Best ADHD Books For Every Age

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“ADHD” stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Close to one in ten children have ADHD as do 2-3 percent of adults. It can be treated by behavior modification, therapy, and medication. An important part of treatment and knowing how to best interact with those with ADHD is being informed.  Some good books are very helpful.

ADHD Is Not Just Being “Hyper”

“ADHD” stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  

ADHD is not the same thing as a child being “hyper,” or full of energy. Children of all ages, from preschool to high school, are often very active with low attention spans.  This can cause various problems for parents, teachers, and other people who have to take care of them.  

But, simply being hyper and/or not paying attention sometimes is not the same as  attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  

What Is ADHD?

The key difference in “ADHD” is the second D.  A “disorder” is a consistent usually troubling condition that is outside of what is determined to be run of the mill.  The word “abnormal” is tossed around here too.  But, I think that has a certain dubious symbolism.  

ADHD is not a matter of a child being difficult or a character flaw.  It is a medical condition.  

A person with ADHD has differences in brain development and brain activity that systematically affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. 

What Causes ADHD? 

The exact causes of ADHD are not clear. ADHD might be caused by such things as lead, problems during pregnancy, and genetic reasons.  

It is not caused by too much television watching, poor parenting, or eating too much sugar.

What are the Symptoms of ADHD?

The CDC notes that it is sometimes hard to diagnose because the symptoms can overlap with other common conditions.  Possible symptoms include:

  • daydream a lot
  • forget or lose things a lot
  • squirm or fidget
  • talk too much
  • make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
  • have a hard time resisting temptation
  • have trouble taking turns
  • have difficulty getting along with others

Who Has ADHD? 

It is estimated that about eight percent of children and between two and three percent of adults have ADHD.  A sizable number of people when even one child who is a “troublemaker” can cause problems in a classroom.  

ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder in children.  Boys are more likely to have it than girls.  ADHH is usually first seen during the early school years, particularly when a child begins to have problems paying attention.  ADHD might continue into adulthood.  

How Can ADHD Be Treated?

ADHD is usually treated with a combination of behavior therapy (a fancy term for treating how a person acts) and medication.  Experts suggest trying to manage a person’s actions, keeping a close eye on how they are doing, before the use of medical means of treatment. 

Healthy living, behavior modification, and therapy might not be enough.  Sometimes, people with ADHD will also have to take medication.  This can be a bit scary, but medication has been shown to be very important to properly maintain the symptoms of those with ADHD.  

Value of ADHD Books 

A basic thing here is staying informed.  Do you think your child or someone you care about has ADHD?  Are you a teacher or other type of professional who might deal with children and adults with ADHD?  Perhaps, you yourself have ADHD, since it affects teens and adults too.

In each case, a good resource are the many ADHD books out there.  To help you out, I picked out about twenty of the best, broken down into categories.  You can check over the summaries and see what ones serve your needs.  Just click the link of the ones you like.  

Some things to look for: what type of book (overview, memoir, self-help), audience (do you or someone you know have ADHD or do you generally want to educate yourself?), author credentials  (experience and expertise), and recommendations (reader or experts).  

BOOKS FOR GENERAL INFO

Driven to Distraction (Revised): Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell M.D. and John J. Ratey M.D. 

This book is written by two experts in adult and child psychiatry, who have discussed their own experiences with the disorder.  Driven to Distraction is one of the most popular books (over a million sold) for those looking for general information about ADHD. It has up-to-date information on both child and adult ADHD, keeping it positive, but still making sure you are well informed.  The book provides case studies, coping recommendations, and treatment options. 

The authors also wrote ADHD 2.0: New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction–from Childhood through Adulthood, which provides up-to-date information and some more positive focus on the strengths that those with ADHD have.  

New ADHD Medication Rules: Brain Science & Common Sense by Charles Parker 

Charles Parker is a  child and adult psychiatrist with more than 50 years of experience.  This book is particularly for those who wish to learn about the medication aspect of ADHD treatment.  A book for patients, parents of children with ADHD as well as professionals, it translates the often confusing and conflicting data into understandable English.  

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN WITH ADHD  

Cory Stories: A Kid’s Book About Living with ADHD by Jeanne Kraus and Whitney Martin

Jeanne R Kraus is a retired teacher and curriculum specialist. She is a published author, humorist and speaker.  

This book is told from the point of view of Cory, a young child, explaining what ADHD is all about.  Cory describes how it affects his relationships with friends and family, his school life, and so on.  He also describes many ways he copes with ADHD.  

