“Smart but Stuck”

By the author of the award-winning, “Attention Deficit Disorder; The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults.”

Book Recommendation Series: The third Monday of every month, we recommend amazing books on learning and the college process, every one guaranteed mind-blowing.

A learning specialist I really like gave me this book as a gift, with the inscription, “The book I was waiting for for 30 years!”

That’s awfully high praise coming from a lady who famously (and rightly) thinks that most stuff stinks, but it’s warranted. Smart but Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD, by Thomas E. Brown, is the kind of book that would take thirty years to produce.

Brown is a psychologist at Yale, and the book is basically a bunch of case studies of big kids and adults whose ADHD is causing them emotional problems that are screwing up their life. It has eight pages of discussion questions, sixteen pages of citations, and a ten-page index that would have been a huge hassle for whoever created it.

I didn’t read any of that stuff, but I did learn a few things from the book proper.

First and foremost, heavy-duty help for kids with lots of challenges is really expensive. How much do you think it costs for a Yale psychologist to think solely about you or your kid for an hour? What if you need them three days per week, for two hours per day, plus research, plus time to report back to you?

Next, at least as important a question as whether a person with ADHD should take medication is how much of which type they should at which point in the day. Brown is a psychologist, not a psychiatrist, so rather than prescribe medication, he tells people which medications to ask for and helps them fine-tune their dosage depending on their personality and responsibilities.

Finally, everybody profiled in this book could have also used better study skills, job skills, life skills, or whatever you want to call them.

The sooner you read Smart but Stuck, the sooner you’ll be smarter about helping people with ADHD who are stuck!

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