Thomas J. Power and Linda W. Andrews (eds): If Your Adolescent Has ADHD: An Essential Resource for Parents
This book provides good information to guide parents of adolescents with ADHD. The book begins with five skills for parents that encourage them to face new challenges by informing themselves of best practices and maintaining a strong, positive relationship with their child. I really liked the idea of “faces behind the pages” and that parent interviews informed this book. Letting parents know how to use the book in the first chapter was engaging and informative. Chapter 2 provides critical information defining presenting concerns and comorbid problems for adolescents with ADHD. In Chapter 3, the authors present a case, and I was pleased to see a behavioral conceptualization of problem management. The authors discuss practical things, such as insurance issues and working with the adolescent’s therapist, which I believe is valuable information for parents.
Chapter 4 focuses on medications, and similar to Chapter 3, tips for teaming with the adolescent’s doctor are reviewed. Also, ideas for handling and coping with a child’s rejection of medication is a critical topic reviewed in Chapter 4 and this can be common as adolescents may decide they no longer want to take medication. In Chapter 5, Ryan’s story is discussed and the issue of providing affection, and promotion of independence are insightful reviews for parents. Collaborating to solve problems with the child, is a good approach to working with a teenager and the tips on whether you have ADHD too, has the potential to help parents understand if they too have ADHD. This section is followed by ideas for handling one’s own emotional reactions and I think that the placement of this information in the book could be informative for parents who have ADHD. Chapters 6 and 7 provide guidance about helping teenagers in the community and at school. I feel that Chapter 7, focusing on helping a teenager at school is very well done as information for working with teachers, scheduling, and developing 504 plans and IEPs is presented. I liked the box describing accommodations for the SAT and I believe these same changes will work well for the ACT. The idea of teaming with teachers is presented, and throughout this book, the idea of teaming with others to support your child is stressed. I think that teaming becomes more difficult in the teenage years, so the notion of teaming is a valuable concept for parents to review. As might be expected, Chapter 8 involves a discussion of the transition to adulthood and I was pleased to see the idea of a “gap year” addressed and ideas about “scoping out a job” addressed. Resources for professionals are presented at the end of the book. This book was a fun read and easy to follow, with a summary of key points at the end of each chapter. In summary, I think this book will be a valuable tool for parents and professionals.