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Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It Paperback – August 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452279631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452279636
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In one of the most comprehensive and accessible books about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Mat?, a Canadian physician and popular medical columnist, challenges many accepted notions about the condition, which afflicts more than three million children and a significant number of adults. An ADD sufferer himself, and the father of three children battling the disorder, Mat? discusses its origins and development, drawing on four years of study, research and patient interviews. Since its discovery in North America in 1902, ADD has been characterized by a poor ability to focus, deficient control of impulses and hyperactivity. Taking a maverick stance, Mat? doesn't believe it is purely a genetic condition, but rather one with a physiological component linked to culture and environment. He contends that it can stem from a variety of ordinary sourcesAfrom stress to marital woes, from school and peer pressures to substance abuseAcausing serious problems in academic achievement, employment and relationships. In chapters that include his patients' commentaries on the impact of ADD on their lives, Mat? discusses its symptoms, ADD in the classroom and effective ways parents can handle and treat the unruly behavior of children with the disorder. In the closing pages of this well-documented but sure-to-be-controversial book, he effectively hammers home his suspicions about the possible over-prescription of Ritalin and other drugs to control rather than heal children, and proposes that, in some cases, emotional support, patience and love can be more powerful remedies than chemicals.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Among the recent epidemic of books on Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), this one is valuable for its stress on environmental issues and the author's experience with the syndrome in his own family. Though a physician himself as well as a columnist for Canadian newspapers, Mat? dismisses the "medical model" of ADD, arguing that it is the combined result of genes and stressed parenting. Neurological deficits intervene in this process. Drug therapy is viewed as useful but no panacea for what is essentially a problem of society and human development. Well-written explanations and descriptive case studies fill the book, and guiding principles and suggestions for reversing the course of ADD through therapy make it useful for parents, stricken adults, and counselors alike. Focusing on parents as the cause of psychological disorders is not a new idea, though, and Timothy Wilens's Straight Talk About Psychiatric Medications for Kids (LJ 2/15/99) may be more practical in a society where drug therapy is ubiquitous. For public libraries with comprehensive ADD collections.AAntoinette Brinkman, Southwest Indiana Mental Health Ctr. Lib., Evansville
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

The ADD child triggers anxiety in even the most competent parent.
C. Sullivan
Helps to understand why you do what you do when you have ADD, good book to read when you are confused about why you do the things you do...or don't do I should say..
Amazon Customer
I would highly recommend this book to anyone with ADD in their family.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

