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260 of 263 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the ADHD books - read this one first
This book is a winner. I have bought and read many different books on ADHD - from all perspectives - and I like this one the best. It is balanced on the medication issue, with accurate and well-researched medical explanations of the benefits and shortcomings. The title makes it seem anti-medication but the author does recommend medication (with certain caveats, and...
Published on August 3, 2006 by Jennifer Koch

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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book that strongly promotes psychiatric medication for children - with several good non-medicine lessons for parents
The first thing that strikes you when reading this book is that the title is deceiving. The author takes a very strong position with psychiatric medication for children, devoting two complete chapters and part of a third chapter to promote of psychiatric drugs for ADHD and its symptoms, something that medicine definitely does teach.

Some of the good points of...
Published 19 months ago by Assoc For Natural Psych


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260 of 263 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the ADHD books - read this one first, August 3, 2006
By 
Jennifer Koch "jenniwith3" (Flemington, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) (Paperback)
This book is a winner. I have bought and read many different books on ADHD - from all perspectives - and I like this one the best. It is balanced on the medication issue, with accurate and well-researched medical explanations of the benefits and shortcomings. The title makes it seem anti-medication but the author does recommend medication (with certain caveats, and easy-to-understand explanations of the reasons it may not work well in some individuals), so don't be put off by this if your child is on medication. His goal is to go beyond a simple prescription to give the parent other helpful information that can provide a well-rounded approach to helping their ADHD child. The book is very practical, with questionnaires, checklists, or homework at the end of each chapter.

If you are new to this topic, buy this one first. If you are a veteran but need more tips on how to help your child, this book still has plenty to offer you.
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196 of 201 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Information For Parents With an ADHD Child, December 14, 2004
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This review is from: Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) (Paperback)
I have over 100 books on this subject and try read anything that will help my ADHD son. The old saying an informed consumer comes true with this disease. You are your child's own best advocate.

Within this book I found some very helpful information I have not read before particularly with respect to diet and protein.

The book offers some wonderful checklists for medication monitoring as well as guideline lists for 504 plans.

It is written in clear concise language. I can tell you it has become a bible in my library of ADHD books.

Kudos Dr. Monastra for putting some new light and useful information on this disease!
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90 of 93 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New methods in this book work better than traditional ones, October 5, 2007
By 
A.. Buyer (Near St.Louis) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) (Paperback)
I am a grandparent of a 5 year old boy, diagnosed with ADHD at age 4. I have read several books on the subject, plus reseaching ADHD on line. If you employ the same methods by which you were raised, not having ADHD, or the methods your parents used to raise you, you are missing the target by a mile. ADHD children are different in many ways and you must learn how and what to do for them as individuals. They are precious little people with vast potential for love and success in life. Only by you learning how to help them manage their lives, in a loving caring manner can you help them. This book offers proven methods to help the child at home and in school and in life. I do recommend this book. You also need to read other books on the subject and try to find a CHAD group or other support group for yourself because you are not alone in your struggle to save your child and family. I also recommend ADDitude Magazine as well as, Making the System work for Your Child and The Gift of ADHD, all from Amazon.com. It takes a village to raise a child. Good luck.
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94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb supplementary resource, January 12, 2005
This review is from: Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) (Paperback)
Professional clinical psychologist Vincent Monastra presents Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach, a guide drawn from his years of experience evaluating and treating thousands of children and teens with ADHD. Chapters address simple basic problems and guidelines, including the importance of a lesson plan, how to teach children to manage their anger, why nutrition is critical and why yelling rarely solves anything. Written in plain terms, Parenting Children with ADHD is a superb supplementary resource for lay people, and a "must-read" for anyone charged with raising, giving care to or instructing an ADHD youth.
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Insightful and Helpful Book on Parenting ADHD Children, January 10, 2007
By 
LAMB's Mom (Rochester, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) (Paperback)
I am parenting five children with ADHD and have read a lot of ADHD literature. Dr. Monastra's book is the most useful I have read ever. Particularly helpful are his suggested accomodations in school, the "Time Stands Still" strategy and Parent "Self-Care" suggestions. His best chapter is called "Temperment May be Inherited...but...Emotional Control is Learned." He advocates ways to teach children emotional control that are so effective they should be shared with every parent with children :), ADHD or not. His book is life-affirming and practical. Thank you, Dr. Monastra, for making such a positive difference in the ADHD world.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real-World Help, March 10, 2007
By 
P. Supko "Books and Music" (Arnold, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) (Paperback)
Of all the books I've read about parenting children with AD/HD, this is the most useful. The author, Dr. Monastra, runs an attention-disorder clinic that offers a class specifically geared to parenting children with AD/HD. He has taken that class, simplified the content, and broken it down into eleven lessons. While it is of course no substitute for attending a ten- or eleven-week class, the lessons are clear and highly valuable. He explains the condition from a brain-function standpoint, discusses the different medications (what they do and when each type might be most useful) and outlines simple techniques that can help address some of the biggest areas of difficulty. The book was very readable and engaging. Dr. Monastra understands that many parents of kids with AD/HD have AD/HD themselves, and he designed the book with that fact in mind. He also provides his "top 40" list of typical behaviors that parents may feel they need to address. Overall, I felt like I was reading about my own child, and his advice was extremely helpful.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely in the top 5 must reads for parents of ADHD children, November 4, 2007
This review is from: Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) (Paperback)
Like many of you, I've scoured the net for any morsels of information which could be of help in understanding and helping my ADHD child. This book has not only provided me with further insight, above and beyond the ABC's of ADHD, but it has become one of my primary resource books. I find myself returning to the chapter about medication in order to better understand what my own doctor has expained to me verbally. I go back to the chapter on diet to make sure we haven't fallen away from the very practical recommendations there. And I often go back to the different tips to help control emotions, etc.
But what has pushed me to write this review is the sheer number of times I have quoted Dr. Monastra, to my son's teachers, to his Doctor, to our family members.... clearly this book has left a long lasting impression on me as a parent (my son's "case worker"). If Dr. Monastra were to charge royalties for the number of times I have said "... and if he were blind, would we ask him to just try harder to see... ", I'd owe him a lot more than I paid for this book!
Yes, I can definitely recommend this book as it is practical, easy to read, and contains information/insights you will not likely find elsewhere.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book with lots of info., November 3, 2007
This review is from: Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) (Paperback)
I have read a lot of books on ADHD and I really like this one. It's very easy to understand. Some of these other books use big words, I prefer the simple terms like they use in this book.

