Hope For Over 4.4 Million American Kids/Teens Diagnosed With ADD/ADHD

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The book: "Attention Difference Disorder®: How To Turn Your ADHD Child or Teen's Differences Into Strengths in 7 Simple Steps" gives a new approach to parents of kids and teens with the disorder.

Attention Difference Disorder

Attention Difference Disorder

The book: "Attention Difference Disorder®: How To Turn Your ADHD Child or Teen's Differences Into Strengths in 7 Simple Steps" gives a new approach to parents of kids and teens with the disorder.

There are over 2.24 million global monthly Google searches for the terms ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. Parents of children and teenagers affected by both are eager for help in wading through all the information available.

“Parents of kids and teens with ADD/ADHD feel bombarded by conflicting messages about treatment,” says Kenny Handelman, M.D., author of the new book, ATTENTION DIFFERENCE DISORDER®: How to Turn Your ADHD Child or Teen’s Differences into Strengths in 7 Simple Steps. “The stigma attached only makes it harder. This book de-stigmatizes ADD/ADHD and provides a step-by-step approach for parents to follow, which will help them to get their child's treatment (and life) on track.”

The traditional approach to ADD/ADHD is that of a deficit model, Dr. Handelman explains. In ATTENTION DIFFERENCE DISORDER® he emphasizes differences rather than deficits. This strength-based approach, developed over ten years of work with patients and through clinical research, shows how parents can implement traditional and alternative treatments for ADD/ADHD to ensure their child's success. A board certified psychiatrist in the USA and Canada, and an expert in both conditions, he often teaches medical students, doctors, parents, educators and others about ADD/ADHD.

Synthesizing scientific and clinical research in a way that is accessible to parents, Dr. Handelman first explains the ADD/ADHD diagnosis and the nine symptoms of inattention, including

  •     making careless mistakes
  •     getting easily distracted
  •     often being forgetful
  •     poor organization.

He then introduces his concept of Attention Difference Disorder, and discusses the “journey” that most parents experience, taking them from student, to expert, to advocate.

What follows is his unique 7 step Attention Difference Disorder System. “By following the steps in the system,” he explains, “you are going to learn to take the deficits that your child may have as part of their ADD/ADHD and change them into differences. And as you move forward, you can convert those into strengths.” Because both conditions can be helped by the same steps, Dr. Handelman simply refers to ADD to cover both.

The steps are:

1) Education About the Condition: ADD is a real medical condition based on biology and neurobiology, as well as genetics. In fact, research has shown it to be 80 to 85 percent heritable. It can also be caused by such risk factors as maternal smoking or drinking during pregnancy and premature birth. 60 to 70 percent of children or teens with ADD will still have it as adults.

2) Ensuring a Proper Diagnosis: “When it comes to considering treatment like medication,” Dr. Handelman writes, “it is very important to be sure about the diagnosis.” ADD is diagnosed using criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association—and parents must find a doctor who knows and understands this diagnosis completely.

3) Parenting Strategies: This is one of the most critical steps. Dr. Handelman outlines ten principles and strategies of parenting starting with a foundation of love, building toward implementation and maintenance of a structure that is consistent throughout the child’s daily life.

4) Educational Strategies: School issues are the main catalyst for ADD assessment. The first key to success is good communication between the school and the parent. Parents must understand the approaches taken to ADD by their particular schools. Dr. Handelman covers specific strategies that will be helpful to children and teens in school.

5) Medication Treatments: Dr. Handelman reviews the science behind medications and explains the major issues around them. He advocates that “combination treatment”, including both medications and therapy, be explored. Although there are now a number of medications available, they are easily understood when broken down between stimulants and non-stimulants.

6) Alternative Treatments: 66 percent of parents admit to using some sort of alternative treatment for their ADD child. Dr. Handelman asserts that both parents and doctors need to develop better knowledge of these therapies, which he views as “complementary” to medical treatment. He discusses treatments ranging from diet change to homeopathy to neurofeedback.

7) Treatment Integration: Steps 1-6 must be brought together so that parents can remain flexible. “As your child grows and develops, there will be changes to the treatment needed”, Dr. Handelman explains. “You will need to be flexible and on top of the monitoring of your child’s progress and symptoms to react quickly and proactively.”

“Treatment of ADD is a marathon, not a sprint,” Dr. Handelman writes in conclusion. Parents therefore must be committed to the work. Armed with the correct tools, though, they can send their ADD children off into the world with their differences turned into strengths.

“…a breakthrough concept, and one that every parent (and doctor) needs to learn and get on board with…Must reading for all parents and ADHD healthcare providers.”
--Dr. Peter Jensen, Co-Director, Division of Child Psychiatry & Psychology, The Mayo Clinic

How to Turn Your ADHD Child or Teen’s Differences into Strengths
In 7 Simple Steps
Kenny Handelman, M.D.
Foreword by Edward Hallowell, M.D.
Morgan James Publishing/ June 2011 / 216 pages / ISBN 978-1-60037-888-1 / Trade Paperback $17.95

Dr. Kenny Handelman is a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, board-certified in the U.S. and Canada., working with both patients and in clinical research. He is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario.


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Guylaine Juteau
Medical Integrity Inc.
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