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Attention deficit disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are related. Not all children with ADD are hyperactive, but most are, so I'll refer to both as ADHD.

ADHD is a developmental disorder of self control. Children with ADHD have trouble paying attention -- they're easily distracted and can't concentrate. They fidget, talk non-stop and can't control their impulses, becoming upset when things or people fail to behave as they should. They are overly emotional, with mood swings -- happy one minute and sad the next. Their uninhibited behaviour impairs their ability to follow rules and instructions, or to listen to their conscience.

ADHD is frequently accompanied by learning disabilities (although intelligence is not affected). It's not something a child will outgrow, not caused by poor parenting, and not a sign a child is inherently bad.

Whereas ADHD occurs in 3% to 5% of the population, among adoptees the rate is 20% to 30%. Why? Larry Silver speculated it's partly heredity: some women have ADHD (which has a strong genetic component), act impulsively and are more likely to get pregnant. Unable to care for their children, they place them for adoption. The adoptees inherit the behaviour pattern.

Others think the cause of ADHD is related to some abnormality of brain development or brain damage, say from fetal and early exposure to alcohol, nicotine and lead; toxins from bacteria and viruses; long labour; or trauma.

Treatment includes stimulant drugs such as Dexedrine and Ritalin. The child with ADHD needs good discipline: consistent rules, and a system of rewards and punishments.

AD Assn. of Nova Scotia, Meetings, resource kits. Lower Sackville NS.
AD Resource Network, Resources, support group meetings in Ontario.
ADD Assn., Articles, books, videos, conferences. Highland Park IL.
ADD WareHouse, Mail-order books on treating developmental disorders including ADHD. Plantation FL.
ADD, Articles with focus on relationship with vision. Patricia Lemer. Ritalin. Optometrists Network, New York.
ADD/ADHD, ADD articles. Eileen Bailey,
ADD: A Dubious Diagnosis?, Link between CHADD and the makers of Ritalin. PBS, Oct. 20, 1995.
ADDAQ: ADD in Adults, Quebec, Resources for people with ADD in the Montreal area, including treatment and coaches.
ADDitude Magazine, News, articles, resources. Houston TX.
ADD Support Network, Support group for adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. Roslyn Harris, Toronto.
ADHD Information Library, Neurology, diagnosis, treatment, resources for parents and teachers.
ADHD Internet Links Project, Many links to ADD/ADHD web sites. Includes learning disabilities, autism. Tehachapi, CA
ADHD - National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. government publications on ADHD.
ADHD: Not Just A School-Day Disorder, Survey of 500 U.S. parents on how ADHD affects children. New York University Child Study Center.
CHADD Canada, Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder supports people with ADHD and those who care for them. List of chapters across Canada. St. Albert, AB.
Attention Deficit Disorder Resources, Non-profit organization helping those with ADHD achieve full potential. Articles, podcasts; membership, $45. Cynthia Hammer, Director. Tacoma WA.
CHADD: Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, Fact sheets; National Call Center; referrals. National organization with chapters across the U.S. Landover MD.
Dyslexia Awareness and Resource Center, Raising awareness of dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder. Santa Barbara CA.
Fifty Tips On The Management Of Adult ADD, Edward M. Hallowell, John J. Ratey.
Healthy Lifestyle Web Site for People with ADHD, Articles, books, news from Canada. Gerard Montigny, Ottawa.
LD/ADD Info, All about LD and ADD. Vancouver Island Invisible Disability Assn., Victoria BC.
Learning Disabilities Assn. of Toronto District, Info on learning disabilities and ADHD. Chapter of LDAO, serving Toronto.
Neurological Basis for ADHD, Genetic variations that raise the risk for ADHD. MIT Technology Review.
What is ADHD?, Causes, diagnosis, treatment.
What It's Like to Live With ADD, The subjective experience of ADD. Edward M. Hallowell.


ADDed Line, Thom Hartmann, 3790 Loch Highland Pkwy, Roswell GA 30075, 800-982-4028.

ADDendum, C.P.S., 5041-A Backlick Road, Annandale VA 22003, 703-986-1953. For adults with ADD.

ADDult News, Mary Jane Johnson, 2620 Ivy Place, Toledo OH 43613. For adults with ADD. ADDult Support Network.

ADHD Report, The Guilford Press, 72 Spring St., New York NY 10012, 800-365-7006. Edited by Russell A. Barkley. For clinicians.

Attention!, CHADD, 499 Northwest 70th Ave., #308, Plantation FL 33317, 305-587-3700, 800-233-4050. Magazine.

Brakes: the Interactive Newsletter for Kids with ADD, Magination Press, 19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003, 800-825-3089.

