Have a Seat ROAD TEST
Three ADD-friendly chairs for our kids.
(Howda Designz; howda.com;
When my son Luke, 10, sat in the HowdaHug, by Howda Designz, its smooth
wooden slats indeed curled around
his body in a “hug.” Its gentle pressure
helps children with ADHD and sensory
challenges maintain focus and feel
calm. I asked Luke to do his reading
homework in the chair, the homework that normally makes him
wiggle like crazy. Instead of shaking his feet as he turned the pages,
he rocked calmly and quietly. He didn’t ask me how much longer
he had to read. HowdaHug is lightweight and portable, so Luke can
use it at school. But the slats are uncomfortable when sitting for
a long period of time. To remedy this, the manufacturer offers a
cozy shearling liner for the chair. Problem solved!
(Varier; varierfurniture.com; $395)
The Move Small’s saddle-shaped seat
moves with the sitter, as he tilts on the
graded-disc base. It was a balancing act at
first for Luke, but he benefited from the increased sensory input that many kids with
ADHD need. I wanted Luke to keep his
feet and legs down at the dinner table—
a tall order, as most ADHD moms know.
Luke thought the Move Small was a toy
when he first sat in it. He fooled with the
seat-height adjustment and spun around
wildly. Now Luke sits at the dinner table on it. There is less food on
the floor and less disruption during dinner. Luke likes it so much,
in fact, that he moves the Move Small around the house to sit on it
everywhere he goes.
StayN Place Ball
The StayN Place Ball, by Abilitations,
is a therapy ball with a twist—it has extra weight inside, so it won’t roll away
when you get up. You have to use your
core muscles to sit on it correctly and
stay seated. These movements help
the brain focus. Sitting on the StayN
Place was a challenge for Luke. He sat
on the ball to do his homework, and it focused his attention,
but the StayN Place ball is best for kids with good muscular
control, who don’t need a lot of movement in order to focus.
How to Thrive If You Have
ADHD (Or Think You Might)
BY CRAIG SURMAN, M.D., AND TIM BILKEY,
M. D., WI TH KAREN WEINTRAUB
(Berkley Books, $29.95)
Adult ADHD is typically described in clinical terms. It’s a disorder, marked by a cluster of symptoms, which significantly
affects a person’s functioning, in two or more important
areas of his life. Thinking of yourself in those
terms might be accurate, but it doesn’t instill
motivation or hope. In their new book, FAST
MINDS: How to Thrive If You Have ADHD (Or
Think You Might), authors Craig Surman, M. D.,
and Tim Bilkey, M.D., ditch the disease-model
in favor of the emotionally neutral acronym FAST MINDS to describe ADHD in adults. When they promise that you can thrive
with ADHD, you believe it.
FAST MINDS stands for Forgetful, Achieving below potential,
Stuck in a rut, Time challenged, Motivationally challenged, Impulsive, Novelty seeking, Distractible, and Scattered. Drawing from
research and their professional experience—Surman is a neuropsychiatrist and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard
Medical School, and Bilkey is a psychiatrist who has counseled
more than 3,400 patients at his clinics in Ontario, Canada—the
doctors give strategies to help those with FAST MINDS live up to
their full potential.
I like their idea of identifying and fixing Critical Moments,
those times when, despite your best intentions, you go off track—
when you drop an appointment card into your purse, for example,
instead of immediately entering it into your planner.
FAST MINDS will help you go from FAST to fine-tuned, and
will help you gain mastery over your mind.
Revie wed by KAY MARNER, a contributor to ADDitude.
The “Executive Skills”
Program for Helping Teens
Reach Their Potential
BY RICHARD GUARE, PH. D., PEG
DAWSON, ED.D., AND COLIN GUARE
(Guilford Press; $16.95)
“Let the battles begin” is usually what ADHD teens mumble under
their breath right before they argue with you about being self-sufficient and responsible. This book shows how both of you can lose
a few battles but win the war.