ADHD 2.0

It has been almost 30 years since Dr. Edward M. Hallowell and Dr. John J. Ratey wrote the seminal book on ADHD, Driven to Distraction.  In ADHD 2.0 they review what we have learned about ADHD in the last 3 decades. It is an insightful and helpful review and relook at the way a specific type of brain works. It unpacks the gifts and challenges of the ADHD brain and provides a survey of ways to manage those challenges and harness those gifts. In their highly readable book, you will see yourself, your spouse, your students, your colleagues and others. It will help you to understand the ADHD brain better.

A Spectrum of Traits

It opens by reviewing the gifts and challenges of the ADHD brain. It gives a good introduction for those new to ADHD and enough new insight and thoughtful explanations and analogies for the more knowledgeable to also take away something new. Through case studies taken from their decades of work in this area, they illustrate the aspects of the ADHD brain, how it impacts daily life, how it can be crippling and how it can be harnessed.  They explain what brain research has taught us about the cerebellum and the ADHD brain in recent years and discuss the neuroscience in a highly engaging and accessible way. They then review what the new research offers us in terms of management of the ADHD brain.

Developing and harnessing the power of the ADHD brain

The review of the new understandings of the ADHD brain offers some interesting options of strategies to harness the best ADHD has to offer and to mitigate the worst impacts.  They review innovative work on balance exercises and activities such as martial arts to improve cerebellum function which seems to lessen the worst ADHD symptoms. They stress the importance of love and connection as individuals develop their understanding of how their brain works and focus a lot of time on how we find the right difficult.  

For the ADHD brain boredom is kryptonite. However the superpower of ADHD is creativity and if one can identify the right challenge for the individual with ADHD, they can be incredibly successful. The authors offer ways to begin to unpack and identify the right difficult that can be immediately applied in our lives or the lives of our loved ones. They also describe the types of environments needed for the ADHD brain to thrive rather than flounder.  This includes structure, calm, proper nutrition and sleep, exercise and support. They offer suggestions and ideas for how to implement and what to include.

Finally, they consider how the pharmaceutical options for managing ADHD have evolved over the last decades.  There are a range of medications that can be employed depending on the physiology of the individual and how impacted they are by ADHD. It is a route often feared or derided, yet they discuss how powerful a tool it can be and urge us not to overlook how effective it can be.

If you have ADHD, work with some who does, or love someone who does, this book will give you further understanding and insight into the ADHD brain. I highly recommend it. 

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