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ADHD and Me: What I Learned from Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table Paperback – February 2, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (February 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572245220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572245228
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A college freshman this fall, Taylor was five when he was diagnosed with ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He's been medicated all these years, but even when he remembered to take his pills, that's only been a small part of his learning to cope with ADHD. Taylor's still more impulsive, more hyperactive and more open to distractions than others. He can also be more energetic and more passionate than anyone else. He has learned to see his neurological differences as a mixed blessing—yes, he's obsessive, but channeled toward a good cause, that can translate to hyperfocused. He veers off the subject, but that can spur creativity, thinking outside the box. Taylor relates the stories of his ADHD mishaps in no special order—how he set fire to the dining room in ninth grade, how he was bullied in sixth grade, how he was victimized by his first-grade teacher—as if to emphasize that a variety of problems can always happen. After describing each incident, he follows up with a cause and effect discussion of what he learned from what went wrong, followed by a solutions section, a few brief tips for other kids to try. Taylor speaks to fellow teens and their families with an authority few experts can muster. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Blake Taylor's book, ADHD and Me, is stereotype-busting from the outset. How can a whirlwind of a boy, now young man, like Blake, write such a lucid, disclosing, revealing, and, above all, insightful book? The book blends extremely personal descriptions of situations, binds, conflicts, and realities, some humorous and some deadly serious, with extremely useful practical information on how to cope with and overcome the often-devastating symptoms and impairments related to ADHD. Most of all, the book serves to humanize a label and a condition that are too frequently viewed with skepticism and even derision. This is a must-read for people of all ages who are concerned with ADHD, mental illness, treatment, coping, and stigma.
—Stephen P. Hinshaw, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley

Taylor offers readers an inside look at how he gets along on a daily basis as well as a guide for people in the same situation … Students struggling with ADHD and their parents will benefit from the author’s insights.
Library Journal, 15 November 2007

Taylor speaks to fellow teens and their families with an authority few experts can muster.
Publishers Weekly, 17 November 2007

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

My son has ADHD and Blake's story is so much like my son's.
D. J. Payton
I would highly recommend this book to all children, adults, teachers, parents who has someone with ADHD.
Lisa Mulet
It's a fun read and informative as well, plus it's a nice change from books by the "experts."
L. Davenport

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Roseville Mom on March 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am the mom of a young child with ADHD and we've been down a long road with this condition. I was excited when I heard about this book because while there is a wealth of information out there about ADHD from a medical perspective, what I really craved was a better understanding of my son's perspective. There have been so many times I've wondered, "What can't he just ___?" (sit still, do what he's told, etc.) This book explains things wonderfully. My eyes teared up when the author shared his experiences because it really clarified things for me.

It was also fascinating to hear about how the medications helped him. We've also seen what a difference medications can make in improving quality of life and it's nice to hear what it does from the patient's perspective (our son can't quite explain it to us at his age), rather than just from doctors or the pharmaceutical companies.

I also like the fact that he offers real-life tips for kids with ADHD. The tips are very consistent with what we've learned ourselves from the doctors and personal experience, and I've also learned some new ideas from the book.

This book is an easy read, too, which is a plus for parents of ADHD kids, who tend to have very little down time.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Carol Brown on March 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
As the parent of a 13-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with ADHD since the age of three, I feel like I've read hundreds of books that were guaranteed to help me understand and be a better parent. This book delivers on that promise like no other has. Why? Because it's different. It's not research written by a bunch of ivory tower researchers. It's written by a young man who has been through it all.

Blake Taylor, currently a freshman at U.C. Berkeley, wrote this book in his last two years of high school. With a great deal of humor (I laughed out loud frequently) he tells stories illustrative of the problems faced by young people who live with ADHD. But this book goes far beyond a simple memoir. It is cleverly organized in chapters each containing three parts. Each begins with a funny and poignant retelling of a particularly illustrative story from Taylor's childhood and youth. Each story is followed by a section called "Cause & Effect" which explains in plain language what is behind the particular behavior being discussed. But perhaps the best part is that each chapter ends with a list of realistic solutions or coping mechanisms. Some we have tried in our family, but most were revelations.

I immediately took this to my son's guidance counselor at school, and now we're planning on using this book to begin a group for students, parents, and teachers who work with or have been impacted by ADHD. And in our family, we plan to read each chapter together and talk about ways we can all benefit by using the solutions.

Do yourself a favor and dive into this book. It's an easy read, but I guarantee it has the power to change your perspective and your parenting or teaching. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By SandyCB VINE VOICE on September 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
There is a lot to like about this book. The author seems to be an intelligent, well-intentioned person who wants to use his own experiences to help other kids. This is all to the good. What's not is the degree to which he presents himself as a typical kid with ADD/ADHD. His particular case is affected by many factors other kids with the diagnosis may not share (tics being one of the most obvious; although more common in kids with ADD, they do not afflict the majority), and he doesn't seem aware that his being a guy makes a difference. He comes from an extremely privileged background (housekeepers, executive parents, exclusive suburb, prep school, years of sailing camp) and suggests things like kids having their parents enroll them in a school where they will have smaller, more personal classes -- without even a hint of irony. (I had the definite sense that his parents never sweated over an IEP.) I found it peculiar that he stated many times that nothing/little was known about ADD when he was in school, but I find this almost impossible to believe, based both on copyrights of seminal books on ADD and the types of schools his background would make available to him. The bottom line is that this is a book worth reading, but I suspect it will be more helpful to boys than girls. An excellent book for girls is "Attention, Girls!: A Guide to Learn All About Your Ad/Hd by Patricia O. Quinn."
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By VassarGirl on February 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book this is for anyone diagnosed with ADHD or for anyone who lives with, works with or teaches a child with ADHD! As the friend in the book who first suggested that Blake be taken to a specialist and as a children's librarian I HAD to read the book. I was a little skeptical. Would I just feel it was wonderful simply because Blake's mother, Nadine, has been one of my closest friends since our freshman year at Vassar? This proved not to be true. I would be enthusiastic about the book whether I knew the family or not. I am also the mother of a son with ADHD who is now 27. We have experienced together the roller coaster ride of ADHD with it's highs and lows and the cruelty that is sometimes heaped on children with this "invisible disability" at school and from family and friends who do not understand that ADHD is a reason and not an excuse.

If you are a teen with ADHD or the parent or teacher of a child with ADHD do yourself a favor and read this book. Blake's writing style is sweet and vulnerable. Reading between the lines will both break your heart and give you hope. His descriptions of his parents and his grandparents were so wonderful that I could hear their voices in my mind as I read and had to laugh as it was so easy for me to envision his mother's reactions to some of the things he did. However, Blake's ideas at the end of each chapter are excellent advice and not to be missed. Blake has truly turned his disability into a gift. Read this book and you will undoubtedly agree.
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