CHADDER, CHADD, 499 Northwest 70th Ave., #308, Plantation FL 33317, 305-587-3700, 800-233-4050. Newsletter.

Challenge: A Newsletter on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Box 2001, West Newbury MA 01985, 508-462-0495.

Family Groundwork, Society of Special Needs Adoptive Parents, 101 - 2780 East Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V5M 1Y8. 604-687-3114, toll-free 800-663-7627,, Canada's magazine for parenting children with challenges.

Focus on Attention Deficit Disorder, ADDO Foundation, 66 Rykert Cr., Toronto, Ont. M4G 2S9, 416-813-6858. ADDO ceased operating in December 2001.


Beiderman, J. et al, "Family Genetic and Psychosocial Risk Factors in DSM-III Attention Deficit Disorder", Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29:4, 526-533, July 1990

DeGutis, Dorothea. "ADHD treatment options prove effective". Adoptalk, Fall 2002. North American Council on Adoptable Children,

Deutsch, C.K. et al, "Over-Representation of Adoptees in Children with Attention Deficit Disorder", Behavioral Genetics, Vol. 12, No. 2, 1982

Newsweek, "Ritalin: Are we overmedicating our kids", March 18, 1996

Sprich, Susan et al, "Adoptive and Biological Families of Children and Adolescents with ADHD", 2000. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 39, n 11, pp 1432-1437.

Sproule, David. "ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder and Adoption," 1992. Appeared in the Aug. 1995 Adoption Link, publication of Children Awaiting Parents Inc.


Barkley, Russell A. Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis Treatment, New York, Guilford Press, 1990. For clinicians but understandable by all. Includes parent training, classroom management, family therapy and medication.

Barkley, Russell A. Defiant Children: A Clinician's Manual for Parent Training. New York: Guilford Press, 1987. 10-step session training program for parents of children 2-12, with ADHD and /or oppositional defiant disorder.

Barkley, Russell A. Taking Charge of ADHD, The Guilford Press, 2000.

Boyles, Nancy S., and Darlene Contadino. Parenting a Child with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Lowell House, Los Angeles, 1999.

Braswell, Philip Kendall and Lauren Braswell. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Impulsive Children. 1993.

Cohen, Nancy J. and James D. Duvall. The Family Attachment Program: An Innovative Program For Working With Families Adopting Older Children, C.M. Hincks Institute, Toronto, 1996.

Deutsch, C.K. Adoption and Attention Deficit Disorder: Current Concepts and Emerging Trends in Attentional and Behavioural Disorders of Childhood. New York: Pergamon Press, 1990.

Fowler, Mary with Russell Barkley. CHADD Educator's Manual: An Indepth Look at Attention Deficit Disorders from an Educational Perspective: A Project of the CHADD National Education Committee, CHADD, Plantation FL, 1992.

Goldstein, Sam, and Michael Goldstein. A Teacher's Guide: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children. 1995.

Hallowell, Edward, and John Ratey. Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1994.

Hartmann, Thom. ADD Success Stories: A Guide to Fulfillment for Families with Attention Deficit Disorder, Underwood Books, Grass Valley CA, 1995.

Hartmann, Thom. Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception, Underwood Books, Grass Valley CA, 1993.

Hartmann, Thom. Beyond ADD: Hunting for Reasons in the Past and Present, Underwood Books, Grass Valley CA, 1996.

Hartmann, Thom. Focus Your Energy: Hunting for Success in Business With ADD

Kurcinka, Mary Sheedy. Raising Your Spirited Child.

Mordasini, Don. Wild Child: How You Can Help Your Child with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Other Behavioural Disorders. Haworth Press, 800-429-6784, For parents, teachers and professionals: how the ADD-affected mind works; strategies for parents.

Phelan, Thomas W. 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12. Child Management, 1995.

Sears, William and Lynda Thompson. The A.D.D. Book: New Understandings, New Approaches to Parenting Your Child. Little, Brown, New York. How to tell your child has ADD; strategies beyond drug therapy; using neurofeedback to help your child.

Silver, Larry. Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on ADHD, 2nd ed., 1999.

Stevens, Suzanne H. The LD Child and the ADHD Child. John E. Blair, Winston-Salem, NC, 1997.

Umansky, Warren and Smalley, Barbara Steinberg. ADD: Helping Your Child, Warner Books, New York, 1994.

Video tapes

ADHD What do we know; ADHD What can we do; ADHD in the classroom; ADHD in adults; video by R.A. Barkley, Guilford Press, 72 String St., New York NY 10012. 800-365-7006. Four award-winning videos; ADHD adults and children tell their stories.

