( 1 )


My five-year-old is always into things. He can't seem to sit still, he can't pay attention to any activity for more than a few minutes, and he always acts before he thinks. He is in trouble constantly. What have I done wrong?

I have tried everything, but Jimmy is still a difficult, unpredictable child. He is lovable but gets into trouble all the time. He tries to obey, but he has so much trouble following directions. Am I a failure as a parent?


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ADHD: Strategies for Success: How to Help the Child with ADHD

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My five-year-old is always into things. He can't seem to sit still, he can't pay attention to any activity for more than a few minutes, and he always acts before he thinks. He is in trouble constantly. What have I done wrong?

I have tried everything, but Jimmy is still a difficult, unpredictable child. He is lovable but gets into trouble all the time. He tries to obey, but he has so much trouble following directions. Am I a failure as a parent?

Many children are like square pegs trying to fit into round holes. They just don't fit the mold, and this affects both their learning and behavior. In ADHD: Strategies for Success, Dr. Wilson Wayne Grant helps parents understand their children who don't learn the same way as others, discussing practical strategies for the day-to-day rearing of the "square peg" child.

Presenting usable tools to help parents help their children, ADHD: Strategies for Success, details an array of strategies that aid in

  • • diagnosing and defining ADHD;
  • • administering discipline;
  • • boosting self-esteem;
  • • managing relationships between parent, child, and school;
  • • maintaining organization and structure;
  • • removing aggravating factors;
  • • achieving success;
  • • finding help;
  • • teaching the hard-to-teach child.

ADHD: Strategies for Success points you to scientifically proven, practical answers to commonly asked questions about ADHD and will help you develop your own effective strategies to help your child reach his or her full potential.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781462042425
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/11/2011
  • Pages: 188
  • Sales rank: 1,243,112
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Read an Excerpt

ADHD Strategies For Success

How to Help the Child with ADHD
By Wilson Wayne Grant

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Wilson Wayne Grant
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4620-4240-1

Chapter One

Questions You Have Always Wanted to Ask, But ...!

Questions and Answers

You have in your hand this book, Strategies for Success. I don't know why you picked it up. But it could be that you have questions like these:

My six-year-old son's teacher has just told me that Jamie may need to be kept back in first grade. He has not learned to read. I never suspected a problem before. What should I do?

My five-year-old is always into things. He can't seem to sit still, he can't pay attention to any activity for more than a few minutes, and he is always acting before he thinks. He is in trouble constantly. What have I done wrong?

My nine-year-old has tried hard, but she has barely scraped by in school. She can answer questions orally, but when given tests or homework, she seldom finishes. When she does, she makes many errors. Maybe she's not as smart as I once thought.

I have tried everything, but Jimmy is still a difficult, unpredictable child. He is lovable but is getting into trouble all the time. Am I a failure as a parent?

My twelve-year-old is in the seventh grade. She has always passed in school, but each year has been a struggle. She seems bright and wants to learn. But she is poorly organized—she can't remember her assignments and forgets them when she does them. She starts out on a task with good intentions but is easily distracted. This year is tough. She just might fail.

None of these situations may match yours exactly, but I suspect you have many of the same feelings, hopes, frustrations, and questions shared by these parents.

Over the years, I have worked with thousands of parents and their children with behavior and learning problems. As I have sifted through their stories, I find one common thread: a string of unanswered questions.

This book, then, is about those questions. More importantly, it is about answers.

Strategies for Success grew out of frustration—mine and that of the many families with whom I have worked.

As a pediatrician and a specialist in child development, I spend much of my professional time working with children who are square pegs in round holes. Over the years, I have searched for a resource that would help parents (as well as teachers and other interested adults) understand their children with attention, learning, and behavior problems. Such a resource should also give them practical, usable tools with which to help their child succeed.

From the beginning, Strategies for Success has been designed to be a practical, honest, and readable guide. It gives parents a general understanding of why all children do not fit into the same mold and why some do not learn the same way as others. Concrete steps for seeking help are outlined. Then, in considerable detail, the book presents practical strategies for the day-to-day rearing of the "square peg."

This book does not try to push any one theory. Rather, it presents balanced view of the facts as they are presently known. The methods developed here are tried and proven ones based on thorough research and the experiences of hundreds of parents and professionals. At each step, this book goes where you as a parent or teacher live and deals with those gut issues of importance to you, your child, and your family.

Universal Questions

When parents seek help, they have a mingling of hopes, concerns, and frustrations. From experience, I have learned that parents whose children are having any kind of difficulty are asking five basic questions.

These questions are not always stated openly, but they are there, at least subconsciously, waiting for answers.

These questions are:

1. Is there anything wrong with my child?

The desire of all parents for their children to be normal and healthy is universal and understandable. Our earliest dreams are of a child with no blemishes—physically, mentally, or emotionally. But of course, that perfect child exists only in our dreams.

As human beings, no child is perfect. In fact, all of us as humans are a mixture of strengths and weaknesses. There is a great deal of variation in development within all of us. These variations of development can at times cause concern. For example, Susan walked at nine months; Johnny didn't walk until thirteen months. Sammy learned to read in kindergarten; Mary is having trouble still—and she is in the middle of the first grade. Are these normal variations, or do they represent some kind of developmental abnormality?

