There are hundreds of books on ADD, most of them very condescending towards
ADDers. I've listed only the more positive books here. My reviews are really
short because amazon.com has plenty of "Reader Reviews" and a rating system for
each book (click on the book title to see a synopsis and the reviews). I encourage
my readers to leave their own reviews at amazon.com and to let me know about any good
books that I've missed here.
I personally buy most of my books at
amazon.com, but you can order them from any bookstore, and some may be available at the
library. I've made about 40 purchases at amazon.com and had excellent service
each time. They are also rated the number one online bookstore at
consumer reports.com and gomez.com.
Books for Parents
Books for All Ages
Temperament Books (MBTI/Jungian Theory)
Books About Creativity, Intelligence and The Mind
Diet, Nutrition and Allergies
Edison Trait: Saving the Spirit of Your Nonconforming Child (Dynamos,
Discoverers and Dreamers) by Lucy Jo Pallidino. One of my personal favorites, this
books describes "divergent thinkers" (about 20% of the population). The
author believes that ADDers are included in this group.
The Mind of Boys: Saving our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life by
Michael Gurian and Kathy Stevens, 2005. Most people diagnosed with
ADHD are boys. The authors use hard evidence to show how boys' brains
work differently, how schools are designed for girls, and give practical
advice on how to deal with it.
Children in a Left-Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your ADD Child by Jeffrey
Freed, M.A.T., and Laurie Parsons. I found this to be a fascinating book and especially
important for parents whose children are having problems learning at school. Jeffrey
Freed is an educational therapist and consultant who works exclusively with both gifted
and ADD children, who he describes as visual rather than verbal thinkers. For
example, using his unusual (but simple) approach to teaching spelling, I was surprised to
hear my six-year old son quickly spell the word "exercise" forward and backwards
out loud. Not only that, but I even know how to spell the word
(after 38 years!). This book was recommended to me by several readers who say the methods
espoused by the authors made a tremendous difference in their child's ability to learn to
read. See also In The Mind's
Eye: Visual Thinkers, Gifted People With Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties,
Computer Images and The Ironies of Creativity by Thomas G. West.
By Nature: Understanding Your Child's Personality Type and Become a Better Parent
by Tieger & Tieger. Not specifically about ADD, but this is a Must Read
for all parents of ADD kids. Many ADD traits can be explained by a child's inborn
and normal temperament: non-stop talking and interrupting, for example, is natural
behavior for a strong extravert. This book explains temperament variation using the
MBTI approach and gives you tips on how to deal most effectively with different
temperament types. Excellent book.
Myth of the ADD Child - 50 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and
Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion, by Thomas Armstrong,
Ph.D., Plume, 1995. The book is not as radical as it sounds: The author
concedes that some children (but only a few) require medication, and that many children
are naturally prone to hyperactivity and attention differences. Armstrong differs from the
mainstream in that he believes most of what is labeled ADD is not a singular
"disorder." Rather, it is behavior which can be modified, often by changing the
environment instead of the child. The presumption is that the child is OK. Most of the
book consists of practical tips.
I Know My
Child Can Do Better: A Frustrated Parent's Guide to Educational Options by Anne Rambo,
Ph.D. This book offers parents tips on how to deal with the public school system as
well as suggestions for kids who are having trouble learning, kids who are bored, and kids
who can't concentrate. It also has the best synopsis of the whole ADD-dilemma
facing parents that I've seen so far in that it presents a complex picture rather than the
simplistic and over-generalized views I usually read in the press.
Huckleberry Finn by David Nylund. "Treating Huckleberry
Finn offers a drug-free alternative to treating rambunctious children. Author David
Nylund's SMART approach is a five-step strategy to understanding, nourishing, and learning
to control the millions of youngsters who have been unfairly branded with the diagnoses of
attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." I'm told
this book actually references Born To Explore.
the Active Alert Child: Groundbreaking Strategies for Parents
S. Budd. This book was
recommended to me by a reader. This book "is
for anyone who is confused, frustrated, and sometimes pushed to the limit by the seemingly
uncontrollable behavior of their bright, lovable child. Author and psychologist Linda Budd
offers hope, and helps parents and teachers see these highly intense children in a new
light. Living with the Active Alert Child spells out the characteristics of 'active
alerts' and teaches readers how to help these children thrive in school and family."