If you are a parent of a child with ADHD and feel lost or wondering what to do or where to go, read this book. There are lots of times I wonder if I am doing the right thing. Meds, no meds... what to do? This book talks about how certain medications work on children. It also has a lot of great info. on some of the types of testing you can have done.

If you don't want to buy it or aren't sure check it out at a library. I just wish I could get some teachers to read this and understand our children. This books explains why kids with ADHD do the things they do.

Also, he talks about making sure your children get protein at breakfast so they will do better through out the day. This is what you are supposed to to with kids, but ADHD kids especially. We need to make sure they are getting enough protein.. especially in the morning.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, no nonsense approach., January 31, 2006
This review is from: Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) (Paperback)
Dr Monastra clearly identifies this frustrating problem for parents in clear, easy to understand language. While supporting medication, he gives useful advice on how to handle your child to optimize their behavior. Highly recommend, found it very useful and will use many of the ideas he had. Wish we lived closer to his office, would definitely want him to take care of my son (no higher praise!).
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book that strongly promotes psychiatric medication for children - with several good non-medicine lessons for parents, April 19, 2013
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This review is from: Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools) (Paperback)
The first thing that strikes you when reading this book is that the title is deceiving. The author takes a very strong position with psychiatric medication for children, devoting two complete chapters and part of a third chapter to promote of psychiatric drugs for ADHD and its symptoms, something that medicine definitely does teach.

Some of the good points of this book are, Monastra strongly advocates nutrition for ADHD, recommends, but does not elaborate, the need for children to receive love from their parents, and one chapter has good suggestions for parents on behavior control, although the book also strongly recommends psychiatric medications for behavior control. There are few current authors on ADHD who delve into and encourage psychiatric drug treatments as does 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach, a seeming contradiction with the title.

Mr. Monastra makes recommendations in his book, for psychiatric medication, that few books on ADHD do. For example, he encourages the use of anti-convulsant drugs for hyperactivity, when amphetamines or methylphenidate is not effective. If a child does not respond to methylphenidate (Ritalin), he recommends increasing the dosage; if that is not effective, increase the dosage again; if still it is not effective, increase again the dosage. If the child's symptoms of ADHD are still not helped by methylphenidate, then an amphetamine can be used. If the child does not respond to the amphetamine, he recommends, then, switching to Strattera, a drug that works slightly differently than methylphenidate or ampehtamines.

If a child cannot sleep because of taking stimulants, Mr. Monastra recommends the child taking other psychiatric drugs to help him to sleep, such as Tenex. Mr. Monastra recommends Wellbutrin for children, among other psychiatric drugs, off-label, for children, without much warning about the possible complications this can cause. He does not mention that the FDA has issued strong warning for certain drugs, such as SSRI anti-depressants, for young adults, that such can double the risk of suicidal thoughts. Wellbutrin is not approved by the FDA for use in children, but it is approved by Mr. Monastra in this book. Mr. Monastra's philosophy is based squarely on the Medical Model of mental health. Beyond the Disease Model of Mental Disorders. Psychiatric labeling in itself is debated, and this is especially the case with ADHD for children. See Please Don't Label My Child: Break the Doctor-Diagnosis-Drug Cycle and Discover Safe, Effective Choices for Your Child's Emotional Health for excellent and balanced information from a child psychiatrist (who is qualified to prescribe medication, which a clinical psychologist in the United States is not).

