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Book Review: The Insider’s Guide to ADHD

ADDitude reviews Penny Williams’ latest book, “The Insider’s Guide to ADHD,” where adults with ADHD let neurotypical parents in on the “secrets” that can help them understand their quirky child.

BY PENNY WILLIAMS
(Grace-Everett Press; $12.95)

The premise of this book is admirable and sensible. Author Penny Williams interviewed 95 adults, comprising a range of ages and genders, all of whom grew up with ADHD. Their comments will help parents better understand the brains of their children with ADHD and become more effective at parenting.

As an adult with ADHD, I found many of the recommendations — accepting the fact that your child may not act his developmental age and that school accommodations level the academic playing field — to be basic common sense. Williams isn’t telling an adult with ADHD anything he or she doesn’t know.

Although this may be frustrating for a reader with ADHD, it means that the book is worthwhile. Many of these perceptions aren’t obvious to the non-ADHD community, as many of us who have kids struggling with ADHD can testify. The book starts with a solid introduction to the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, which can help parents of newly-diagnosed kids. It also offers concrete suggestions for helping children, such as having them attend accommodations meetings, with the goal of raising them to be confident, healthy adults.

Williams says that neurotypical people don’t understand what it’s like to have ADHD. Her book will help them get the idea. She emphasizes that one needs to “discover, listen to, and accept a child’s unique truth.” This is the theme of her book.

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