This clear and valuable book dispels a variety of myths about attention deficit disorder (ADD). Since both authors have ADD themselves, and both are successful medical professionals, perhaps there's no surprise that the two myths they attack most persistently are: (a) that ADD is an issue only for children; and (b) that ADD corresponds simply to limited intelligence or limited self-discipline. "The word disorder puts the syndrome entirely in the domain of pathology, where it should not entirely be. Although ADD can generate a host of problems, there are also advantages to having it, advantages that this book will stress, such as high energy, intuitiveness, creativity, and enthusiasm, and they are completely overlooked by the 'disorder' model." The authors go on to cite Mozart and Einstein as examples of probable ADD sufferers. (The problem as they see it is not so much attention deficit but attention inconsistency: "Most of us with ADD can in fact hyperfocus at times.") Although they warn against overdiagnosis, they also do a convincing job of answering the criticism that "everybody, and therefore nobody" has ADD. Using numerous case studies and a discussion of the way ADD intersects with other conditions (e.g., depression, substance abuse, and obsessive-compulsive disorder), they paint a concrete picture of the syndrome's realities. Especially helpful are the lists of tips for dealing with ADD in a child, a partner, or a family member. --Richard Farr
The New York Times Book Review A very readable, highly informative and helpful book.
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Judith L. Rapoport, M.D. Chief, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, author of The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing A wonderfully readable and, most important, practical and useful book on ADD.
Peter D. Kramer, M.D. author of Listening to Prozac Conversational in tone, encyclopedic in content, and, best of all, utterly convincing because of its grounding in clinical experience, Driven to Distraction should make Attention Deficit Disorder comprehensible even to the most distractible reader.
Sandra Freed Thomas, R.N. former president of CH.A.D.D. (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder) This rich resource has it all -- education, family perspectives, diagnosis and treatment, subtypes -- but throughout there is a joyful and pervading sense of hope. One cannot read this book without developing a great sense of how it feels to live with ADD -- to compensate for, even to benefit from, its characteristics.
Priscilla L. Vail author of Smart Kids with School Problems The highest order of helping and healing glows through this book. Informative, compassionate, practical, and -- yes -- funny, it draws the reader in as it throws confusion out.
Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. author of Endangered Lives This is an important and much-needed book! Wise, practical, and reassuring....A must-read for anyone who knows, treats, or is an "underachiever" -- in school or in life.