Child or Dreamer? by Dana
Scott, Dr Spears, Ron
L., Dr Braund This book was recommended to me by a
reader. "Children with creative-sensitive personalities are imaginative and
compassionate, and they possess a unique vision of life. However, they often feel
misunderstood, are easily hurt by criticism, and can seem stubborn. This guide is designed
to help parents know whether or not their child is a dreamer, and offers encouragement and
advice for raising the dreamer child in an atmosphere where he or she can flourish."
Ritalin: Facts About Medication and Other Strategies
for Helping Children, Adolescents, and Adults With Attention Deficit Disorders,
by Stephen W. Garber, Ph.D., Marianne Daniels Garber, Ph.D., and Robyn Freedman
Spizman, Villard Books (Random House), 1996. The authors focus
on practical strategies to improving problem behavior beyond simply handing out
medication, although the authors are not opposed to meds.
Steps to Ending Rude Behavior in Your Kids by Audry Ricker, Ph.D. and
Carolyn Crowder, Ph.D., 1998. I found this to be the most practical book on
discipline that I've seen, and the authors' approach highly useful to parents of ADD kids,
who respond to action rather than words. Very practical, with strategies that are
easy to remember and really work.
Spirited Child: a guide for parents whose child is more intense, sensitive, perceptive,
persistent, energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, 1991. The author unknowingly
describes kids who are likely to meet the DSM IV criteria for ADD. She focuses on
how to use positive terms to describe these kids and provides some tips for surviving as a
parent. A bit like "The Edison Trait."
Guide to Alternatives in Education, by Ronald E. Koetzsch Ph.D., 1997. Learn all about
alternatives like homeschooling, Montessorri schools, Free schools, Essential Schools, and
Colts Make the Best Horses by John Breeding, 1996. Many people
have recommended this book to me, although I haven't yet read it myself.
to Ritalin : What Doctors Aren't Telling You About Stimulants for Children
by Peter Breggin, 1999. A controversial book recommended to me by quite
a few people, although I haven't read it.
Ritalin: A Physician Reflects on Children, Society, and Performance in a Pill
by Lawrence Diller, 1998. The author is a Pediatrician and Family
Therapist who occasionally prescribes Ritalin but feels in most cases it's not
Ritalin: Treating Adhd Without Drugs, by Mary Ann Block,
1997. Readers at amazon.com gave this book excellent reviews, and the book is really cheap.
Control, by Jason Mark Alster, is written for kids to read. There are lots of
graphics, not too much reading, and each page offers very upbeat tips on how to relax, be
positive, and focused. A particularly good book for kids who are uptight, agitated and
feeling overwhelmed. Good coping skills for kids to learn.
Books For All Ages
To Distraction, Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit
Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood, by Edward M. Hallowell,
M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D., Touchstone - Simon & Schuster, 1995.
This is considered by many to be "The Classic" and definitive book on
ADD. What makes it different from other ADD books is the detailed case studies of
ADDers (showing ADD in its various forms) rather than the short list of behavior problems
common in most ADD books. One of the authors is ADD himself and prefers not to think
of ADD as a 'disorder.'
Books by Thom Hartmann:
I highly recommend Hartmann books to all "Explorers" (or shall I
say "Hunters"?). These books make you feel good about ADD, teach you how
to change your own behavior and accept responsibility for your own actions.
Deficit Disorder - A Different Perception, 1993. This popular and
ground-breaking book launched the "Hunter in a Farmer's World" way of looking at
ADD. ADDers just love this book.
ADD -- Hunting For Reasons In The Past & Present,
1996. In this book, Hartmann explores a variety of topics in nearly brain-storm
fashion, such as our reliance on German-style schools and the affect of TV on kid's
attention spans. One of my favorites.
Simple Exercises That Will Change Your Daily Life
1998. Another practical and positive book by Thom Hartmann.
Stories - A Guide to Fulfillment for Families with ADD
The ADD Experience, Edited by Thom Hartmann & Janie Bowman with
Susan Burgess, Underwood Books, 1996. A collection of writings by
Creativity - Tapping Your Inner Muse by Lynn Weiss. For the ADD
artist who can't seem to get going (or who can get going but can't finish the
project!). The author acts as a coach and cheerleading squad to get you going. The
book is NOT an essay about the connection between ADD and creativity, which is what I had
been hoping for. But I think some people will enjoy it.
