Studies find that ADHD affects three to ten percent of the school-age population, making it the most common psychiatric diagnosis in children. Treating it with Ritalin and other stimulants remains both common and controversial. With a stream of books and videos touting unproven "cures," the publication of these three accessible, scientifically based titles is particularly welcome. Each covers much of the same material: ADHD's causes are biological, mainly genetic; affected individuals are impulsive, unable to concentrate and follow instructions, often hyperactive, and oppositional (there is a subgroup who are "dreamy" but not disruptive); and medication doesn't cure ADHD but does ease the child's difficulties, especially when used in conjunction with home- and classroom-based systems of immediate positive and negative behavioral consequences. Each author, however, has a unique emphasis. Wender, one of the first advocates of using stimulant medication for hyperactivity, emphasizes that ADHD is a lifelong problem for many sufferers and that many ADHD adults would benefit from stimulant treatment. While the title of Haber's book might lead one to assume that he is opposed to the use of medication for treatment of ADHD, this is not the case. Haber, a developmental/behavioral pediatrician, believes that there is a group of children who do indeed suffer from ADHD but that this group is much smaller than other experts estimate. Also, he argues that epilepsy, hearing loss, Tourette's syndrome, and psychological distress owing to family instability or trauma are being mislabeled as ADHD. Barkley (psychiatry and neurology, Univ. of Massachussetts Medical Ctr.) theorizes that the cause of the various behaviors associated with ADHD is the inability to plan ahead--that these children have a very short "time line." His suggestions for treatment don't diverge from the mainstream, however. Because ADHD is such a hot topic, most public libraries should purchase all three titles. As a starting point for parents, or for smaller libraries that can only afford one title, Barkley's book is the first choice; it offers details about finding the right kind of specialists, putting together a disciplinary program, coping with adolescents, and building positive relationships with school personnel.--Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.