Beyond ADHD by Jeff Emerson/Robert Yehling

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Beyond ADHD: Overcoming the Label and Thriving by Jeff Emerson and Robert Yehling

Beyond ADHD: Overcoming the Label and Thriving by Jeff Emmerson and Robert Yehling Book Review*****

Rowman & Littlefield (2017)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – Alternative Treatment, Behaviour Modification

Book was received in exchange for a review. Post contains affiliate links.

Summary: Beyond ADHD weaves Emmerson’s personal story of his ADHD diagnosis, exploring along the way the latest medical, scientific and societal explanations and tools for managing and living with the condition. Including interviews with a number of experts at the forefront of next-generation ADHD diagnostics and treatment, he questions the cookie-cutter way ADHD is commonly diagnosed and treated. Suggesting that the list of symptoms often used to identify ADHD can be attributed to many other disorders and conditions, he explores how and why ADHD diagnoses have increased by 50% in the last ten years.

Emmerson advocates a different approach to ADHD, arguing that it should be a diagnosis of exclusion rather than the other way around, and that we must look past the label, recognizing that individual symptoms vary and treatment plans should be better tailored to the individual. He examines mental and behavioral issues from all sides, including the possibility that nurturing – rather than trying to alter or suppress – the active, “360-degree” mind is a viable way for those diagnosed with ADHD to realize their gifts and lead purposeful lives. – from Amazon

This is not your average book on ADHD. It’s not a book about how to raise a child with ADHD or even really about what to do if you ADHD. It’s more a discussion and sharing of an exploration the author takes to see if he really has ADHD and why so many people are being diagnosed with ADHD today as well as what should be done about it.

He identifies problems such as the fact that most ADHD diagnoses are done in 15 minutes or less. They are being rushed to diagnose from family, psychologists, teachers, coaches and others because someone saw troubling symptoms in a kid and since it includes inattention it MUST be ADHD, right? Wrong.

The most interesting part of the book is where the author reveals a list by the CDC on 50 conditions that mimic ADHD. That’s fifty other diseases/conditions whose symptoms overlap the symptoms of ADHD. So in a quick 15 minute doctor’s visit that doesn’t include testing, patient history and input from multiple sources children with any of these other conditions could be misdiagnosed with ADHD.

The author himself was diagnosed with ADHD and has spent many years as an ADHD advocate with his popular video blogs about living with ADHD. He is also active on twitter @IAmJeffEmmerson. He underwent many tests during the writing of this book that the average potential ADHDer doesn’t get to go through (unfortunately.) The results were very interesting and he shares all about them in his book.

He also discusses the pharmaceutical problem, that is, the push for ADHD drugs. He doesn’t think drugs are always bad and they can be good but he recognizes that they are often pushed on someone once they are diagnosed with ADHD (often incorrectly) without trying non-drug alternatives first. He points out that Adderall, a common drug for ADHD, is named for ADD for ALL. It’s as if they were trying to say everyone has ADD/ADHD and everyone needs their drug.

If you want to look objectively at ADHD with an open-minded but not dismissive attitude this is a good book. I’ll be passing my copy on to a family member with an ADHD diagnosis. I can’t wait to see what he thinks.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.