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From The CriticsReviewer: Marc Sandrolini, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is the third edition of a book that offers an overview of current diagnostic and treatment issues in ADHD.
Purpose: The author intends that this book provide a "broad overview of the continuum of neurobiologically based conditions." He emphasizes that ADHD can be a lifetime disability and can cause dysfunction in many settings. The author's objectives are worthwhile. There are many similar books on ADHD, but because of the rapid developments in neurobiology and pharmacology, up-to-date overviews of ADHD will always be of great service.
Audience: The book is intended for any professional who treats patients with ADHD. The book would also be appropriate for lay people.
Features: An overview of the history and known etiology of ADHD begins the book and subsequent sections cover diagnosis and comorbid disorders. The treatment section addresses psychopharmacology along with various therapeutic and behavioral interventions. This section also includes a chapter on interacting with schools. The book concludes with chapters on adult ADHD and a look at civil and educational laws, and a highly useful chapter on resources.
Assessment: This book is well written, both in its language and its organizing principles. Included are the expected reviews of diagnostic criteria and current medications. However, Dr. Silver weaves this information into a broader context of social, family, and educational issues. He emphasizes that ADHD is on the continuum of neurological disorders and that the symptoms pervade all aspects of a child's life. Despite the neurological emphasis, Dr. Silver does an admirable job of humanizing his treatment recommendations. He is clear that ADHD is difficult to diagnose, can have several underlying causes and requires a multimodal treatment approach. He addresses many of the unproven but dogmatic assumptions about ADHD (e.g., stimulants cause growth retardation, ADHD is limited to childhood) and corrects them by citing the current literature. Dr. Silver writes in an enthusiastic and personable manner. His style can be a bit discursive, as he tends to editorialize. This makes the book more engaging than similar works, though perhaps at the cost of some conciseness and sense of objectivity. However, the book overall is very well organized, and its conclusions clearly derive from both an empirical framework and an impassioned spirit.