Commanding Attention Book Review

Commanding Attention Book Review
Have you noticed that many people believe that Attention Deficit Disorder is either treated with pharmacological medications, or it is left untreated? Tess Messer-MPH, in her new book Commanding Attention, has found the third road to travel with ADD/ADHD; try multi-modal treatments. Tess Messer uses Commanding Attention to thoroughly describe what those treatments look like, their side effects, the doses used, and affordable alternatives. Using research as a basis for her practical suggestions, Tess Messer leads the reader on a journey through up-to-date information about treatments and their efficacy for Attention Deficit Disorder.

Along with recollections of personal experiences and interesting case studies, Tess Messer explored the depth and breadth of Attention Deficit Disorder treatments in six sections. While I read this book cover-to-cover, if there is a section that you are less interested in, read the clear and concise conclusion at the end of each section. This will help you to get an overview of the material that was presented.

Here is a short list of the topics that are meticulously explored in this book:

Section One-ADHD Today-Commanding Attention explores the limitations of current research. Basic information about Attention Deficit Disorder is discussed. Ms. Messer helps the reader understand ADHD basics and the current drug therapies.

Section Two-The Lifestyle Interventions-The effects of exercise, diet, sleep, stress control, meditation and mindfulness are examined in detail. I found the section on diet of particular interest. Ms. Messer shows exactly how diet can alleviate or worsen the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. She doesn’t just give opinions, she backs her conclusions with research. This section shows that diet IS important in a systematic approach to finding the most effective treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder. The section on stress shows the relationship between cortisol and stress. It also delineates the ways to decrease stress to improve the management of the negative symptoms of ADD/ADHD.

Section Three-Tools of the Mind and Brain-This section is divided into three subsections: behavioral therapies, neurological therapies, and training the senses. This is a comprehensive listing and discussion of the therapies in each category. Every parent of a child with ADD/ADHD NEEDS this information.

Section Four-Vitamins-Please don’t skip this interesting section. Often overlooked, the effects of the vitamins and minerals on brain function are presented in an easy-to-read section. I found this most interesting, and took an inventory of the vitamins that I am currently taking. After a discussion with my doctor, I am adding some vitamins to my health care regimen. While I endeavor to have good nutrition, I am keenly aware that I don’t always hit the mark. Targeted vitamins should help my overall health and my symptoms of ADD/ADHD.

Section Five-The Herbal Treatments-The most effective herbal supplements for the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder are surveyed.

Section Six-Emerging Therapies-There are emerging views that one size fits all treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder is not effective due to the multiple causes of ADD/ADHD. In the future, individual therapies for each patient will be formulated just for that person. This should improve the outcomes for individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder.

I loved this book! The proof copy that I received had a number of small proofreading errors that did not detract from the usability of the book. I would have preferred to see “people first” language throughout the book. It was used at some points, but Ms. Messer often uses the frequently heard phrases like “ADHD child,” instead of “child with ADHD.” While it is common to hear this usage, I prefer the “people first” language. These two picky little items are the only less than glowing comments that I have about this book. What an excellent resource for families who have members with Attention Deficit Disorder! This book also belongs in every school and public library.

While filled with research-based information, Commanding Attention is also reader-friendly. The reader will find out how to get a diagnosis. Then, Tess Messer explains in simple language what the various forms of treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder look like, their side effects, the doses used, and affordable alternatives. Finally, after Section 6, she has decision making tools to help families know what their choices are. At the end of the book, she has listed more than forty pages of endnotes. If you want to read the research that she used to find her information and draw conclusions, you have the article information at your fingertips.

If I had only five words to describe this book, which ones would I use? Helpful, practical, useful, authoritative, and readable all come to mind. This book is highly recommended for its valuable content, clear organization, and ease of use. I believe this book should become a classic in the literature of Attention Deficit Disorder.

A copy of the book was provided to me for review by the author. I was not paid for this review.

Information in the Related Links might be of interest to you.

Here are Amazon links for the paperback and Kindle editions of this highly recommended book.

Commanding Attention: A Parent and Patient Guide to More ADHD Treatment


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