Fire Child, Water Child: How Understanding the Five Types of ADHD Can Help You Improve Your Child's Self-Esteem and Attention

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Fire Child, Water Child is a revolutionary guide to parenting a child with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that does not rely on medication or pathologizing your child?s challenges. This method, created by pediatrician and ADHD specialist Stephen Scott Cowan, helps you identify your child?s unique focusing style?wood, fire, earth, metal, or water?and calm the stress that can contribute to your child?s ADHD symptoms.

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Fire Child, Water Child: How Understanding the Five Types of ADHD Can Help You Improve Your Child's Self-Esteem and Attention

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Fire Child, Water Child is a revolutionary guide to parenting a child with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that does not rely on medication or pathologizing your child’s challenges. This method, created by pediatrician and ADHD specialist Stephen Scott Cowan, helps you identify your child’s unique focusing style—wood, fire, earth, metal, or water—and calm the stress that can contribute to your child’s ADHD symptoms.

What is your child’s ADHD style?

  • The Wood Child is an adventurous explorer who is always on the move but gets frustrated easily
  • The Fire Child is outgoing, funny, and can be prone to mood swings and impulsive actions
  • The Earth Child is cooperative, peacemaking, but can feel worried or indecisive when stressed
  • The Metal Child is comforted by routine, and finds it difficult to shift attention from task to task
  • The Water Child is an imaginative dreamer, yet struggles to keep track of time
By using this personalized approach, you will help your child reduce impulsive behavior, regulate attention, and handle school and home routines with confidence.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Fire Child, Water Child is a breakthrough work. Children are unique and deserve an expanded and elevated approach to healing. This stunning book points toward complementary and healthy alternatives to pharmaceutical remedies.”
—Deepak Chopra, MD, author and cofounder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing

“’Not a disease, but a symptom,’ is Dr. Cowan’s stunningly insightful summation of ADHD. Fire Child, Water Child offers a deep understanding of the types of children who may manifest attention difficulties. Dr. Cowan identifies what is right about them, innate positive qualities we can support to promote their development. Far more compassionate than the standard narrow medical approach, this book is also more scientific in its appreciation of children’s relationship to their environment.”
—Gabor Maté, MD, author of Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It

“Stephen Scott Cowan’s clinical skill and experience is unrivaled. His original approach has helped hundreds of children. Read and heed the wisdom embedded in his work.”
—Frank Lipman, MD, author of Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again

“Dr. Cowan has written an exceptionally thoughtful, repercussive book that will surely change the lives of children and parents looking for profound, holistic ways to understand and heal attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Not only has he created a masterful treatise in which children’s root natures are brought to light as key ingredients in their bespoke recoveries, but he has also contributed a beautifully crafted ode to rebuilding attention. Dr. Cowan’s support and recommendations have indeed proven transformative for me and for my son, Water child extraordinaire. This unique and brilliant book is a tour-de-force and finally, blessedly, reveals Dr. Cowan’s gentle genius to the world.”
—Maggie Lyon, writer on wellness and spirituality, holistic lifestyle consultant, and founder of

“This is such a good book—as practical as it is poetic. Dr. Cowan helps us to know our anxious, troubled, and sometimes troubling kids in new, more appreciative, and more compassionate ways. He teaches us that ADHD is as varied as the children who show its symptoms. In helping us adults step-by-step to help them, he helps us grow in love as well as knowledge.”
—James S. Gordon, MD, psychiatrist, founder of The Center for Mind Body Medicine, and author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression

“I was deeply fortunate to have Dr. Cowan as our devoted and honorable pediatrician. His passionate and essential life’s work is expressed beautifully and accessibly on these pages and profoundly serves to revolutionize, demystify, and guide families lost in the ambiguities of ADHD/ADD; pharmaceuticals; the cultural divide; and diversities of treatments, awareness, and balance. This book is a critical tool parents can use to support their children and encourage them to find a home within themselves, a precious gift.”
—Paulette Cole, CEO and creative director of ABC Home in New York, NY

“Cowan empowers us to see beyond generic labels that lead to one-size-fits-all thinking. He offers dazzling insights into the nature of each individual child, potentially revolutionizing how children are cared for by their families, educated by their teachers, and treated by their physicians.”
—Harriet Beinfield, coauthor of Between Heaven and Earth

