survive in a "bi-generational" family.

Women with ADD are often misdiagnosed—or incompletely diagnosed.

Betsy Davenport, Ph.D.

by Patricia Quinn, M.D., and Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.
Advantage Books, $9.95
Purchase When Moms and Kids Have ADD

What's more chaotic than a family in which a child has ADD? Why, a family in which mom, too, has the disorder. It's never easy to thrive in a "bi-generational" ADD family. But When Moms and Kids Have ADD makes it clear that it can be done.

The key, according to co-authors Patricia Quinn, M.D., and Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D., is for mom to do what it takes to preserve her relationships within the family while helping the kids master the skills required for daily life.

Among other things, that means holding regular family meetings and collaborating on important tasks. This handy book, which is comprehensive enough to satisfy adult readers but simple enough for children to understand, offers 38 "ADD-friendly" guidelines for making a go of it. One critical strategy, the authors write, is to be sure to get an accurate diagnosis.

Women with ADD are often misdiagnosed — or incompletely diagnosed, and even if anxiety or depression is part of the picture, it may not be the whole picture. So, Quinn and Nadeau write, it's absolutely essential to find a mental health professional who understands ADD in women.

Quinn and Nadeau certainly know the territory. Each has ADD. Each is the mother of children who have ADD. And each is a mental-health professional who has spent decades working with ADD families—Quinn as a developmental pediatrician, Nadeau as a psychologist. (Both Quinn and Nadeau are contributors to ADDitude.)

Featuring easy-to-follow headings and sidebars, along with simple, black-and-white photographs, this book is designed with the distractible reader in mind. It fits in a briefcase or on the dashboard of your car (to be dipped into as you wait for soccer practice to end). One approach might be for mom to read the book, then leave it around the house for the kids to read.

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