Great to help small children learn about ADHD in a way they can understand.  

A Dragon With ADHD: A Children’s Story About ADHD. A Cute Book to Help Kids Get Organized, Focus, and Succeed by Steve Herman 

Steve Herman is a best selling children’s books author, and is known for teaching children valuable life lessons through his cute, fun, and relatable dragon books.

This book is intended for children from four to eight.  It uses a cute dragon character to teach a child about ADHD.  Parents, therapists, and people with ADHD themselves have praised this book for its accuracy and value as a teaching tool.  

Focused: ADHD & ADD Parenting Strategies for Children with Attention Deficit Disorder by Blythe N. Grossberg

Blythe Grossberg, is a learning specialist in New York City. She has worked with children and adults with learning differences, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders. 

This book is a good guide for empowering parents who are raising children and teens with ADHD.  Focused allows parents to use the child’s strengths to work around obstacles. The book provides basic information about ADHD as well as over 40 parenting strategies.  

Hyper: A Personal History of ADHD by Timothy Denevi

This is a memoir about the experiences of someone who grew up in the 1980s with ADHD. Denevi had a negative reaction with Ritalin, beginning a struggle with various treatments.  

Hyper provides essential insights about how it feels to grow up with ADHD, including feelings of being a burden and outcast.  The book also discusses the changing knowledge and treatment of and treatment of ADHD from the nineteenth century, including the development of medications. 

What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew: Working Together to Empower Kids for Success in School and Life by Sharon Saline 

Dr. Sharon Saline maintains a busy psychotherapy practice working with children, teens, families and adults with ADHD and other mental health issues.

This book provides a guide for parents to follow to help their child with ADHD succeed.  It provides practical advice and real-life examples so parents can better understand ADHD and learn how they can help their child succeed.  Readers were particularly impressed at how it allows us to “get into the mind” of a child with ADHD and how they view the world.  

BOOKS FOR TEENS WITH ADHD

Smart but Scattered Teens: The “Executive Skills” Program for Helping Teens Reach Their Potential by Richard Guare, Peg Dawson, Colin Guare

This book is written by experts on learning and attention disorders and autism.  It is intended for parents of teens and is a helpful scientifically based resource of maintaining the schedule of a teen with ADHD. The book is a step-by-step guide to building skills — focusing, organization, and controlling emotions.   Worksheets help guide parents and teens.  

Smart But Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD by Thomas E. Brown

Dr. Brown is a clinical psychologist, who is the writer and editor of various books on ADHD and Asperger Syndrome.  

This book offers 15 true stories about intelligent, capable teens and adults who have become “stuck” at school, work, and in social relationships because of their ADHD. The book emphasizes the role emotion has in day-to-day functioning with ADHD.  The reader learns strategies for getting “unstuck” to move on to a more rewarding life.

Thriving with ADHD Workbook for Teens: Improve Focus, Get Organized, and Succeed by Allison Tyler

Allison Tyler is a psychotherapist specializing in treating ADHD in children, adolescents, and adults. She’s also the parent of a child with ADHD.  This book is a helpful source for exercises, techniques, and advice for living with ADHD.  Good for both teens and adults, the book is a comfortably sized (128 pages) workbook to provide guidance for life in and out of school.  

BOOKS FOR ADULTS WITH ADHD

ADHD After Dark: Better Sex Life, Better Relationship by Ari Tuckman

Ari Tuckman is a certified sex therapist and psychologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in children and adults.  

This book draws on a survey of over 3000 adults to explores the impact of ADHD on a couple’s sex life and relationship.  The author’s perspective as both a sex therapist and expert on ADHD helps provide unique insights over the special needs that arise when a member of a couple has ADHD. The issues covered include negotiating sexual differences, performance problems, low desire, porn, making time for sex, infidelity, and more.   

The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps by Melissa Orlov

Melissa Orlov is the founder of ADHDmarriage.com, and the author of two award-winning books on how ADHD impacts adult relationships.  She counsels couples impacted by ADHD.

This book is a good resource for couples where at least one member suffers from ADHD.  It is a guide on such symptoms as nagging, intimacy problems, sudden anger, and memory issues.  The book provides advice and support, including such tools as worksheets to work out trouble areas.

The Adult ADHD Tool Kit: Using CBT to Facilitate Coping Inside and Out by J. Russell Ramsay and Anthony Rostain 

The authors are co-founders and co-directors of the Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program and experts in the assessment and treatment of adult ADHD.

This book is a guide for adults living with ADHD.  It provides useful coping strategies as well as tactics designed to apply these skills in their daily lives.  

