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Nowhere to Hide: Why Kids with ADHD and LD Hate School and What We Can Do About It Hardcover – August 9, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

For decades, politicians have spent thousands of hours writing legislation aimed at helping kids with ADHD and learning disabilities (LD). Parents and schools have spent billions of dollars getting children tested and delivering special education services. Despite all this, most kids with ADHD/LD still hate school. Why haven't we been able to find the solution to this problem? We've been looking in the wrong place.

Current efforts to help children with ADHD/LD don't work because they don't take into account that these kids are under chronic stress. They are required daily to do what for them is physically impossible—staying focused, reading with peers, sitting still—and live in a constant state of feeling inadequate and embarrassed. To protect themselves, children use the defenses nature provided them: they freeze, fight, or flee. The problem is that kids with ADHD/LD in school have no place to run, no place to hide, and all too often they get labeled or punished if they shut down or fight learning. Chronic stress impacts kids' brain functioning, behavior, social skills, and academic learning. Nowhere to Hide shines a light on this important yet overlooked phenomenon in the lives of children with ADHD/LD, offering guidance for parents and teachers to help kids improve learning, behavior, and self-esteem.

Jerome Schultz reframes kids' behavior as Saving FASE (Fear, Avoidance, Stress, and Escape) and provides his step-by-step DE-STRESS model, which helps kids reduce stress at school and at home. This book will change the way parents and teachers think about why their kids find school and homework so toxic. It also includes rating scales, checklists, printable charts, and practical strategies that help students break the stress cycle and attain the confidence that comes from competence.

From the Author: Questions Parents and Teachers Ask
Author Jerome Schultz
My child is really well-behaved at school, but he does a real "Jekyll and Hyde" when we sit down to do homework. As school gets harder, this problem is getting worse. What can I do?
Ask your son's teacher to “prime the pump” by giving the kids the opportunity to do the first two homework problems together before going home. This way, your son will have his homework page all set up and when he pulls it out, he’ll have the first two done correctly. This will serve as a "competence anchor," and should increase the likelihood that his brain is saying “I can” rather than "I can't."

Our 10-yr old daughter can write for hours about a topic she's interested in. But when her teacher asks her to write on a particular subject or if the assignment is structured in any way, she shuts down. We can’t just let her write these open-ended stories forever…any suggestions?
Journals or "sagas" can just flow, because there are no required stops and starts or changes in topic. Structured writing requires a special kind of mental organization. Some kids can't think in "outline" form, and they get stressed when asked to condense a huge topic or to put their thoughts in a particular order. Here's an idea that has built a bridge to required writing for many kids: line up 4-6 photographs of an experience your daughter has had (like a field trip, or vacation), and have her write about these in sequence. (It’s even better if she was the photographer!) She'll be familiar with the scene and the order in which the events happened, both of which reduce task-related anxiety. Teachers can do the same kind of activity by printing out slides or pictures that your little girl can put into order (and maybe do this with a classmate, for fun), and then write a short essay about what she has just thought about. If your daughter balks at writing, let her dictate the story to you while you type it. Then she can cut and paste images and personalize the piece. The key here is to create a mental image of the event and the sequence, to make it more familiar and put some boundaries on the material.

My son Aiden (age 8) talks and talks and talks and talks! It used to be cute--we've even got a YouTube video of it! But in school, it's a real turn-off to other kids (and, we imagine, to his teacher as well). We don't want to keep telling him he has to "let other people talk," or keep saying "Now, be a good listener, Aiden." What can we do to get him to be more aware of his communication style and take better charge of it?
Kids who talk non-stop often need more "training" when they’re not in these social situations. The training should be fun. Some ideas: Give Aiden a tape recorder and hand him an object, or show him a picture. Tell him he “has to” talk for 1 minute, but then has to stop. Then play back what he has said on tape, and reinforce the story he has told, but more important, his ability to stop when he's supposed to. After practicing this several times, try it without the tape recorder, asking him to "find his own stop button," and turn himself off when he thinks he's talked for a minute. You time him. If he overruns the clock, say "stop." If he "beats the clock," all the better. He's showing self-control-- which is the name of this game. Then switch roles, and let Aiden time you!

