The American Psychological Association has published a series of books geared toward children about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). While the causes of this type of neurodevelopmental disorder are largely not understood, the effects on children are wide-ranging. Thus, these books each deal with a different way in which kids cope with having AD/HD. One book focuses on how to stay focused and organized, while another discusses how to build empathy skills and be understanding of others.
The third book, Learning to Feel Good and Stay Cool, looks at emotional regulation, as kids with AD/HD can often have trouble dealing with their emotions. The authors, both clinical psychologists who study AD/HD, have done well to present their advice in kid-friendly language and presentation. Written for kids ages 8-12, the discussions, lists, and written activities in the book are intended to get kids who have difficulty managing their emotions to think more closely about how they respond to the upsetting things in their lives, and to be mindful of the actions they take to move forward. Fun illustrations throughout help the book’s attractiveness, yet kids on the higher end of the suggested age range might find the illustrations a bit corny. While the content of Learning to Feel Good and Stay Cool is easy-going and useful – and certainly parents can learn a lot from it – it’s a shame that nowhere in the book is it explained what “AD/HD” stands for.
Michael Barton is a Portland-based writer and blogger. He received his Masters in History from Montana State University in Bozeman in 2010, focusing on the history of science, and then moved to Portland. Michael loves reading about science and its history and posting about new books on the topic on his blog The Dispersal of Darwin. He is also passionate about nature education, and gets outside into nature with his 9-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter as much as possible (and blogs about that at Exploring Portland’s Natural Areas). His wife Catherine is a librarian and has also previously reviewed books for PBR. They recently started a small business selling street signs that encourage outdoor play in nature for kids (natureplaysign.com)
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