These are common and legitimate questions parents ask. Sometimes all a parent needs is reassurance that, indeed, his or her child really is normal and there is no need to worry. At other times, parents know something is wrong, and they actually are asking, "What's wrong, and how bad is it?"

2. What's wrong with my child?

When their children are sick or disabled in any way, parents have a real need to know what the problem is. The more specific the diagnosis, the more satisfied they are. However, parents often go from place to place, professional to professional, and agency to agency without getting a specific answer.

Not long ago, I saw for the first time a twelve-year-old girl who had a significant reading problem. "What do you understand Kim's problem to be?" I asked.

"No one has ever told us," her mother replied. "I wish I knew." Kim's parents may have been given a diagnosis at some point in time, but they probably were not given one in terms they could understand and digest. Parents have a hard time complying with treatment or remedial programs when they have not been given a clear diagnosis or outline of the problem.

3. What caused it?

This is a most important question to parents. They have a natural need to know the cause of anything that hurts or hinders their children. This intense need to know the cause is due to many factors. One that looms large is the universal tendency of parents to blame themselves for their children's problems. This is true whether their children have a simple cold ("I know I shouldn't have let him go out barefoot!") or something more serious, such as a birth defect. ("I've always wondered if it was my fault for not taking my vitamins regularly.") When anything happens to their children, parents immediately look to themselves.

They ask persistently, "What did I do wrong?" or "What should I have done that I didn't do?" (See the section on parental guilt in chapter 4.)

One of the things we try to do in this book is help parents see that multiple factors are involved in producing observed developmental problems, and seldom does the responsibility rest on the shoulders of the parents.

4. What is my child's future?

Besides guilt, concern over the child's future is the parent's most urgent worry. When possible, we will try to give parents a reliable appraisal of their children's future expectations. When we don't know, we will be honest.

I am wary of making specific long-range predictions: "He will never learn to read!" or "She will definitely go college." Children amazingly resilient and have a way of making fools out of those who are too dogmatic about them. I try to express the attitude I call optimistic realism. This means being honest regarding the child's level of function at this point but having an open mind about the range of future possibilities.

5. What can we do to help?

This is a healthy, mature question. In the end, it is the most important one. When the parents are ready to ask this question, they can actively enter the therapeutic partnership with the child and others who might help. But they can only reach this point if the professional (doctor, teacher, psychologist, therapist) has honestly answered their questions about diagnosis, cause, and prognosis. Only then can they think creatively about solutions.

In one of my favorite Peanuts cartoons, Lucy, speaking to Charlie Brown, says, "There are no stupid questions. There are only stupid answers."

I agree. Parents should never be timid about asking questions to which they do not have the answers.

Success Breeds Success

Facing each of these questions as honestly and thoroughly as we can is our Strategy for Success.

Yes, success for your child—for his or her growth and your relationship with him or her—is the goal of this book. The children we focus on here have often met with failure after failure. Each failure tends to breed more failure until hope dies.

On the other hand, I firmly believe that success breeds success. Each success involves the child and the family in an upward spiral of future successes. Each success experienced by the child serves as a stepping stone to new ones.

Now on to success!

For Thought and Discussion

1. The five questions parents ask are listed below. Circle the ones for which you have not yet received satisfactory answers. Who might help you find the answers you seek?

a. Is there anything really wrong with my child?

b. If so, what is wrong?

c. What caused this problem?

d. What does this mean for my child's future? e. What can we do to help?

2. Write out any additional questions you would like to discuss with a professional or other knowledgeable person.

3. Look through the table of contents of Strategies for Success and find chapters that you think may speak to your concerns.

Chapter Two

"I've Tried Everything!"

The Variety of Attention and Learning Problems in Children: Mark

The first time I saw Mark Wilson, he was balancing perilously on a waiting-room chair. He had already touched every toy in the room, inspected the receptionist's desk, and opened the bathroom door three times.

"Get down and be still, please," Mrs. Wilson commanded. She obviously had said this many times before.

Mark was placed in the custody of the office nurse, and I invited Mrs. Wilson into my office. Sighing, she plopped into a chair.

"I'm at the end of my rope with Mark," she began. "I've tried everything, but nothing works. I'm a failure." She paused, gathering her thoughts. "Sometimes I think I'm going out of my mind."

"Before we decide you're a failure," I interjected, "why don't you tell me more about Mark?"

Mrs. Wilson settled into the chair and concentrated on a spot in the ceiling.

"I really don't know where to begin. Mark is now eight, and he's failing the third grade in school. His teacher keeps telling me that he's intelligent, but he just doesn't seem to learn. He's in constant motion and can't pay attention to anything for more than a minute or two. He will finish an assignment only if the teacher stands right over him and continuously directs his attention to his work."

She continued quickly. "Actually, he has been a different child since birth. As an infant, he never had a very regular sleep pattern. He cried easily and frequently held his breath. But he seemed smart. He developed rapidly and he was walking, or rather running, by eleven months of age. By one year he was climbing on everything, but he fell all the time.