You can also play a "build-a-story" game in which each of you (or later, more family members) tell a piece of a story that the next person must build upon. Set a time limit (ring a bell, or knock on the table) when 30 seconds is up. The rule is "you can finish the sentence you just started, but you have to stop and turn the story over to the next story-teller." This can be hilariously funny and lots of fun. Remember, when there’s humor, the brain works in more positive, helpful ways. If the teacher or the speech/language therapist at school is made aware of this kind of practice, they can use the same verbal strategies in school, including some of the same verbal cues that encourage awareness of others and self-control, such as, "Time to hit the 'pause' button, Aiden."

We've had our daughter tested several times. She has some significant challenges, to be sure, but the reports always sound so negative. Our little girl also has some outstanding strengths that don't show up in the testing situation. So when teachers and others read the report, they get a very skewed view of her abilities, and they tend to focus on her weaknesses. Do you have any advice for us?
Make a portfolio that shows your daughter's accomplishments and talents. This can be a scrapbook with pictures, arranged year-by-year to show changes and growth, or it can be a more current display of her skills. Photos that show your daughter engaged with other kids in a fun activity, acting in a play, playing music, or even playing quietly or reading in cozy corner, can help to convey her many or emerging skills. If you’re tech-savvy, you can create a personal website for your child. She can even be involved at making or editing her own website and videos. For example, she could be interviewed about "how I learn best," or "I can be more successful when my teachers…" This is not like a Grandma's "brag book," but rather a way to show teachers and other professionals what she’s like at her best. This "personal PR" helps keep their expectations high but reasonable, and it encourages them to create opportunities for her to demonstrate her skills and talents and also to work on strengthening her weaker areas. And those reports with a negative tone? Give the psychologist your daughter’s "I CAN DO THIS" scrapbook or her web address before they start the testing! I can assure you that this will put more balance into the report.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Nowhere to Hide

"[Some 10-15% of America's kids] fight the battle of learning disabilities and attention deficits every day. Through no fault or choice of their own, they become a daily source of puzzlement and frustration for the parents and teachers in their lives. In Nowhere to Hide, Schultz brings his unparalleled experience, knowledge, background, and wisdom to this issue. He provides the reader with comprehensible explanations of the latest neurobiological research and translates it into practical strategies parents and professionals can use to assist these students in reaching their fullest potential."—Richard D. Lavoie, M.A., M.Ed., educational consultant and author, The Motivation Breakthrough and It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend

"Jerry has helped thousands of teachers, students, parents, and others triumph (by turning) what seemed at first a shortcoming, even a disability, into an asset."—from the foreword by Edward Hallowell, M.D., coauthor, Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction

"In Nowhere to Hide, Jerome Schultz brings to light the extraordinary stresses experienced by children with learning disabilities and ADHD. Kids with learning disabilities struggle academically, but they also experience tremendous fear—and so do their parents! I wish my wife and I had had this practical, comforting book when we were raising our two children."—Michael Thompson, Ph.D., coauthor, Raising Cain and It's a Boy!., coauthor, Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470902981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470902981
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kcorn TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At least 2 of our children have ADD and/or learning challenges and I've read more books on the subject than I ever imagined I would. I wish this one had been in print back when I was desperate for some helpful advice and tactics for tackling school, homework, etc. Our kids are older now and doing well but...wow!...was it ever a chore to get to that point, both for them and for me. So much wasted time as well as excess frustration...frustration that left us exhausted and far from having great family time during the school week.

This book could have made a HUGE difference. Although I enjoyed the entire book, I'd especially recommend Part Four because it cuts to the chase, with specific tips and techniques which put into practice the author's DE-STRESS model. So many parents ( and I was one of them) attend school open houses, dutifully talk to teachers and get updates on their children's progress, hire tutors and other specialists - all in an attempt to help improve the situation. They try to take charge and monitor everything, often in vain....even though they are well-meaning and loving parents.

