In his new work, the author, a former psychotherapist who has written previously on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perspective), recommends techniques for raising children diagnosed with this condition. Although many of the specific strategies will be very useful to parents raising ADHD children, too much of the text is devoted to complex genetic and evolutionary theory. According to Hartmann, ADHD is a trait (referred to here as the Edison gene, because the inventor Thomas Edison is believed to have had the trait) rather than a disorder, because it once provided useful skills for functioning in a hunter-gatherer society. The hunter abilities contrasted sharply with the farmer trait, which carried the skills required in farming societies. For example, hunter children have a short attention span, beneficial in a dangerous world where the environment had to be constantly monitored. The innovative but impatient hunter child is usually placed in special ed classes and is looked on as a disciplinary problem; but Hartman believes that ADHD children should be thought of separately. He provides specific guidelines for parents, partly based on the work of Alfred Adler, which encourage mutual respect between parent and child. Hartmann is not an advocate of drug therapy, and he argues for educational reform and alternative schools or home schooling as better learning situations for ADHD children. Hartmann believes that creative outside-the-box thinking, characteristic of those with ADHD, is a real asset to solving many of the world's serious problems.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Thom Hartmann is truly a visionary pathfinder in our sometimes confusing, labyrinthine world.”
(Stephen Larsen, Ph.D., coauthor of Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind)
“Thom Hartmann demonstrates that ADHD can be associated with creativity, high achievement, and a most successful adaptive style.”
(Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Driven to Distraction)
"Once again, with tireless scholarship and a bit of poetry, Thom Hartmann helps take us to the edge of knowing ourselves, our brains, and our world."
(John J. Ratey, M.D., author of A User's Guide to the Brain)
"Offers concrete strategies for helping Edison-gene children to reach their full potential."
(Spirit of Change, May/June 2004)
"The Edison Gene is an impressively well-written and well-researched book."
(Kathy Heckler, New Age Retailer, May.June 2004, Vol. 18 No. 3)
"Not only challenges majority opinion and does so effectively, but backs up each observation with real, authentic evidence."
(P.H.M Atwater, L.H.D, author of The New Children and Near-Death Experiences and We Live Forever: The real Truth About Death)
"Shows that, rather than being problems, such children are an important and vital gift to our society and the world."
(AZ Net News, Aug/Sept 2004)
"Hartmann shows the positive sides of ADHD and how as a society we have turned these same traits into negatives."
(Kerri Connor, Circle of Stones, Fall 2004, Vol.1 Issue 6)
"Hartmann gives us a deeper explanation of ADHD, explaining its origins and characteristics and offering strategies to help."
(Jenny Richter, Magical Blend, October 2004)
"For those who believe that ADHD can be treated without medication, this book could be akin to another New Testament . . ."
(Manuel Mota-Castillo, M.D., Psychiatric Services, April 2005)