"By age three, his most outstanding characteristic was constant motion. But he never was mean. By being very strict with him at home, we usually could control him. But when he was away from home—like at the nursery or with sitters or neighbors—he would just get completely out of hand. He was not deliberately mean; it was as if he was following one impulse after another.

"His first-grade teacher loved him, but he frequently got into trouble. He was active, disruptive, and loud in class. He had difficulty staying in his seat, talked out of turn, and often didn't complete his assignments. His writing and coloring were messy. He was passed conditionally to the second grade." Mrs. Wilson paused to get her breath.

"Everyone hoped he would mature over the summer. But things weren't much better. He still couldn't read well. He had a short attention span and forgot his assignments. His relationship with other children deteriorated too. He so badly wanted to make friends, but friendships did not last long because of his bullying and impulsive behavior. Now, in the third grade, he really is behind. Everyone keeps saying he is smart, but his reading is poor and he just can't get organized."

Mrs. Wilson sighed again. "That's it," she said. "Now we are here."

From my experience working with other children like Mark, I realized that here was a mother who deserved a medal for endurance, patience, and care.

When Mark first entered my office, he was somewhat subdued and quiet. He watched me carefully. He responded quickly to my But soon he began to answer my questions before I finished with irrelevant questions of his own. My examination revealed no signs of physical illness. His motor coordination was somewhat immature for his age. For instance, Mark could not stand on one foot for more than five seconds. His writing was messy and disorganized.

I then read the following report sent to me by Mark's present teacher:

Mark is repeatedly tardy coming in from the playground at noon and at PE. The coach has complained to me several times about having to tell Mark over and over to line up when the bell rings to come in. He doesn't respond when I give group directions to get coats—even to go home—making it necessary for me to give him individual directions.

Mark is capable of successfully doing all third-grade work. He retains his vocabulary very well. His phonics knowledge is above average, and he is one of my fastest students in number combination drills. He earned a straight one hundred on his spelling words when I let him answer them orally. But on the same words written at his desk, he got only sixty.

Earlier, Dr. Waters, the staff psychologist, had administered a variety of intelligence, achievement, and personality tests to Mark. Interestingly, his IQ was 116—well above average. He obviously was not stupid. This score contrasted dramatically with his failing grades in school.

Dr. Waters also commented, "Mark has an extremely short attention span." On tests of reading skills, he was behind his age level. He had particular difficulty in recognizing and sounding out words. His reading ability was on a first-grade level. Dr. Waters also commented that Mark seemed to have a great deal of difficulty in organizing himself and got mixed up when a series of instructions were given to him.

Pieces of a Puzzle

Mrs. Wilson's detailed history of Mark's past, my own examination, and the report from the psychologist and teacher began to fall into place like the scattered pieces of a puzzle.

As I put the data together, Mark's behavior and achievement fell into a recognizable pattern: Mark is a typical (if extreme) example of what has been commonly called the hyperactive child. He has what is today called Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.

Anyone in daily contact with Mark quickly realized that something is out of order with him. His difficulty in settling into most any environment made him a square peg in a round hole. This condition led to conflict and frustration at home, underachievement at school, and poor relationships on the playground.

Another End of the Spectrum: Karen

All children with learning and attention problems are not as obviously different as Mark. He represents one end of a spectrum—the more demonstratively active child.

At the other end of this spectrum is Karen. As a preschooler, Karen was a likeable child but was talkative and aggressive. Her social behavior, however, did not appear all that unusual.

The first sign of difficulty was noted by her kindergarten teacher, who reported that she had a short attention span, particularly when working in groups and when performing seat work. She was easily distracted and often did not complete assigned tasks. She was a pleasant, cooperative child who was not a behavior problem. Now she was in first grade and could read in small groups, but her seat work was messy and incomplete, with many inconsistent errors. Her teacher reported to her parents toward the middle of the school year: "Karen seems quite smart, and she is sweet. But she just doesn't get her work done. She is really not working up to her potential."


Excerpted from ADHD Strategies For Success by Wilson Wayne Grant Copyright © 2011 by Wilson Wayne Grant. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


1. Questions You Have Always Wanted to Ask, But ...!....................3
2. "I've Tried Everything!"....................9
3. Three-Ring Circus—Defining Attention Deficit Disorder....................15
4. Directions to Success....................29
5. Removing Aggravating Factors....................41
6. Organization and Structure—Their Basic Need....................49
7. Medical Treatment....................65
8. Strategies in Discipline....................81
9. Strategies for a Healthy Self-Image....................109
10. Strategies between Parent, Child, and School....................125
11. Success Unlimited: the Future....................135
12. The Spectrum of Specific Learning Disabilities....................143
13. "I've Always Wondered Why"....................151
14. Classroom Strategies—Teaching the Hard to Teach Child....................161
15. Finding Help for Your Child....................173
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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    Highly Recommended.

    Very informative. I have been using the strategies that the book suggests and getting great response from my son.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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