But as author Jerome Schultz notes, there are good reasons why even the most caring parents can't find "solutions" to their children's school issues. Why? Because the chronic stress of being ADHD or LD while struggling to get through school can have a major impact on the brain, leading to a downward spiral.

It is as simple - and as complicated - as that. Simple because the author offers hope. Challenging because there is no "one size fits all" answer, even when the basic reasons for school failure or pressure becomes clearer. However, the practical tips offered in Nowhere to Hide can make a world of difference.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I don't think it is possible to write on book that is just right for parents of children with LD/ADHD, teachers who work with these children, and professionals in the field. Howeveer, there is something for all these groups in this book and for that reason I am giving it 4 stars.

I got this book because I have a grandson identified as ADHD and wanted to better understand him and what he is up against. I now plan to pass the book to his parents, as I think it will be of benefit to them, also.

When I started the book I was reading every word. But after the first couple of chapters I switched to skimming the pages, looking for nuggets of information about ADHD, reading them carefully, then resume skimming over those parts I thought had already been covered previously. However, when I got to the last few chapters, when concrete suggestions were being made, I resumed reading the pages more closely.

Here are some of the key points that I took from the book:

1. ADHD is neurologically related. Research has found differences in the brain between children with ADHD and those who don't. It is not the "devil" that makes them do what they do, but their "brain".

2. The misbehavior of children with ADHD needs to be corrected, but those doing the correcting need to be mindful that
the child is not misbehaving just to be "bad". More emphasis should be given to recognizing proper behavior than to reprimanding misbehavior, with the goal being to help the child take gain control of his behavior.

3. Children diagnosed as ADHD should be given an explanation, using language the child can understand, as to what the testing discovered.
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Format: Hardcover
In this immensely readable book, Dr. Jerry Schultz gently and competently educates us. Using a first person narrative and many musical references, we are easily guided through the labyrinth of neurobiology and the effects of stress on brain functioning. For those who already possess this knowledge, it is a great review. For those who do not, Dr. Schultz begins building his framework from the ground up. It is easy to see why there are so many misconceptions about this subject when this basic information is lacking.

This book is unique in the clinical literature. Although there are lists of symptoms and there are some labels, Dr. Schultz is clearly speaking to us about real people whose lives are made more difficult by stress, ADHD and LD issues. With actual cases to illustrate, we walk in the shoes of these young people and experience their frustrating and painful world. These are often frightened, anxious and confused youngsters who are acting out (behavior issues, for example) or acting in (withdrawn or depressed, for example) in an attempt to control what feels out of their control.

As a parent, grandparent and clinician I recommend this book. In his introduction, Dr. Schultz says that this is a book for anyone who has a child or who cares for or about a young person who faces significant difficulties with learning or attention. Read this book care-fully.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I probably cannot give a more positive review than to say that after reading this book I bought copies for my son's principal and resource teachers. This book directly addresses one of the issues I have seen my son struggling with his whole school career: failure has become his "norm", he shuts down in a variety of creative ways when faced with a situation where he is sure to fail, and schools almost seem to go out of their way to ensure that those situations come up frequently. But besides just characterizing the problem, Schultz outlines an effective strategy to attack it with his "DE-STRESS" approach. By starting with defining the child's issues and educating them so they understand and can self-advocate for themselves in the classroom, his method begins to turn the cycle of failure into a cycle of success. Lots more, but I want you to read the book! He also presents many resources and ideas that both parents and educators can use.

One thing that really made this book more credible to me is that Schultz is not just an academic or a practitioner that sits in his office seeing a stream of patients - he spends 3 days a week in the classroom. This grounding in reality was evident throughout the book.

If you have a child with ADHD or LD, or are an educator you NEED to read this book.
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