Moms with ADD:
A Self-Help Manual by Christine A. Adamec. An upbeat book for harried mothers
who feel pressured to be a super-organized Supermom. Includes a chapter on the
good aspects of ADD, including creativity, sensitivity, curiosity, deep commitment to
children, multitasking ability and more. I prefer this book to the next one because
it is a bit more positive and doesn't assume all women have the inattentive form of ADD.
Attention Deficit Disorder -- Embracing disorganization at home and in the workplace,
by Sari Solden, MS, MFCC, . This is an excellent book for any woman who has ADD, or thinks
she might have ADD, without hyperactivity. For those women with hyperactivity, the
book may be a bit of a disappointment, although there is still good information on how ADD
affects women differently than men, like how we're supposed to be
inherently organized and really enjoy doing repetitive tasks all day long.
: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success
by Nicholas Lore. I've been told this book is written by an ADDer and
is the second best selling book on careers in the world. The book shows how traits
that are liabilities in one career might be an advantage in another. It incorporates
MBTI temperament theory and a whole lot more, and is really more like a very involved
workbook to use at a time when you're looking for a new career path.
Dimension : Celebrating the Opportunities, Rewards, and Challenges of the Add Experience
by Kate Kelly, Peggy Ramundo, D. Steven Ledingham, 1998. I haven't read this
book yet but it sounds interesting.
Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron,
Ph.D. Some ADDers will identify with the book quite a bit, especially the more
introverted ones, but some of the extraverts as well.
Depression : What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You
by Richard O'Connor. Author's quote: "I wanted to write a book to address the issue of
preventing depression. The emphasis is too often focused on treatment after someone has
hit rock bottom. There is a sense that depression is something that happens to you without
warning. I disagree. I think there is a warning - that people do lead a depressed
lifestyle before they feel depressed - and that people should be encouraged to believe
there is a lot they can do to avoid hitting bottom and to make their recovery much
: Brain-Toxic Lifestyles, Natural Antidotes & New Generation Antidepressants
by Michael J., M.D. Norden. "The drug Prozac, while useful for millions, supplements a process
that occurs naturally in all humans. In this book, Norden, a pioneer in developing
applications for Prozac, looks at natural processes to supplement or replace the drug in
the treatment of depression. By allowing for our natural cycles and mental needs, we may
be able to increase our mental health naturally. The author also looks into other new
anti-depressants which may offer advantages over Prozac in the treatment of
Prozac : Natural Therapies and Techniques to Rid Yourself of Anxiety, Depression, Panic
Attacks & Stress by
Judith Sachs, Lendon H. Smith. Reader review: "This
book was easy to read and offered viable solutions to a variety of emotional states such
as fear, anxiety, depression, stress,etc. A wide range of alternative choices were offered
such as yoga, herbal remedies, meditation and others. The author encourages the reader to
use the therapy that feels the most comfortable. This book is easy to read and every time
I have read it, I have always felt more hopeful and reassured. I highly recommend
Books on MBTI Temperament Theory
Understand Me -- Character & Temperament
Types, by David Keirsey & Marilyn Bates. A classic. I
read the whole book in one sitting, and have reread several parts over since then.
The writing style may be a bit obtuse for some people, however. Parts of the book
are online at the official Keirsey website.
Nature: Understanding Your Child's Personality Type and Become a Better Parent
by Tieger & Tieger. Long descriptions of each of the sixteen temperament
types in children. One of my favorites: well written and easy to read. Very
down-to-earth, practical and useful.
You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets
of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron-Tieger,
1995. After reading this book I have a better understanding as to why I keep getting
bored at my work.
Type Talk at
Work/How the 16 Personality Types Determine Your Success on
the Job by Otto Kroeger, Janet M. Thuesen. This book helps you
learn to interact more effectively and understand your coworkers better. I haven't
read it yet.
by Jean M. Kummerow, Nancy J. Barger (Contributor), Linda K. Kirby (Contributor).
Another book that sounds interesting. Hmmm, maybe I'll buy it.
Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence
by David Keirsey, Ray Choiniere, 1998. This is a new and expanded version of the
original Please Understand Me, longer, updated, more detailed. Mixed reviews.
Differing: Understanding Personality Type by Isabel Briggs Myers, Peter
B. Myers, the originators of the MBTI approach to Jungian temperament theory. An
alternative to Please Understand Me.
