For Teachers

Book Review: How to Reach and Teach Children and Teens with ADD/ADHD

Sandra Rief’s excellent book, now in its third edition, “should be handed to parents after their children have been diagnosed with ADHD,” our reviewer says.

Practical Techniques, Strategies, and Interventions (Third Edition)

Jossey-Bass; $34.95

The author specializes in “practical and effective strategies for helping students with ADHD and learning disabilities succeed in school.” With those credentials, it shouldn’t come as a shock that this tome, now in its third edition, should serve as the bible for parents, teachers, school or district administrators, counselors, and psychologists who have a vested interest in helping a child with ADHD succeed in school.

Rief takes nothing for granted. She explains the causes of ADHD, the three types of ADHD, the criteria for a diagnosis of the disorder, and differences in the ADHD brain. She also addresses ADHD look-alikes, other conditions that cause similar behaviors.

[Free Download: What Every Teacher Should Know About ADHD]

Then she covers treatment strategies. The best way of treating the disorder is through a multi-faceted approach that includes medical, behavioral, psychosocial, and educational interventions, implemented, as needed, at different times in the child’s or teen’s life. The book’s philosophy extends to all of the tools and strategies Rief offers: “We need to be patient, positive, and understanding — and try to see past the behaviors to the whole child — as we provide support and remove the obstacles in their paths.”

Rief covers all age groups, arming parents and teachers with learning techniques for kids in preschool through high school. I loved the instructional strategies for improving reading, writing, and math. Each section has a long list of tips for teachers and a separate list for parents. The tips are innovative and action oriented.

The book should be handed to parents after their children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Teachers should place the book on the shelf — and keep it within reach — after receiving their degree in education.


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