“This is an extraordinary addition to the literature on childhood developmental disorders. Every parent and clinician treating this complex set of problems needs to read this book. Dr. Cowan has taken his thorough knowledge of medical science and decades of personal experience in studying and treating ADD and other developmental disorders, then combined them in an amazing synthesis with the energetic principles and characteristics of imbalance given to us by traditional Chinese medicine. This allows a broader, deeper and more individual understanding of each person’s unique problems and needs, allowing a much better chance of success in producing lasting transformations. Brilliant.”
—Woodson Merrell, MD, chairman of the department of integrative medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, NY, and author of Power Up

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608820900
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
  • Publication date: 4/1/2012
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 264,535
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Scott Cowan, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician specializing in holistic developmental pediatrics who has over twenty years of experience working with children and families. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics, a member of the AAP section on developmental disabilities, a member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, and a clinical faculty member at New York Medical College. He has lectured internationally and currently practices in New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 23, 2012

    Beyond Attention Problems and ADHD

    What an amazing gem of a book! I call it a gem because, like a diamond or ruby, the deeper you look the more facets and marvels you discover. I have heard Dr. Cowan lecture on the subject of attention problems in children several times. His ability to perceive the nature of each individual child is inspiring, but each time I wanted more clues to the management of their behavior problems. This book provides it all.

    There are many excellent books about children’s attention problems and ADHD, but none of them provide the unique perspective of Dr. Cowan’s analysis and method. He applies the sophisticated understanding of Chinese medicine to the perplexing pediatric topic of ADHD. In the process he shows that ADHD is really a style of behavior. Each child can be understood through the filter of the five elements of Chinese medicine. Dr. Cowan brings this process alive with case examples and vivid descriptions of the characteristics of each type. Once parents understand which of the five types best describes their child’s behavioral style, then they can apply specific remedial tools to encourage their child’s emotional and spiritual development. This process is not a simple one for parents, but Cowan carefully and sensitively takes parents along the journey of discovery to understand their child through the perspective of the five types and to apply a wide range of interventions best suited to that type.

    The interventions that Cowan proposes are calculated to bring the individual child’s style into a greater balance and harmony. Although these interventions vary for each type, they have a common thread. All of them provide positive and life affirming activities and environments to encourage that child on the path of healthy development. The activities may include meditation, music, artistic pursuits, board games, martial arts, certain foods, or types of chanting depending on the child’s type. Environments may include more exposure to nature, more direction and structure, or bringing certain types of sounds into the child’s space.

    Not only does he describe the five children’s types and show the best activities to bring out the strengths of that type of child, he also takes a major leap into the realm of true child development. As a developmental pediatrician, Cowan brings a wealth of understanding to the process of maturation. With the tools and models of Chinese medicine and philosophy he maps out an emotional and spiritual developmental path for each type of child. Although he presents this sophisticated model in simple terms that parents can understand, this application of Chinese medical principles to child development represents a major philosophical breakthrough in developmental pediatrics. Cowan actually maps out the maturation of each type of child in the direction of their higher purpose.

    This complex understanding of their child will probably require several readings by parents. Over the course of a child’s elementary school years parents will return again and again to reference these sections about their child’s type to further their understanding as their child grows and develops. I would highly recommend this book to every parent who wants to understand their child and help them grow emotionally and spiritually, whether or not they are struggling with attention issues. Similarly, pediatric clinicians and therapists will find in this book a wealth of information to benefit the children in their care.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    This book more clearly describes my 13 year old daughter than I,

    This book more clearly describes my 13 year old daughter than I, my wife, her doctors and her teachers ever have. Prior to reading this book the best idea as to why my daughter was struggling with “keeping up” came from her psychologist who said, "She has a 130 IQ, and she is complicated." I read this book and immediately identified my own tendencies, as well as those of my wife, my ADHD daughter, and our other two children. I then asked my wife to read the book, without discussing my opinions of the book, and she quickly identified herself, me, our ADHD daughter (her step daughter), as well as those of our other two children. Her thoughts exactly matched mine. Next I asked my ADHD daughter to read the book, again without offering my opinions. She read the entire book is just under 45 minutes. That's the 130 IQ part of her. When I asked her which example she saw herself as, without hesitation she said, "I am a water child." Finally, something she, my wife and I all agree about!!!!!! Now it’s on to helping her find more of her big heart. This book is clarifying and loving read for any parent struggling to understand their "complicated" child.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

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