Books About Creativity, Intelligence and The Mind
In The Mind's
Eye: Visual Thinkers, Gifted People With Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties,
Computer Images and The Ironies of Creativity by Thomas G. West. I think most
people who are ADD will understand this book. The author uses the term dyslexia to
mean all people who are relatively weak verbally. The same people are very often
spatial thinkers, that is, they have an entirely different way of thinking. Instead
of serial, linear thinking and remembering details, they are global thinkers who are quick
to pick up concepts, relationships, and they are good creative problem solvers. He
profiles eleven historic figures, including Einstein, Edison, da Vinci and Churchill.
Fire: Manic - Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, by Kay Redfield Jamison, 1993. A fascinating look at how often
great creative achievements are linked with bipolar disorders.
Mind & Brain - A Cognitive Approach to Creativity, by Howard Gardner
Intelligences - A Theory in Practice, by Howard Gardner, Basic
Creating Minds, An
Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky,
Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi, by Howard Gardner, $14.40 Basic Books, 1993.
Mathematician's Mind - The Psychology of Invention in
the Mathematical Field, by Jacques Hadamard, 1945. An older book,
but a classic.
the Brain, and Ecstasy - How Music Captures Our Imagination,
by Robert Jourdain, 1997.
Cerebral Code - Thinking a Thought in the Mosaics of the Mind,
by William H. Calvin, The MIT Press, 1996.
the Mind - The Secrets of the Human Brain and How It Works, by
Joel Davis, Birch Lane Press, 1997
Diet, Nutrition and
Brain by Jean Carpenter, March 2000. The author discusses recent studies pertaining to
nutrition and the brain, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fatty acids.
There is also a discussion of some herbal remedies like Gingko Biloba. Some reviews
by important sounding people:
Norman Rosenthal, M.D., Research Scientist,
National Institute of Mental Health "Your Miracle Brain is a
dazzling achievement. It turns complex, scientific research into exciting and fascinating
reading that will give hope and comfort to millions of people."
Denham Harman, M.D.,
Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University Of Nebraska Medical Center "A
beautifully written, authoritative, informative book of extraordinary interest to
everybody. Sure to be a bestseller and deserves to be."
How Dietary Fats and Oils Affect Mental, Physical and Emotional Intelligence" by
Michael A. Schmidt. There is so much valuable information in this book I found
myself wanting to reprint every chapter on the web for my readers. Clearly written,
fascinating, and it's not a "pop" book.
Is This Your
Child? Discovering and Treating Unrecognized Allergies in Children and Adult by
Doris Rapp, M.D. An excellent book that describes the types of reactions people can have
to foods and other substances, including hyperactivity, behavior problems, learning
problems, difficulties concentrating and others. A very heavy book with lots of important
details and case studies.
Why Can't My
Child Behave? The Feingold Diet Updated for Today's Busy Families. This book tells you
all about the Feingold Diet and how people can react to certain food additives and a
natural substance related to aspirin found in many fruits.
The ADD Nutrition Solution : A Drug-Free Thirty-Day Plan by Marcia
Zimmerman. Decent reviews, but I haven't yet read it. "Attention deficit disorder is a nutritional deficiency, not a psychological
condition. This is the revolutionary discovery Marcia Zimmerman made during her ten years
of research as a nutritional biochemist. That conclusion led her to develop a diet that
addresses the specific needs of the 17 million adults and children suffering from
The Omega Plan,
by Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D. and Jo Robinson, 1998, contains lots of information about
Omega-3 fatty acids and their relationship to various diseases and conditions like cancer
and heart disease, as well as recipes and fatty acid information for some common
foods. I was glad I bought this book: The authors explained clearly many things
which I had run across but didn't quite understand.
Flax Oil as a
True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer and Other Diseases.
This book was written in 1959 by Dr. Johanna Budwig, nominated seven times for the
Noble Peace Prize for her pioneering work with fats. I found reading this book much like
reading Rachael Carson's "Silent Spring", the book that first warned about
pesticides like DDT. That her warnings have been ignored by the medical mainstream
for forty years is almost a crime.
Brain-Toxic Lifestyles, Natural Antidotes & New Generation Antidepressants
by Michael J. Norden, M.D. This book includes a discussion of how diet profoundly affects
one's emotional health.
by Barry Sears, Ph.D. , and the official Zone website.
"The Zone" refers to a 40-30-30 balance (carbohydrates-protein-fat) in
which the intake of oils is carefully monitored, mostly by using lots of olive & fish
oil and avoiding other types of fats.