Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has just gotten an updated treatise from Dr. Larry Silver. Silver is clinical professor of psychiatry and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is also the author of The Misunder-stood Child: Understand-ing and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities. In this second edition of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on ADHD, he clarifies terminologies, explains criteria of diagnosis, and separates myth from research findings. It also details the syndrome's companions, learning disabilities and social and emotional disorders.

ADHD is related to a specific neurotransmitter deficiency in the brain. There is no one definitive measure, but a comprehensive, multidisciplinary battery of tests along with anecdotal records can provide a diagnosis. Best numbers indicate that 3 to 6 percent of the school-age population has ADHD. It is more common among boys, perhaps because boys are more apt to act out their frustration than girls.

The growing number of ADHD cases has to do with an enlightened public, a willingness for adults to be evaluated, and increased availability of research findings. Symptoms include hyperactivity and/or inattention and/or impulsivity. Fifty percent of all cases can be attributed to heredity; the rest result from a wide variety of undetermined causes. Half of diagnosed ADHD cases will see their symptoms diminish after puberty.

In 30Ð40 percent of ADHD cases, learning disabilities co-exist. Furthermore, stress can result in secondary social and emotional problems. All require specialized treatment, starting in the home. Dr. Silver proposes a behavior program with enough details about rewards and consequences to restore order in most households.

There is no topic that confuses parents more than medication. Just because stimulants can be 80 percent effective, does that mean that my child should take stimulants and other drugs? What about side effects, such as stunting growth, and benefits of megavitamins and biofeedback to teach new brain wave patterns? ADHD families are nearing burnout and deserve as much accurate information, support, and direction as this book and others like it can offer.

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