Having ADD is not all fun and games. You knew that already? Did you know there are actually advantages to having ADD? In Answers to Distraction, Drs. Hallowell and Ratey address many of the questions and dilemmas facing those who have ADD or who live with someone who does. And, yes, they even list advantages of the disorder; they include creativity, resourcefulness, tenacity, flexibility, and a good sense of humor.
Hallowell and Ratey wrote Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood. After a lecture in Wilmington, Delaware, a woman approached Dr. Hallowell and suggested that there be a follow-up book. Her idea was that he should take the hundreds of index cards on which audience members submitted questions and use them as the basis of another book, using a question and answer approach. Dr. Hallowell proposed the idea to Dr. Ratey and Answers to Distraction was conceived.
Within the pages of Answers to Distraction, Hallowell and Ratey discuss ADD in both adults and children, and give a number of suggestions to help the person with ADD bring order into his or her life. There is helpful information on what ADD is, how to know if someone has it (or to suspect, leave the knowing to the professionals), and how ADD impacts on the sufferer’s life as well as the lives of those around him or her. There are chapters that discuss the brain and genetics, and the diagnosis of ADD.
There are many, many books available about ADD. There are also a lot of myths. Many people feel that ADD is not a real disorder at all, that it’s just a means of selling pharmaceuticals and sedate lively children. I believe it is over-diagnosed, especially by those not qualified to make a diagnosis. Somehow, “overactive” became synonymous with “hyperactive,” and children get incorrectly labeled. It amazes me, as an adult with ADD, that so many people believe that those with ADD are learning disabled or incapable of learning, or that ADD is always marked by hyperactivity. Answers to Distraction dispels many of the myths. Answers to Distraction also describes ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), comparing and contrasting ODD with ADD.