Mr. Monastra is a clinical psychologist, and so one would expect that his book would focus more on guiding parents in parenting than on promoting specific controversial psychiatric drugs, many of which are not FDA approved for the conditions Monastra recommends them for. A clinical psychologist is not licensed to prescribe psychiatric medication, only an M.D. can do so, which Monastra is not and has likely not studied in a formal (university) setting. One must assume that Monastra is getting his information on psychiatric drugs from personal research (most sources not disclosed), or from (undisclosed) colleagues.

Also, it was difficult to find 10 lessons for parents in this book. It seemed as if there were only 4 or 5 lessons that were elaborated on. Mr. Monastra's first line of treatment for anger problems, which he closely associates with ADHD, though anger is not listed as a symptom of ADHD in the DSM-IV or DSM-V, is 1). strong psychiatric drugs 2). deep breathing, which he elaborates on at length. Given, deep breathing can be one effective technique for anger management, there is a lot more that can be said and that has been written on anger management, and that is effectively taught by child study teams to children with anger problems.

One chapter of the book has good information for parents on techniques for behavioral control. Monastra elaborates on a token economy method, describing a means of modifying it for effectiveness. Additionally, he recommends a method he refers to as "time stands still," where a child must comply with a reasonable request, such as cleaning his room, before anything else can happen. He does not recommend "bribery," but recommends using daily rewards as a means for stimulating better behavior and compliance. This was the one chapter in the book that has real value for parents.

However, there are not 10 lessons to be found in this book, there are 11 chapters, one of which is an Introduction. The Introduction basically outlines the DSM-IV definitions and criteria for ADHD, and elaborates on them. Two full chapters, and a section of a third, elaborate on psychiatric medications, something Mr. Monastra would not seem qualified for, given that he is a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist, and the strong and, what today would be considered a controversially strong position he takes on the subject of psychiatric drugs.

The title, then contains a bit of loaded double-talk, basically seeming to disarm parents, and then presents a very strong position on psychiatric drugs that contradicts the title. There are other sections of the book which are similarly contradictory. Monasatra strongly encourages nutrition, which is excellent (one of the lessons that medicine cannot teach). In his view, protein is an essential factor, as is breakfast for children, something that is often overlooked, and of much importance for children. However he also states that poor nutrition "does not cause ADHD" (genes do). Later on in the chapter he states, "for ADHD caused by poor nutrition..." Why such a contradiction? One of the chapter titles of the book is (not direct quote), Poor Parenting does not Cause ADHD, Genes Do. He cites an approximate 30% correlation between genetics and ADHD, which still leads one to question the other 70%. In doing so, he blames the genes, (compare Elliot Valenstein's Blaming the Brain: The Truth About Drugs and Mental Health ), taking the responsibility off of the parents, and placing it squarely on the genes. This pacifies parents into thinking that they have never done anything wrong in their parenting that might have contributed to their child's ADHD, and doctors and parents can prescribe copious amounts of psychiatric medicine to children, without hindrance. After prescribing psychiatric drugs, doctors can then work with the parents and child to overcome specific behaviors. That seems to be the apparent psychology behind this type of double-talk.

Repeatedly Monastra uses phrases such as "the evidence points to," "available evidence indicates," but provides no references or footnotes throughout the main text of the book. The loose bibliography, when referenced to some of the sweeping claims made by Monastra, often provide no evidence whatsoever for his claims. In one case, the evidence of claims made by Monastra, might be traced to claims made by Russell Barkley, as this is the only reference in that chapter that might somehow support Monastra's "evidence". Russel Barkely, for sure, has some excellent information for parents Your Defiant Child: Eight Steps To Better Behavior, but his position on psychiatric medicine is controversial and debated. Opinion, might be a better word for Monastra's claim of "evidence," as no evidence is provided for strong opinions.

A better title for this book would be Parenting Children with ADHD: 5 Lessons That Medicine Teaches and 4 Lessons for Parents That Medicine Does Not Teach and one or two lessons on enrolling your child in Special Education, which may or may not be part of a solution, depending on the particular school and school system.

Monastra's "10 Lessons" had been on eight relevant pages of our website, but it was removed after reviewing the book. Other books which provide useful information for parents on ADHD are, The ADD & ADHD Answer Book: Professional Answers to 275 of the Top Questions Parents Ask; though very academically and scholarly oriented, professor of Michigan State, Joel Nigg's work, What Causes ADHD?: Understanding What Goes Wrong and Why, provides good insight on many potential issues that parents should be aware of. Overcoming ADHD: Helping Your Child Become Calm, Engaged, and Focused--Without a Pill (Merloyd Lawrence Books) also has good information for parents specific to ADHD.
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Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools)
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