Most of us have a picture in our minds of what a child or an adult with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might look like. This is often someone “out of control,” “unmanageable,” and “unable to sit down or concentrate.” The truth is far more nuanced, and ADHD presents in a number of ways, often looking very different from the traditional stereotype, especially for girls.
In short, ADHD is a disorder that affects the brain’s self-management system. This usually results in difficulties with important executive functioning skills. These cognitive skills are the ones that help us to organize, prioritize, manage our time, and make decisions. Not all people with ADHD have problems in all areas, and some may find compensatory behaviors (also known as masking) to cope.
As a result, not everyone with ADHD is diagnosed in childhood. Thriving with ADHD offers kids the opportunity to understand and manage their ADHD better.
About the book
Thriving with ADHD is part of the Health and Wellness Workbooks for Kids series that provides a wealth of information while engaging kids in activities that help them manage the condition. The author, licensed clinical social worker Kelli Miller, wrote the book to be used as a complementary tool to a full treatment program.
As the parent of 2 ADHD kids, she has experienced the frustrations and challenges first-hand. The book uses a “strength-based approach” focusing on a child’s individual strengths as a means of building self-confidence. Rather than focusing on what kids do wrong, this book redirects them to figure out what they can do right.
Aimed for use by kids under the guidance or supervision of parents or a therapist, the activities are designed to be as easy as possible. You may want to team up with your child or allow them to work independently. The activities will engage and challenge your kid in different ways depending on their personality and age. The focus should be on enjoyment and empowerment.
Thriving with ADHD begins with introductions to both parents and kids. While the one for the adults highlights how the book should be used, the kid’s introduction describes the activities, puzzles, games, and tricks that have been created to help them learn, get organized, and be the best version of themselves. The author normalizes ADHD by comparing it to other conditions that need support (like poor eyesight) and reminds kids that they are not alone in their struggle. By using examples of well-known adults who have grown up to be successful, she further shifts the perception of ADHD as a disability.
What does the workbook include?
The main part of the book is divided into 3 parts:
Part One: ADHD and Me
In the 1st part of the book, the author explores what ADHD is, the different types, and how it affects children.
Chapter 1 is quite technical and describes how the various types of ADHD manifest. You may need to simplify this content for a younger child. The great thing about this chapter is that your ADHD child should be able to identify the traits of their own ADHD in these descriptions. The activities include a symptom list and a true/false quiz, creative exercises, and a table that emphasizes the way ADHD characteristics can be reframed in a positive way.
The purpose of Chapter 2 is to give kids a chance to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Activities center around self-perception and the way other people see us. Kids get a reminder that they are unique and that everyone, whether they have ADHD or not, can better themselves.
Part Two: ADHD Isn’t the Boss of Me!
Part 2 of the book is all about self-regulation as a tool for managing ADHD.
Chapter 3 talks about strong emotions and what can be done to control them. Everyone has triggers—things that upset or annoy them—and this chapter helps kids identify theirs while describing tools for emotional self-regulation. It also includes discussions on being flexible and considering the feelings of others (showing empathy).
Chapter 4 may seem very important to parents whose kids are inattentive as it deals with skills for focus, attention, and listening. It also explains what hyper-focus is and how that can make life difficult.
The last and longest chapter in this part of the book is all about self-control, managing impulses, and good decision-making. The activities in Chapter 5 focus on awareness and impulse management, reminding kids they can learn from their mistakes and make better choices in the future. There’s a discussion about how we may react badly when we are caught off guard and how we can prevent this from happening. Methods to help with impulse management, like pausing and thinking, give kids a chance to identify what they can and can’t control.
Part Three: ADHA and Me in the World: Success at Home, at School, and with Friends
The final section of the book takes the knowledge, skills, and tools learned in previous parts and applies them in real-world situations and environments.
In Chapter 6, Miller reminds ADHD kids about the importance of routine. She provides fun and concrete suggestions for establishing routines and sticking to them. An important part of a daily routine is a bedtime ritual. This is a chance to slow down and relax. The relaxation technique in the book is the perfect way to slow down busy minds in preparation for sleep.
Chapter 7 is all about friendship and communication. Kids are guided through activities teaching them how to be empathetic and good at communication. It includes a reminder about the importance of manners and how you can be a good friend by understanding more about how other people feel. And homework…Is there any parent or child who loves homework? Probably not, but for many kids, it’s a regular requirement.
Chapter 8 explores ways of planning ahead, organizing, and prioritizing. By identifying how they learn, kids can approach their homework with confidence. The charts and puzzles in this chapter help to change how children think about their homework schedule.
Chapter 9 concludes the book with a reminder about how the previous tasks and activities have taught “skills for focus, attention, listening, self-control, managing impulses, and making good decisions.” The final few activities cement the things learned from previous chapters to ensure that kids feel confident in their new skills.
Thriving with ADHD provides a comprehensive list of books and online resources for parents and caregivers. There are also lists of recommended podcasts and YouTube channels. For the kids, resources are recommended by age (7-8 years old and 7+ years old).
Why should I buy this book for my child?
I really liked the layout of the Thriving with ADHD workbook. There’s enough information for me as a parent to feel that I’d learned something. At the same time, the book remains accessible to its target readers (kids age 7-12).
The colorful pages and fun illustrations are eye-catching and engaging. There’s plenty of space for the activities to be completed although younger kids with bigger handwriting might prefer to write in a separate notebook.
I appreciated the fact that the book is designed to help kids improve not only their learning skills but also their interpersonal skills. Friendships and good relationships are an important part of life, and this workbook makes sure that they’re not neglected.
If you’re an undiagnosed adult with ADHD, you might read about the different types of ADHD and identify some of your own symptoms. Despite being written for kids, the book covers skills that are vital at any age.
In case you choose to purchase the e-book, you can use it interactively on a touchscreen device, just as you would with the physical book.
- The Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD offers children with ADHD a friendly and informative guide, providing information and practical strategies for coping with life. John F. Taylor, Ph.D., has written this book as part of the Survival Guide series and combines kid-friendly language with an easy-to-use format.
- Mindfulness Workbook for Kids by Hannah Sherman guides kids through mindfulness practices that can help them overcome challenges, manage their emotions, and learn from their experiences and interactions.
- Standing Up to OCD Workbook for Kids by Tyson Reuter, Ph.D., helps kids who struggle to manage their OCD behaviors and is full of information and useful tools.
- The Thriving with ADHD Workbook for Teens by psychotherapist Alison Tyler concerns itself with improving focus, getting organized, and succeeding. Aimed at those aged 12-17, the book contains more than 50 exercises for teens to work through, includes true stories from other teens, and aims to build confidence and resilience.
Learn more about ADHD
The Genes2Teens series on ADHD is full of essential and interesting information about this condition. From the latest research to tips for managing ADHD behavior, it provides insight into a condition that affects 1 in 10 kids in the United States alone.
Thriving with ADHD
- Your child can still thrive with ADHD.
- Kids can learn to think positively about their ADHD with the proper tools at their disposal.
- Kids are unique and whether or not they have ADHD, they can better themselves and manage impulses.
You need this if...
- You want your ADHD child to improve their learning skills and self-esteem.
- Your kid has poor interpersonal skills and problems forming meaningful friendships.
- You're looking for activities to engage and challenge your child depending on their personality and age.