The book is intended for the average person with ADHD, but should also be useful for clinicians as a companion to the author’s professional treatment guide: “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD: An Integrative Psychosocial and Medical Approach.”    

Memoirs of an ADHD Mind: God was a Genius in the Way He Made Me by Melissa Hood

Missy Hood struggled with ADHD her whole life.  After completing her research study (“The Identification of Current Coping Strategies For College Students With Learning Disabilities”) at Texas State, she decided to write this memoir to help others like herself.  

This is a Christian faith-based account.  The book is aimed to fight the biases society has against ADHD to help others develop healthy coping methods to successfully handle the disease.  The author’s experiences add honesty to the account.  Check her website for more info.

Order from Chaos: The Everyday Grind of Staying Organized with Adult ADHD by Jaclyn Paul 

Jaclyn Paul is a fiction writer and blogger, who writes as a woman living with ADHD with the goal of helping people like herself.  Her writing has appeared at various ADHD related locations.

Paul explains how the brain of a person with ADHD works.  She mixes in her own experiences as a wife and mom with ADHD with life hacks on how to design your own plan to regain order in your life.  The book is praised for its storytelling and helpful advice on living with ADHD.

What Does Everybody Else Know That I Don’t?: Social Skills Help for Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder by Michele Novotni and Randy Petersen

Dr. Novotni is an ADHD expert, former president and CEO of Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA).  Petersen helped with the writing of many self-help books.  

This book is a comprehensive social skills guide for adults with ADHD.  It teaches adults to overcome common problems like inattention, impulsive blurting, and more.  The book’s format is expertly crafted to retain the interest of those with ADHD and to self-teach people to recognize behaviors in themselves that can cause problems in social relationships.

You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo 

The authors have long term professional nursing and life coaching experience addressing the needs of people with ADHD; they have written multiple books on the subject.  

This classic volume (480 pages) is a great resource for adults with ADHD. It covers basic matters such as diagnosis, living with everyday effects, and treatment options.  The book also focuses on such adult concerns as ADHD’s effects on sexuality, eating, dating, and work.

BOOKS FOR MEN WITH ADHD

ADHD Workbook for Men: Exercises and Strategies to Improve Focus, Motivation, and Confidence by Puja Trivedi Parikh 

The author is a licensed psychotherapist and behavior analyst with more than 12 years of clinical experience treating children and adults with ASD, ADHD, depression, and anxiety.

Boys are more likely than girls to have ADHD. What about men?  This workbook is a good resource specifically for men.  It provides an introduction to the basics and practical strategies to live with the disorder, building self-confidence and improving time and stress management.

Chasing Kites: A Memoir About Growing Up With ADHD by Tom Nardone

Tom Nardone is a freelance writer, blogger, and motivational speaker. He is also married to someone with ADHD.  Tom has a popular blog and podcast about ADHD.

He was diagnosed as an adult, but has dealt with ADHD since childhood.  This book is a memoir, about growing up with ADHD, from struggling to make friends, to being bullied, and struggling to keep a job. It is an often funny and sarcastic account that provides the basics of day-to-day life with ADHD. He promotes self-acceptance of ADHD, believing mixed in with all the craziness is a lot of positives.  Those who read this book should be aware of this point of view. 

BOOKS FOR WOMEN WITH ADHD

100 Questions and Answers About ADHD in Women and Girls by Dr. Patrica Quinn

Dr. Patricia Quinn is a developmental pediatrician, who has worked for over 30 years in the areas of ADHD and learning disabilities. She co-founded the National Center for Girls and Women with ADHD, and became director.  Not sure if she goes by “Dr. Quinn, Medical Woman.”  

Are you a woman with ADHD or a parent of a girl with the disorder? This book will be a helpful resource for you.  It provides information about common symptoms, the diagnosis process, management, and sources of support for women and girls with ADHD.  

The Queen of Distraction: How Women With ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get It All Done by Terry Matlen

Terry Matlen is a psychotherapist, consultant, writer, and coach.  She founded addconsults.com.

This book is focused on the female side of ADHD, including its effects on relationships, skin sensitivities, meal-planning, parenting, and dealing with out-of-control hormones. The book provides helpful tips on living with ADHD, including treatment options.  Written by someone who is a veteran of ADHD herself, it is a knowledgeable but also sympathetic and kind account.  

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ADHD is a complicated and sometimes scary condition.  It is important to be fully informed and to treat everyone affected with respect and empathy.  These books should provide a lot of help.