Talking About ADHD

Book Review:20 Questions to Ask If Your Child Has ADHD

Advice for anxious parents of newly diagnosed children with ADHD, from social issues, home and family problems, to strategies for school.

Treating ADHD/ADD in Children and Adolescents Solutions for Parents and Clinicians

by Mary Fowler
Career Press, 160 pages, $9.99
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Mary Fowler has been writing about and advocating for greater awareness of ADHD for more than 15 years. In this thin volume, she has managed to capture the information that parents of children newly diagnosed with ADHD want and need to know. (It also makes a great review of the basics for more seasoned parents.)

The questions cover social issues, home and family problems, and strategies for school. They take you from “What is ADHD?” to “Will my child become a responsible adult?” and hit all the important topics in between. I’m sure that many parents will turn first to Chapter 13: “What parenting practices work best?” Fowler gives specific suggestions, along with lots of reassurance.

Just what is meant by “positive parenting”? Fowler offers helpful examples, such as sending your child a cheery e-mail, playing a game your child is good at, and praising a child not just for a job well done, but for making an effort. I was particularly happy to see Fowler recommend smiling every time you see your child, as I firmly believe that this can make a huge difference for a child with ADHD. (Smiling can be surprisingly hard for today’s busy parents to remember to do.)

20 Questions is brief and to the point, and yet wonderfully informative – the perfect first resource for parents wary of being overwhelmed by too much information. This book is also a good one to give to family friends or relatives you wish knew more about ADHD, but who probably wouldn’t sit down with a 300-page reference. And for those who want to read more, 20 Questions concludes with an excellent list of ADHD-themed books and websites.

I think I’ll keep several copies on hand, to give to the anxious parents of all of my new patients.

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