Teen Writes Memoir on Life with ADHD

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18-year-old Blake Taylor offers insight into life with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

"I have lived with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for my entire life--all seventeen years of it," Blake Taylor says in his new memoir. "I'm keenly aware of how I am different. I see things differently. I experience sights and sounds more keenly. I react more intensely."

This is how the college freshman introduces himself in ADHD & Me: What I Learned From Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table (New Harbinger), an absorbing book chronicling a childhood spent dealing with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and all of the effects of feeling different from everyone else. Blake's words leap off the page with startling honesty as he describes humorous misadventures, academic difficulties--like having to write an in-class essay on The Odyssey after forgetting to take his medication--stressful bullying episodes, and the winning and losing of friends during the first seventeen years of his life.

Diagnosed with ADHD at the age of five, Blake recalls having a reputation for impulsive--and often reckless--behavior, such as launching rockets into neighbors' swimming pools, setting off alarms at a museum in a quest to touch a T-Rex, and, of course, lighting a fire at the dinner table. The book is filled with stories such as these, and with the consequences of his ADHD-driven behavior. As an added bonus to other with this disorder Blake also punctuates each tale with an explanation of the ADHD symptom that caused the event (for example, being impulsive, being distracted, being disorganized, etc.), followed by tips on how to manage these symptoms.

The insight that these vignettes provide into what it is like to have ADHD is truly fascinating. In one chapter Blake says of distraction: "I feel as if my mind were a television with the channel changing uncontrollably. In one moment, I'm watching CNN Headline News, in another moment, a documentary about the Roman army, and in a third moment, What Not to Wear on TLC."

Now a student at the University of California, Berkeley, Blake Taylor offers, through his own experiences, hope for other young people struggling with ADD or ADHD.

Visit Blake Taylor at http://www.youngwithadhd.com

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Earlita Chenault
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