FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What inspired
you to write this book?
believe that I had ADHD as a
child and still have
symptoms today as
an adult, although I was
diagnosed. I had a hard time as a child
in school because in the
in Bermuda, no one knew about ADHD.
I was very bewildered and frustrated.
was also lucky because I had parents
who believed in me
and fought for me.
I also learned compensatory
enabled me to succeed.
These strategies I taught myself. For
example, while I was in college, I would
write everything and
I mean everything
that the teacher said. I became a speed
This helped me to stay focused
and I had very
Today, I watch my son and my students
to navigate through the
challenges of school
with some of the
same difficulties that I faced as
I am also an educator and I’ve seen
how insensitive, untrained,
out teachers can ruin children’s self-
because they do not fully understand ADHD.
personalize the behaviors and come
to dislike the child. Don’t get me wrong, it is a
to teach children who have ADHD,
especially those whose parents have opted not
to use medication. However, once a teacher
realizes that the behaviors are not directed
at him or her, personally, and that the child has
an impulsive disorder, they can begin
separate the behaviors from the child and
begin to empathize.
Empathy then leads to
Action leads to teacher
strategies that can best help the child to
I wanted to
write a book that would help
educators empathize with and understand
children who have ADHD better. Who better
write such a book than an
understands how it feels to have ADHD?
What are your goals for the book?
A. My goals for this book are to inspire
in educators, to show children
who have ADHD that
they are not dumb
and they are not alone, to give a voice to
and reasons behind
the behaviors of ADHD,
and to remind
educators that there are
at home who love these children
just like they love their own children.
also wanted to show children who have
they can have successful lives
can learn to compensate for the
they are weak in. I’m a living
example of that. I also wanted to show
that ADHD is not a disorder of the poor
uneducated.. It can occur
occur in middle and upper
middle class families as well.
Why did you add a clock companion?
A. Children who have ADHD have
difficulty managing time and time
concepts. At first
I planned to have a
on the wall in each picture
readers could view how time passed
as Nicholas was distracted. As I
I got the idea to
make him animated. It turned out to
be so much fun.
I wanted kids and
adults to be able to laugh while they
read about a serious and sometimes
book ends on a sad note.Why?
I really struggled with how to end this
many colleagues wanted me to make
it a happy ending. I decided not to because
often this story really is a typical day
for children who have ADHD. I also
wanted adults to observe that even when
we make decisions that we feel will
facilitate academic success,
and they may, from the children’s
perspective, it can be another
What exactly is ADHD?
I will defer to Dr. Russell A. Barkley, a
leading expert in this field, and his
definition of ADHD from his book,
Charge of ADHD, The
Authoritative Guide For Parents.
“Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD, is a developmental
It consist of problems with
attention span, impulse control, and
level.” There are 3 types of
type, and combined type.
I would love to elaborate further
because ADHD is so much more,
however, please get this book for
Q. What are some of the symptoms
A. Children with ADHD are often distracted and
talk excessively, act before
they think, will grab things that don’t belong to
have difficulty completing tasks, often
tasks, need immediate rewards
which is why they can play video games for
have trouble making friends
have poor listening
skills even when they are looking at you their
minds can be somewhere else, have difficulty
reading tasks due
to an inability to produce
images in their minds, have difficulty waiting
turn, it drives them crazy to
have nothing to do and they have significant
working and language memory deficits.
They also have difficulty
management and the concept of time, poor
and can develop low
because they don’t
why they can’t control themselves
even though they
try hard to. They can also have
poor control over
their emotions and can have
severe tantrums and often over react to
that would not bother their
the same age who
do not have ADHD.
Basically, poor impulse control affects every
of their lives. Forgetting homework,
textbooks, projects, where he/she put the
waiting until the last minute
complete a major project, and procrastination
are common problems. There are also varying
degrees of symptons so each child is different.
Q. At what age does ADHD appear?
Parents often report that they saw
as 3 years old.
Dr. Russell Barkley, ADHD
appears in early childhood.
Do girls have ADHD too?
Yes, again deferring to Dr. Barkley, his
report the current research that 2-4%
of all children have ADHD. This disorder is
three times more common in boys than girls.
1-3% of girls have ADHD and 3-8%
of boys have ADHD. According to the authors
the book, Understanding Girls With ADHD,
Nadeau, Littman, and Quinn, report that
girls tend to have the inattentive type of
ADHD (no hyperactivity), and are prone to
depression more as
are boys who have the
inattentive type, and may tend to over eat
and be obese
due to poor impulse control
when it comes to food.
About how many children and
have ADHD in the
A. Calculating the previous statistics, about
2 million children have ADHD in the USA.
Do children outgrow ADHD?
is no magic cure for ADHD.
Dr Barkley reports the statistics in his
book as follows: 50-65% of children with
ADHD continue to have symptoms
reach adulthood. Although many of
be employed and self-supporting,
their educational level and socioeconomic
status tend to be lower than those of others
their siblings. Antisocial
likely to be troublesome for at least
20-45%, with as many as 25% qualifying
for a diagnosis of adult antisocial
personality disorder. Only 10-20% of
children with ADHD reach adulthood
free of any psychiatric
are functioning well.
What is the best approach to treating ADHD?
to the experts, the best
treatment to date is a combination of
It is not true that children who take
medications end up using
other drugs. Actually
is true. Children who receive
no or little help often become so
frustrated that they drop out of school
and turn to drugs to ease the pain and
frustration. It is also
true that not all
who have ADHD
need medication and not all children with
ADHD respond well to medication.
medication is a God send.
Q. How do the medications work?
A. According to Dr. Barkley, some
medications help to release more
dopamine from brain cells while
others act to
block their reuptake
both for dopamine and norepinephrine.
There is more of the neurochemical
outside of the nerve cells to function
What causes ADHD?
to the experts in this field,
some children get it because the mother
absorbed drugs or chemicals that harmed
fetus, lead poisoning or other chemical
after birth, and genetic factors.
Who should I contact if I suspect my
child may have ADHD?
would start with your pediatrician
and report your concerns. Your
can then refer you
to a good
pediatric neurologist or psychiatrist.
If your pediatrician blames the
you and your child's teacher
have observed, on you, get a new
pediatrician and have your child
evaluated. ADHD is not caused by
realistic consequencies help?
but let's get a diagnosis
first and then work on what the
parents can do to
help their child.
Why would a child with ADHD need
speech and language
A. Unfortunately, many children with
ADHD, miss or are delayed in many
language can be one of those
areas. It is common
to see delays
in vocabulary, ability
to follow multi-step
directions, working memory deficits,
and the pragmatics (social
skills) of language.
Q. What do speech-language pathologists
A. Speech-language pathologists are
who specialize in the diagnosis
treatment of speech and language
such a receptive and expressive
delays and disorders,
stuttering disorders, voice disorders,
stroke patients' communication,
deficits, selective mutism, autism,
learning disabilities, tracheostomy
patients, and ADHD to name a few.
in a variety of settings; private
clinics, hospitals, public schools and
homecare agencies, private
youth detention facilities, and
Do you plan to write another book?
Definitely! I've recently completed
SSSay I'm A StStStutterer, I
SSSay Nothing!" Meet Kelly and The Tail of a Black Panther!