on December 28, 2002
Did you know that there is no scientific test for the presence of ADD/ADHD? According to Dr. Stein that's because ADD/ADHD is NOT the epidemic biological/chemical/genetic/dietary disease that today's popular medicine would have us believe. It's what grade schools used to call poor conduct, and it can be corrected with a two-pronged, drug-free approach: increase praise to reward good conduct and use boredom--what I refer to as "Time Out on Steroids"--to correct bad conduct. The book includes a simple, well-reasoned explanation of what Dr. Stein believes causes kids to be inattentive (IA) and highly misbehaving (HM). More importantly for parents like me it includes a detailed, step by step, VERY PRACTICAL program for working with an IA/HM child in a broad variety of settings (e.g. at home, at a store, in the car). He calls this the Caregivers Skills Program (CSP).
The key to the CSP is that it helps the child understand that it's to his benefit to think...think about the consequences of his actions, think about the rules, think about the feelings of others, etc. This book is surprisingly short for the importance of its subject, reads very quickly, is down to earth and to-the-point. Dr. Stein includes just the right amount of the theories behind the CSP so parents can build on the specifics in the CSP to handle other situations not specifically covered by the book.
If you're considering resorting to drugs or professional counseling to try and help a child you suspect might be ADD/ADHD, you owe it to the child and yourself to read this book first.
on November 6, 2003
I am the mother of Ben, who has had lots of labels...Adhd, Autism, PDD, brat. Somehow he has made it through to the fourth grade and basically is a bright kid.
Ben was languaged delayed and might not have made it in the regular classroom without ritalin because he was just out of control and I was clueless as to how to change. In earlier days, we literally had to "show" Ben how to talk, with pictures... he had to "see" it to understand it, as he didn't pick up language as most kids do. He was different from the beginning!!!
He is the most frustrating, and the most enjoyable of kids I have ever had the pleasure to love. But when it came to correction, I just believed I would have to spend the rest of my life ignoring his oppositionality. It was like I had no control...and just kept getting more and more frustrated, and giving more and more negative vibes off because I was just at my wits end. I don't like the idea of spanking or yelling at all, and it always just seemed to make matters worse. Ben took no responsibility for his behavior.
When I came across this book initially I ignored it because it was that crazy "anti-ritalin" crowd, or so I thought. You know, the "zealots". After having read it and applied it somewhat, I wonder if Dr. Stein hasn't serendipitously (sp?) come across a way to help our kids behave, in the same way Catherine Maurice's book helped provide me with a way to teach Ben language!! Hey, we're on this earth to help each other out!
I really do believe Ben has a difference that makes it hard to deal with some aspects of schooling. I don't recall anywhere in this book Dr. Stein saying that it's easy. But if I only give in and say, "He can't do it, he's handicapped..." am I really helping him? It isn't a matter of ritalin or not...what this book forces you to think about is how we as parents unfortunately handicap our children by having such low expectations of them.
How can a form of discipline that includes no yelling or spanking, no belittlement; that encourages positive behavior and encourages thinking of the consequences of actions beforehand; that requires us as parents to refuse to see our children as handicapped and to enrich their lives and show them unconditional love, be bad?