189 of 198 people found the following review helpful By C. Sullivan on February 11, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having been in therapy longer than Woody Allen, I practice what Karl Menninger called `bibliotherapy'-i.e., reading widely and deeply in the field of mental or emotional disorders. Since I'm a voracious reader, and since I've been doing this for twenty years, I sometimes feel there isn't much left for a layman to learn, or at least nothing much that could be called new. But Dr. Mate's book is wonderfully helpful on two fronts: first, it is a "why-you-or-your -child-are-like-this" book, and second, it is a "and-here-is-what-you-can-do-to-allieviate-the-condition"book. Not cure it, mind you, just make the cards you drew a little easier to play.
On the first front, the neurobiology of ADD, Dr. Mate makes his point conclusively: this disorder arises first in the infant, in how he or she is wired-or not-and it occurs in the make-up of the hypersensitive baby, highly aware and from the very beginning suffering at the smallest slings and arrows life offers. Resilient children roll with the punches; ADD kids are flattened by them and get back up more slowly. Momma used to call this type "high-strung" and, boy, was she ever right. Dr. Mate even points out a study done on the vagus nerve of five-month old babies that turns out to be highly predictive of which of them will later, at fourteen months, prove to be "more reactive to maternal separation." In other words, ADD could as well serve as an acronym for Attachment Deficit Disorder. People who are hypersensitive have a disordered attachment to their caretakers that is pre-verbal and pervasive. One had better learn to deal with the fact that the fault is mainly synpatical, not social. My family doctor told me that my then-nine-year-old son suffered from severe separation anxiety because he hadn't been in pre-school or away from his parents enough.
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175 of 188 people found the following review helpful By Ronald L. Mcgowan on April 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
I must say that my opinion regarding Dr. Mate's "Scattered" is... well... "Scattered!" On the one hand, it contains some of the most eloquently poetic descriptions of A.D.D. I've ever seen (some of which come directly from Dr. Mate's patients). One need look no further than the chapter headings to see how beautifully the ambiguity of poetry describes the A.D.D.experience- headings like "So Much Soup and Garbage Can," "Forgetting to Remember the Future," "A Surrealistic Choreography," "Severed Thoughts and Flibbertigibbets," and "My Marshmallow Caught Fire." In fact, on page 43, Dr. Mate offers one of the most poignant metaphors for A.D.D. I've read, in his description of the trees on the shores of Vancouver Island. Passages like this one make "Scattered" a worthwhile book to own, and I've recommended it highly to several people on that basis alone. But while "Scattered" delivers in grand style on the promise of the first part of its title (i.e. "How A.D.D. Originates"), it fails to deliver consistently on the promise of its second (i.e. "What You Can Do About It"). This unrealized expectation is established by the last sentence of the very same page referenced above (p.43), which reads: "Fortunately, as we will see when we come to the chapters on the healing process in ADD, neurological and psychological maturation can take place at any time during the life cycle, even in late adulthood." As well-established as the author's intentions are for the remainder of the book, what unfortunately follows is heavily and disproportionately weighted more towards offering specific advice to parents of A.D.D. children than towards offering practical solutions for the A.D.D. adult.Read more ›
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By M.Burke LCSW on May 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I applaud Gabor Mate for the remarkable contribution he has made to the literature on Attention Deficit Disorder in his book Scattered. Due to both personal and professional interest, I have read and recommended many books and articles on this topic. I find that Scattered has become the first book I recommend to colleagues, clients and anyone interested in learning about, or ruling out ADD. Feedback is consistent with my own reaction--this is a comprehensive and insightful book--an easy, informative, valuable, read for professional and lay people. The role of biology/nature is described so well that the non-scientific reader gains a new level of understanding. When it comes to the role of nurture/environment--Mate truly shines-- capturing the experience of ADD with an insiders wisdom and a refreshing openess, bringing the reader understanding, comfort, hope and pathways to healing. The material on parenting (ADD and the child) is excellent---could be part of a parenting handbook. His writing on change and growth and his understanding of what causes adults to struggle have value across the board --whatever the issues are. One does not have to have, or work with ADD to enjoy and benefit from Scattered.
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful By "76702765" on May 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The ADHD world seems to have split into several definable camps -- the neo-Darwinist doomsayers like Barkley who say flat-out that ADD is "of no value whatsoever" and is purely a sickness; the deniers like Breggin and Rush Limbaugh who think it's a conspiracy by doctors or liberals; the geneticists like Comings who suggest ADDers shouldn't breed to keep from contaminating our gene-pool; and those like Lucy Jo Pallidino who consider it a "context disorder," a collection of traits that may be useful in some times and places but is generally not a good match for the way our schools are currently set up (I consider myself in this category).
Now comes Gabor Mate, an insightful, no-nonsense, and thoroughly compassionate physician who provides an overview of all these perspectives and comes to the marvelously humane conclusion that ADD/ADHD is neither nature (genetics) nor nurture (parenting/environment) but, rather, the result of the collision of a predisposing nature with an ADD-hostile life situation, family, school, or job. How refreshing!
Gabor Mate has made a valuable contribution to the ADD/ADHD world, and this book not only offers thoughts on what it is and where it came from, but also is chock full of useful, real-world solutions for the problems people with ADD confront in a world increasingly run by bureaucrats and farmers.
Highly recommended!
--Thom Hartmann
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More About the Author

Gabor Maté, MD, is a physician, author, seminar leader, and acclaimed public speaker. His bestselling books include Scattered, When the Body Says No, and Hold onto Your Kids. A former medical columnist for The Vancouver Sun and The Globe and Mail, he lives in Vancouver, BC.