Authors: Patricia O Quinn, MD and Judith M Stern, MA
Publisher: Magination Press (3rd Edition, 2012)
Age Group: Preteens
ISBN (13): 9781433811340
How do you explain ADHD to a child who has just been diagnosed with the condition? Is there a way to help the child understand how ADHD affects his learning and behavior? How can we direct the child to recognize and use his different abilities to succeed in school (beyond the ‘if you put your mind to it…’ advice)?
Putting on the brakes is a great resource written by a developmental pediatrician and a teacher exactly for this purpose. This is a well-organized book written for children that gives information without talking down at them. Part one of the book focuses on understanding ADHD while part two focuses on empowering the child with information and strategies.
It is notable that the strategies are for both academic success (attention, maintaining focus, organizational skills) and social integration (making and keeping friendships, staying calm).
There is a chapter on medications—about the dosage, the right kind of medication and the types (short acting/long acting). The book also addresses the fact that medication is only a part of the treatment and stresses the need for learning organizational, and other executive function skills. The section on side effects is particularly significant because it teaches children to understand their body and how responds to medication—and to be able to advocate for themselves when they feel something is wrong with the way their body functions.
The final chapter talks about taking care of oneself…about the importance of sleep, recognizing and reinforcing positive experiences and overall well-being.
Indian parents should take a cue from this book and give children the right amount of information to understand their conditions/needs better. That can only help their child become independent and develop strong self-advocacy skills.