ADD Success Stories
A Guide to Fulfillment for Families With Attention Deficit Disorder

by Thom Hartmann, Foreward by John J. Ratey
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Published by Underwood Books
Publication date: September 1995
Dimensions (in inches): 1.08 x 8.60 x 5.71
ISBN: 1887424040

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Synopsis - Reader Comments - Table of Contents - Excerpt - Paperback

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books by same author
ADD: a Different Perception - Healing ADD


ADD Success Stories :
A Guide to Fulfillment for Families With Attention Deficit Disorder
by Thom Hartmann, Foreward by John J. Ratey

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Published by Underwood Books
Publication date: December 1995
Dimensions (in inches): 0.83 x 8.26 x 5.52
ISBN: 1887424032

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Synopsis - Reader Comments - Table of Contents - Excerpt - Hardcover

Interview with author

books by same author
ADD: a Different Perception - Healing ADD


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Book Description :

The first specific guidebook for how to be successful in the world as a teenager or adult with ADD - from the author of Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception. Inspiring real-life stories show how people with ADD can succeed in school, at work, and in relationships. This book tells children and adults from all walks of life how to reach the next step - a fulfilling, successful life with ADD.


From the author of Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception and Focus Your Energy come inspiring real life stories which show how people with ADD can succeed in school, at work, and in relationships. "An excellent book. Inspiring and validating; I recommend it highly!"--Edward Hallowell, M.D., coauthor of Driven to Distraction. --This text refers to the paperback edition of this title.

From the Publisher :

Thom Hartmann is the creator of the Hunter-Farmer theory about ADD, profiled in Time magazine, which theorizes that today's Attention Deficit Disorder is a remnant of the hunter/gatherer society of ancient times. His pioneering book has sold over 100,000 copies. He is the author of six books on ADD.

From the Back Cover :

"You absolutely must read this book! Thom Hartmann provides people with Attention Deficit Disorder great hope, encouragement and a sense of direction." -- Paul Elliott, M.D., ADD specialist. "This book is in large measure a presentation of shared stories about individuals who have succeeded in engineering their environments to help them both overcome and utilize the characteristics of their ADD. -- John J. Ratey, M.D., co-author of Driven to Distraction.

The author, Thom Hartmann ( , 08/17/96:
Over 100 tips & techniques for Hunters in a Farmer's world.

ADD Success Stories is a collection of specific strategies and techniques people (children, teens, adults) can use to be successful with, in spite of, or even because of their ADD. Much of it is told in story narrative form, although the opening chapters give a detailed and thought-provoking analysis of what ADD is, where it came from, and how the human brain learns to learn. --This text refers to the paperback edition of this title.

About the Author :

Thom Hartmann is the author of six books on ADD and former executive director of a residential treatment facility for abused and emotionally disturbed children. He authored more than 200 published articles and has spoken at conferences around the world.

Reader Comments
Ken Brown ( , 07/14/97, rating=8:
A positive look at strategies for A.D. affected people.

I was looking for positive books on A.D. to use to boost my 10-yr old son's self-esteem after recently beginning treatment for this "disorder". The book gives many examples of successful, creative, and dynamic individuals throughout history who were undoubtedly A.D. affected. Hartmann explains in detail his theory that A.D. affected individuals represent the "Hunters" of our society - highly observant, quick in thought and action, seeking excitement unlike the more numerous "Farmers" who represent the agrarian development of our civilization with more plodding ways.

Many of the successful strategies given are from those individuals who have learned to control and focus this "multi-tasking" part of their personality becoming quite successful in the process. Mr. Hartmann balances this view of A.D. as a "gift" with ample examples of the pain, tragedy, or mere lack of success which can occur when the A.D. individual is put in the wrong circumstance.

This book is refreshing departure from the countless books which rehash the "disorder" with the usual history, diagnostic criteria, and treatment. As a modestly successful A.D. individual who has great difficulty finishing a book, I was pleasantly supprised to have finished it in an evening (long) and greatly enjoyed sharing its salient points with my family.

My favorite quote in the book was: "I'm not Attention Deficit, you're just boring!" Ken Brown, Anchorage, AK , 04/21/97, rating=10:
Very helpful and positive ways of dealing with ADD

Real people talking about ADD, what it does, and how they overcame their obstacles. Very postive, and very inspiring to those who may be despairing about what their ADD creates for them. I highly recommend this book. Note: Doesn't have the standard "Do you have ADD?" tests & stuff. This is for those who know they have it. --This text refers to the paperback edition of this title.


