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Does Your Child Really Have ADHD? Review by Ruth Hoskins

Stephen Guffanti, M.D.
Rocket Phonics
PO Box 1411
Vista, CA 920485-1411

If you have ever wondered if your child has ADHD, this book should be on your must read list. I have asked the question myself and found this book to give me more insight into this complicated condition.

The author, Stephen Guffanti, M.D., is a dyslexic and kinesthetic learner. As you read through this book, you will learn things from his point of view. The approach taken here is that children learn differently, and in the world that we live in today, there is less acceptance for different learners. He explains why financially a school may be more inclined to give a diagnosis for ADHD and receive aide, than to identify a kinesthetic learner and not receive any money. Different learning styles should be embraced not punished.

Guffanti discusses different learning styles and why it is important to identify the learning styles or your children. He discusses how a teacher /student learning mismatch can lead to great misunderstandings. This was one of my favorite parts of the book. I quickly went to the website that is given in the book and gave my entire family the test to see what our learning styles are. It is so helpful knowing this little bit of information when I am teaching my children.

Part two of the book deals with the medical part of a diagnosis. He briefly discusses how so much of a diagnosis is based on what parents observe. There may be a variety of reasons for a childs behavior, including food sensitivities. In this section there are two checklists, one for ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and one for ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.) He also spend some time talking about medication, where he states " It is the viewpoint of parents and teachers that diagnose ADHD, but it is the child who is expected to take the medicine long after both parents and teachers are dead."

Guffanti discusses some hands on solutions to helping parents teach to a child's learning style. Many times you will find that the problem is not the child but the adult. For example, he says " if your child's movement distracts or upsets you, try turning away from your moving child."

He very briefly discusses the subjects of reading, speech, handwriting, writing/composition, spelling, math science and history. Relationship problems are also discussed. Not only does he identify problems but he talks about practical solutions for relationships.

After reading this book, you will be anxious to get started. He will direct you to his website where you can test your family's learning styles. Once you have identified the learning styles he will give you suggestions on what to do with that information. I had my family take the test right away.

At the end of the book is a note from his wife, Maureen Guffanti. Here she discusses some ideas on how to get along with a kinesthetic learner. She speaks from experience.

The book has some statistical information in the appendix and comes with 2 CDs that are of a seminar he gave on the subject. A 28-page booklet, "Hands-On Tips for Hands-on Learners--and More!" comes with the purchase of the book. It is a compilation of ideas sent to the author by parents of what has worked with their kinesthetic child. This booklet covers all ages and all academic subjects.

If you have ever wondered if your child really has ADHD, I recommend that you read this book.

Product Review by Ruth Hoskins, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2008