Mar 10, 2011

The Family ADHD Solution book review

The Family ADHD Solution: A Scientific Approach to Maximizing Your Child's Attention and Minimizing Parental StressThe Family ADHD Solution: 
A Scientific Approach to Maximizing Your Child's Attention and Minimizing Parental Stress

When I recieved a copy of The Family ADHD Solution, my husband rolled his eyes. ANOTHER ADHD book??

Yes, sir! Even though we got our first confirmed diagnosis almost 3 full years ago, I am constantly in need of more information, help, advice and affirmation as a parent of children with ADHD.  Although we are extremely lucky to have found a medication that has worked pretty well for both of our boys so that typically the rest of the world sees our boys at their best, there are hours and sometimes days that are physically and emotionally exhausting with them.  And while we might find something that works for today, as they grow and change so do the demands on them AND us.

When I began reading the book I was able to nod along, thinking of all the steps we've successfully navigated and considering the parents I WISH I could tactfully give a copy of such a book to.  I'm pretty sure there is not tactful way to tell a parent you're pretty sure their child should be evaluated for ADHD.  And of course my chest puffs when  read comments about how ADHD might not be as immediately life threatening as asthma or diabetes but its just as real!  These are the types of things I can regularly be found telling people whom I occasionally feel the need to defend our decision to medicate to. 

But then when I get to parts about parenting approaches and the amount of negativity children with ADHD regularly get, it became harder to read.  I love my children! And I believe I have made that very clear to them.  But when I honestly look at the language of a day with them, I can't help but feel guilty.  In the hours (or occasional days) when they are really lacking the self control of their bodies and actions, they need a TON of correction.  And while we do a lot to do fun stuff together and I think I acknowledge their accomplishments and talents.  Sometimes the sheer volume of needed correction can just be overwhelming.  It takes away from my ability to spend the time giving the positive encouragement I should.  But when I read something like DR Bertin's book, I'm forced to look at it from their perspective.  I may not ever tell them you are a bad person, but when all the hear all day long, is don't, stop, no, they can begin to feel that way.  I KNOW this first hand because even at just 4 years old my oldest son began questioning why good made him a bad boy. 
Whether you're just starting down the road as a family dealing with ADHD, or you're a pretty seasoned traveler, there is something in this book for you.  There is great value in reading the words of someone who understands what you're going through but also has the knowledge to help you make the best of that situation.