Excerpted from ADD Success Stories by Thom Hartmann. Copyright(c) 1995. Reprinted by permission, all rights reserved :

There's Power in How We Look At Things
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.

(Schopenhauer, Further Psychological Observations, 1951)
As I travel around the country and share the Hunter/Farmer model* of ADD, I'm struck by how many people find it a liberating point of view. Although even the Merck Manual recognizes that no one knows exactly what ADD is or where it comes from, "Hunters & Farmers" gives people a useful paradigm to describe ADD that helps them see new ways to view career choices, organizational strategies, and even the value of therapy and/or medication.

And that, after all, is the point: to find something useful, something with practical value we can use to improve our situation. However, I also encounter a small minority of individuals who tenaciously want to embrace a label of "ill" when describing themselves, while other people with ADD--and with symptoms just as strong--are successful in business, school, or the professions. They no longer lose their keys, they have learned to improve their memory--in short, they've learned to deal with it.

Let's establish a clear overview: The Hunter/Farmer concept is a model. It's not hard science, and was never intended to be (although more and more scientists are embracing it as a possible working hypothesis). There are dozens of theories about the cause or origin of ADD. They range from prenatal fetal injury to neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain, to developmental "hiccups" where a person failed, for whatever reason, to learn organizational and focusing strategies at some particularly critical point in childhood.

As more proof accumulates that ADD has a genetic basis, it gives increased credibility to the Hunter/Farmer model and the possibility that ADD was once a useful adaptation that's maladaptive in modern society (much like sickle cell anemia, which protects against malaria in Africa but is a liability in malaria-free America). Recent studies done at the University of Chicago have all but proven that ADD is a genetic condition, and has little or nothing to do with parenting or environment. It's all nature, and no nurture, at least in its baseline state, although the specifics of it are still elusive.

The Merck Manual, the official book of the medical profession for defining diseases, states: "The etiology (cause) is unknown. Several theories advocating biochemical, sensory and motor, physiologic, and behavioral correlates and manifestations have been proposed." The Merck Manual further states: "Diagnosis is often difficult. No particular organic signs or set of neurologic indicators are specific."

In other words, nobody knows what ADD is or where it comes from, and anyone who says differently is not speaking on behalf of the scientific community. I developed the Hunter/Farmer model of ADD first as a way to explain ADD to my own son, after a psychologist had told him he had a "brain disease." I felt that was a pretty poor way to describe any sort of challenge to a person, and wanted to give him a paradigm for understanding that the challenges he faced would not be crippling to his self-esteem.

Hunters/Farmers explained his problems in terms he could understand, and allowed him to discuss his ADD with teachers and friends without hanging his head. Instead of denying the value of therapy or medication, it made him more enthusiastic about considering those options. Asking, "How can we look at this usefully?" always validates approaches that are already proven effective.

The Hunter/Farmer model approaches head-on the difficulties people with ADD face in modern society. It brings those difficulties more clearly into focus. It also provides a rational explanation for some of the many techniques that psychologists suggest for working around, overcoming, or working through the ways that ADD can challenge a person's life.

You can read an interview with Thom Hartmann.


Table of Contents

FOREWORD by John J. Ratey
AUTHOR'S PREFACE There's Power in How We Look At Things


--Are You A Hunter or a Farmer?
--Change Is Possible

PART TWO: Guidebooks

--Defining "Success" For Ourselves
--The Greatest Enemy of Success: Procrastination
--Learning How To Handle Criticism and Self-Criticism
--Hunters Meet the Self-Help Movement

PART THREE: Travelogues

--Personal Life Success Stories
--Social Life Success Stories
--Relationship Success Stories
--Workplace Success Stories
--School Success Stories

PART FOUR: Reference Material

--Various Therapeutic Approaches to ADD
--Pharmaceutical interventions
--Psychology therapies
--Psychological Therapy References
--EEG Neurofeedback
--Homeopathy and Alternative Approaches
--Herbs and natural remedies
--Nutrition & Vitamins
--Mind machines
--Meditation training
--Career Counseling for People With ADD
--ADD Publications and Support Groups



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