All about attention deficit disorder, video by T. Phelan. ADD Warehouse, 300 Northwest 70th Ave., #102, Plantation FL 33317. From author of 1-2-3 Magic, help in managing non-compliant child behavior.

Driven to Distraction. Video based on Edward M. Hallowell's book, Driven to distraction. For substance abuse professionals and their clients; combines case histories and professional commentary to explore the relationship between ADD and chemical dependency. 45 min. Barb Weiner, Hazelden Staff Library, 1-800-328-9000.

It's just an attention disorder; Why won't my child pay attention?; Educating inattentive children; videos by S. Goldstein and M. Goldstein, Neurology, Learning and Behavior Center, 670 East 3900 South, #100, Salt Lake City UT 84107, 801-532-1484. For older children and teens coping with ADHD. Second and third video for parents and teachers with overview of managing in home and school.

Jumping Johny get back to work: The Video, by M. Gordon. Gordon Systems, Inc., Box 746, DeWitt NY 13214, 315-446-4849. Animated video for children with ADHD; discusses the disorder and its treatment from a child's perspective.

Outside In: A Look At Adults With Attention Deficit Disorder. 1999. By Ted Kay, narrated by Mariette Hartley. ADDA, Highland Park IL , Documentary about adults with ADD.



ADD Parent Support Group, 81 Hilltop Ct., Bolton, Ont. L7E 2P9, 905-857-5559. Jeannette Lawrie.

ADDAQ: ADD in Adults, Quebec, ADD resources in Montreal and on the web.

ADDO: ADD Ontario Foundation, Stn. R, Box 223, Toronto M4G 3Z9, Founded 1991 as Toronto ADD Parent Support Group; then CHADD Toronto; ceased operating Dec. 2001; web site retains useful information.

ADD Support Network, Roslyn Harris, Toronto, 416-924-2090,, Support group for adults with Attention Deficit Disorder.

CHADD Canada, Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. National Office, Box 23043, Citadel RPO, St. Albert AB T8N 6Z9,, Charitable non-profit organization supporting individuals with ADHD and those who care for them. Workshops, presentations and conferences. Chapters across Canada. Roberta Funk, Coordinator

CHADD Canada of Calgary: 403-225-8512,, Parent and adult support group meetings held first Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m., 4th floor, Alberta Children's Hospital.

CHADD Canada of Regina: 306-352-2343. Offices throughout Saskatchewan. Monthly meetings with guest speakers, educational videos and resource information.

Integra, 25 Imperial St., Toronto ON M5P 1B9, 416-486-8055,, A children's mental health facility helping children with ADD or LD-related social, emotional and behavioural problems. Summer camp for Toronto-area children 11-13.

Saskatoon Foundation for ADHD, Lynn Gordon, 26-610 Clarence Ave. S., Saskatoon SK S7H 2E2; 306-664-6111.

The A.D.D. Centre, Lynda Thompson, 50 Village Centre Place, Mississauga, Ont. L4Z 1V9, 905-803-8066, 416-488-2233, Training in EEG Biofeedback and Neurofeedback for ADD. Also treatment of epilepsy, Asperger's Syndrome, learning disabilities, Tourette's syndrome, closed head injury, autism, mood disorders.

Attention Deficit Resource Network (ADRN), Markham, Ont., 416-208-3141, Community group to increase knowledge and understanding of ADD.


ADD Assn., Box 543, Pottstown PA 19464,, Adult ADD. Newsletter ADDult News. Annual conference.

ADD Coach Academy, Training for ADD coaches and mentors.

ADD Foundation, 132 North Woodward Ave., Birmingham MI 48009, 810-540-6335. Support association for adults with ADD or ADHD.

ADDed Dimension Coaching, Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo coach those with ADD.

ADHD Treatment, Articles about ADHD, groups. ADHD counseling and psychotherapy. Melinda White, Berkeley CA.

CHADD: Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, 8181 Professional Place, #201, Landover MD 20785, Newsletter CHADDER. Magazine Attention! Annual conference. Chapters across the U.S.

Greater Rochester ADD Assn., Helping people with ADD/ADHD. Rochester NY.

Kitty Petty ADD LD Institute, 410 Sheridan Ave., #339, Palo Alto CA 94306-2020,, Supporting children, youth and adults with ADD/LD.

Optimal Functioning Institute, Dave Brattain, ADHD Coaching Clinic, Tryon NC.


 Adoption Resource Central
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Contact: Robin Hilborn,
Box 1353, Southampton, Ont. N0H 2L0 Canada
©2007 Robin Hilborn. All rights reserved
URLs verified, Feb. 15, 2007
Updated, Oct. 20, 2009

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