“ADHD challenges a child and also a family; The Family ADHD Solution balances an expert approach to the science of understanding, managing, and living with ADHD with practical, evidence-based, and sympathetic strategies for the whole family.  Dr. Bertin will help parents and children cope, understand what is happening, and live and learn together from one day to the next.”--Perri Klass, M.D., author of Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters to a Young Doctor
"Mark Bertin has written an insightful guide to help families approach the challenges of attentional difficulties with a mindful approach. While "attention deficit" refers to a complex set of dysfunctions in much more than the focus of attention, it fills families with a wide array of issues. To support the ever-stressful journey, the author takes the important but often forgotten stance that caregivers need their own deep understanding and self-care in order to function well and offer the optimal help to their children.  What this means is that parents and other caregivers of children who have executive functions not working as they should--being able to pause before acting on an impulse, sustaining attention, avoiding becoming distracted--can now have an accessible method for maintaining a calm and clear focus of their own attention to keep their families functioning as best they can.  Research has suggested that learning to be mindfully aware can help reduce stress, focus the mind, keep emotions balanced, and even improve your immune function.  The bottom-line of these studies is that you can learn to approach challenging situations with resilience. So why not take the small amount of time to read this wonderful book and prepare yourself and your family well for the challenges ahead?"--Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., author, of Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation and Parenting from the Inside Out
“An excellent guide for families with children with ADHD. Mark Bertin not only explains the science behind how ADHD affects the brain, but also provides real tools and techniques for parents to both help their children succeed at home and academically, as well as restore balance to their lives.”--Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Driven to Distraction
The Family ADHD Solution by Mark Bertin jumps to the top of my book list for families living with ADHD.  It captures the science and the human story of ADHD with clarity and specifics – and offers the first real approach to parenting a child with ADHD that doesn’t blame the child or the parent.  This book fills a gaping hole in the ADHD parenting bookshelf – providing a working understanding of ADHD that is accurate and accessible and giving parents a chance to literally catch their breath and recognize how hard it is for the child with ADHD and for parents trying to get their child on the right track. Compassion for the child and the adults working with the child define everything else that Dr. Bertin discusses.    The book assumes that interventions will be difficult and need to be changed over time – and doesn’t apply a one size fits all approach.  The tools provided are different than those found elsewhere – and the science supports the tools.   Strategies that parents learn from this book are specific enough to try right away – and flexible enough to modify for different children and over time with the same child.  I love this book and cannot wait to be able to recommend it to my patients and families.”--Candida Fink, MD, author of The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child
“I highly recommend this book. It’s excellent, comprehensive coverage of practical information linked to scholarly research will help parents better understand and cope with the expectable challenges of parenting a youngster with ADHD. The author conveys in an articulate, engaging, and thoughtful manner a high level of familiarity with these challenges, and provides a clear set of empirically based techniques to manage them.  Especially valuable are the emphases on the biological underpinnings of ADHD to help lessen the likelihood of blame, mindfulness techniques to manage stress and facilitate self-regulation, and guidelines to track the effects of medications and adjust dosage levels when needed.”--Norman Brier, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
"With compassion and insight, in language that is easy to understand, Dr. Bertin has taken on the task of explaining ADHD to families struggling to make sense of this difficult topic.  And he succeeds brilliantly, shining light on difficult concepts and offering tools for dealing with the challenges in children's lives.  It is a book that should be on the bookshelf of every parent and grandparent of a child with ADHD." -- Robert Marion, M.D., Director of the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of Genetic Rounds: A Doctor's Encounters in the Field that Revolutionized Medicine
“This book offers parents of children with ADHD a truly unique combination of medical expertise and compassion-- compassion for themselves, and for their children. Dr. Bertin applies his knowledge of cutting edge neuroscience and his experience of mindfulness to offer specific practices and advice for responding to the challenges of adhd and to enhance the joys of parenting.”--Amy Saltzman M.D., co-founder/director Association for Mindfulness in Education
“Dr. Bertin has hit a home run with The Family ADHD Solution!  A noted expert in developmental pediatrics, Dr. Bertin addresses a potentially overwhelming subject with not only clear clinical expertise and guidance, but also with reassurance and compassion.  He has taken the mystery out of this condition…it is a wonderful resource for families.”--Peter L. Richel, MD, FAAP, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, New York Medical College
"This is a comprehensive manual for parents and families of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that undoubtedly can be useful in understanding the nature of the disability and practical approaches toward treatment."--Dr. Herbert Cohen, Professor of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
"Finally, something new for ADHD! Along with lots of great information about ADHD, Dr. Bertin’s mindfulness approach is the missing piece that will enable parents to make better use of that information. The constant crises of raising a child with ADHD can drive even the most patient parents to their limits. Fortunately, Dr. Bertin presents specific, practical strategies to ride through those stressful moments with greater poise and wisdom. The parents will be calmer and the kids will be better behaved--everybody wins!"--Ari Tuckman, PsyD, author of More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD
"The Family ADHD Solution is a wonderful tool for parents with an ADHD child.  Grounded in science and rich clinical experience, Dr. Mark Bertin discusses ADHD in an insightful way and highlights mindfulness meditation as an effective way to deal with parenting stress.  A gift to parents (and their children) and a truly mindful book!"--Lidia Zylowska, M.D., Co-Founder and Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
"Dr. Bertin's book couldn't be more timely for my practice. As a primary care pediatrician, I have been searching for the missing link in helping families with ADHD. His clear presentation, combined with  evidence based medicine, has already started helping me help families with ADHD. It will be a prominent asset in my toolkit not only for ADHD management, but also for helping all families live happier lives."--Elio Gizzi, M.D., Site Chief, Kaiser Richmond Pediatrics
“Dr. Mark Bertin’s compassionate, informed guidance for families affected by ADHD combines sound science and practical tips with a mindfulness-based approach. An invaluable addition to the ADHD library.”--Gina Pera, author of Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD?

Product Description

The indispensible guide for parents to give their child with ADHD the tools to succeed.

About the Author

Mark Bertin, M.D., is a pioneering developmental pediatrician in private practice in Pleasantville NY, Director of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics at the Westchester Institute for Human Development and assistant professor of pediatrics at New York Medical College.  He trains physicians, teachers and psychologists in ADHD care, and leads stress-reduction classes for parents. 

1 comment:

  1. Hmm...I will have to look into this. I'm always looking for ways that we can do things better. What irks me is all the people who say ADHD isn't real. If they could just see the struggles my son has to deal with and how it saddens him, they would change their minds.


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