Book Review: The ADHD Explosion

The ADHD Explosion is an eye-opening and occasionally frightening look at how and why we diagnose children with ADHD. Stephen Hinshaw and Richard Scheffle have presented a thoughtful, detailed, and well researched examination of what ADHD is, how it is currently diagnosed and treated, and, most importantly, how it should be diagnosed and treated.

Unlike some of the alarmist publications we often see on the topic, the authors make it clear that ADHD is a very real condition and that correct diagnosis and treatment is essential for the well-being of the patient. They focus their concerns not just on ADHD itself, but the push for expediency instead of accuracy in the diagnosis and treatment. Too often, children that would respond better to therapy over medication are pushed into prescriptions because that is what the insurance covers or because it is easier to manage for the parents. They discuss the issue of both over-diagnosis with some demographics (almost a third of boys age nine and older in the Southern United States are diagnosed with ADHD) and the overlooked under-diagnosis of other demographics.

The authors do not just focus on children, however. They look at the issue of adult ADHD and its impact. There is also wide-ranging discussion about the real effect of ADHD on the economy, both from a treatment standpoint and worker productivity. It is a wide-ranging look at the condition and its impact on society as a whole.

This book should be required reading for any parent with a child that has been given an ADHD diagnosis, as it provides a wealth of ammunition and information for parents who want to make sure they are making the right decisions, not just the most convenient, for their child’s treatment.

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