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How to Reach and Teach Children with ADD/ADHD

If I could only have one book in my library about Attention Deficit Disorder, it would be Sandra F. Rief’s comprehensive book, How to Reach and Teach Children with ADD/ADHD. This book is a complete reference for parents and educators.

Divided into six parts, the book has information and techniques for implementing strategies to improve the lives of children with ADD/ADHD. Each part has real-life interviews and stories. There are references organized by section. Each part of the book has an extensive list of resources that address that particular subject.

Part 1-Key Information for Understanding and Managing ADHD-This part discusses the characteristics of ADD/ADHD. Finding a diagnosis is discussed. For those who want more than medication for their child, other types of treatments are enumerated. Differences in students’ needs along the Kindergarten through High School continuum are delineated.

Part 2-Managing the Challenge of ADHD Behaviors-Attention Deficit Disorder presents behavioral challenges in the classroom and at home. Events that trigger problem behaviors and ways to address those behaviors are described. Many techniques to assist students with challenging behaviors are spelled out in a user friendly manner. This part also explains strategies to increase the students’ attention. There are methods for helping students focus in class.

Part 3-Instructional and Academic Strategies and Supports-Strategies and interventions for all aspects of reading, writing, and mathematics each have their own section. This makes them easy to use for parents and teachers. There are several approaches to finding a style or styles that help the students learn. A complete section on organization gives aid to parents and educators who want to help students with Attention Deficit Disorder develop organizational and study skills.

Part 4-Personal Stories and Case Studies-There is a family’s personal story, as told by the mother, of their journey through the maze that is Attention Deficit Disorder. The family has several children with ADD/ADHD, and their mother tells the different methods that were used to help each child reach his or her potential. This story is filled with details to let readers see and feel what it is like to live in a family where multiple people have ADD. It also shows how to get appropriate services for children with ADD. Readers get to know this family, and a bonus is a follow-up that tells about the family twelve years later.

Along with a personal story are two case studies of young men with ADD/ADHD. These case studies give medical, social and/or educational histories. Methods used by their schools to help them in the classroom were presented in detail. Also described were interventions that were used outside of school. Again, Sandra Rief makes the reader feel like they are a part of these children’s lives. These case studies provide an outline for building a comprehensive program for a child with ADD/ADHD.

Part 5-Teaming for Success-This part of the book helps the reader figure out how to set up effective communications among the student with ADD/ADHD’s team members. This multi-disciplinary team needs to work together to design and implement a successful plan to help the student accomplish his goals.

Part 6-Additional Supports and Strategies-Movement, music, and imagery are explored in this section.

This book, published in 2005, is written in an easy-to-read style. While the breadth of the material can feel a bit overwhelming, the book’s sections and its twenty-four pages of references and resources are well-organized. Many of the academic interventions and strategies are research-based. Multiple Intelligences are addressed over several pages in Part 3. While widely used in schools, Multiple Intelligences is not based on empirical research.

Within this book, there are resources that I feel are a priority to read. In six short, well-written pages, Section 1.6 gives a blueprint for building success for a student with ADD/ADHD. Many of the suggestions are expanded in later sections of the book. As a whole, this section can give guidance to parents and educators who want to help the student find success. A crucial key to success is organization. Sections 3.5-3.6 lead the student down the path to becoming a more efficient student through organizational and memory techniques.

Years ago, in 1998, another book by Sandra Rief guided me to becoming an effective advocate for my son. It equipped me with information to help my son become a successful student. That book gave me ideas to share with his educational team, so that they could do a better job teaching him. Over the years, I have recommended How to Reach and Teach Children with ADD/ADHD to the parents of my students. Now, I highly recommend it to you.

How To Reach And Teach Children with ADD/ADHD: Practical Techniques, Strategies, and Interventions (J-B Ed: Reach and Teach)


I paid for my copy of How to Reach and Teach Children with ADD/ADHD. I was not compensated for this review.

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