by Stephanie Sarkis
New Harbinger, 2006
Review by Diana Pederson on Jan 22nd 2008
Sarkis opens her book with a description of characteristics that ADD adults typically have. This list includes everything from mood swings to having trouble handling money. She also lists some of the positives of ADD: creativity, good sense of humor, thinking outside the box. She also provides a list of problems that may indicate you have ADD or ADHD. This chapter closes with a statement that parents (particularly Mothers!) of ADD or ADHD children need to know.
... It is not caused by a poor diet. You did not get ADD from bad parenting. Many parents blame themselves for their child's ADD. Some are told that if they just disciplined their child more, their child would straighten up. ... (Page 8).
She also talks about new research showing that ADD has a genetic basis. If a child has ADD, there is a 50% chance one of their parents has it too. Therefore, Sarkis ends this first chapter with a Family Tree exercise to help you identify other people that potentially have this order within in your family. Then she provides a list of resources if you want to read more about the topic of this chapter.
The pattern began in chapter 1 is followed in chapters 2-10. Specifically, there is a discussion of the topic followed by an exercise regarding that topic, and a list of resources. The chapter topics are: Medication, Reduce Clutter and Get Organized, Stop Being a "Loser", Manage Your Time, Make Your Money Work for You, Practice Good Self-Care, Find a Job That Fits You, Improve Your Social Skills, Enrich Your Relationships.
Each chapter includes suggestions related to the main topic. Since I know now that I have ADHD, I wish I had read her chapter on finding a suitable job thirty years ago. I wouldn't have wasted thousands of dollars preparing for jobs I couldn't be effective at once I acquired the education. This was a constant frustration to me during my working life. I wasn't bothered by some of the other problems covered by this book because I was content to be a loner. I do wonder if I would have had more friends as a child and young adult if someone had worked with me on social skills.
My first reaction to this book was total negativity because of the use of "simple" in the title. It made me feel that the author was over-simplifying the problems caused by ADHD or ADD. Now, I realize she was just trying to make "simple suggestions" that even those of us going in several directions at once could follow.
This book is best used by those who already have the diagnosis of ADHD/ADD. It is much too generalized for those trying to figure out if they have this disorder. The exercises in the book are most suitable for teenagers or young adults. They will help them work through many of the problems caused by ADHD/ADD.
© 2008 Diana Pederson
Diana Pederson lives in Lansing, Michigan.