Six Great Books for Adults and College Students With ADHD

By Isabella Simone on Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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A number of adults with ADHD do not discover that they have been affected by ADHD until they have had their own children or have aged into their 20’s and 30’s. Often these adults find out that they display many of the symptoms of ADHD when their child’s pediatrician or school suggests that their child might have ADHD. We certainly have found this to be the case in our work at South County Child and Family Consultants. Many parents first discover their own ADHD when they bring their child in for a neuropsychological evaluation with Dr. Randy Kulman. In the process of conducting a neuropsychological evaluation for ADHD, Dr. Kulman routinely asks about family members who show signs of inattention, difficulty following directions, or tend to have many projects ongoing at the same time. This often raises the eyebrows of parents who have been displaying these behaviors for many years but never attributed them to ADHD.

Our team of neuropsychologists, school psychologists, and psychology students at South County Child and Family Consultants are committed to searching the Internet and beyond to find reputable, informative, and practical tools to help adults manage their ADHD. We look for the best information online to help individuals diagnosed with ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Executive Functioning Difficulties, struggles with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills,  Autism, Depression, and Anxiety as well as to provide you with information about how neuropsychological evaluations help in targeting concerns about ADHD. Come back regularly, as the links are updated frequently.

For adults who would like to know more about ADHD we strongly encourage you to do some reading. As expected, many adults with ADHD do not have the patience for reading. If that is the case, we suggest that you obtain these books as an audiobook and listen to them while you’re engaged in another activity such as driving or walking. This is likely to help you focus your attention on the book but also help you to get through the entire book and learn some of the strategies that are available.


Taking Charge of Adult ADHD

By Russell A. Barkley 

Amazon Review: “This book will surely become a classic. If you are an adult with ADHD, Dr. Barkley can help you make sense of your lifelong struggles and develop a clear roadmap for overcoming them. Stories and examples from others facing the same challenges bring Dr. Barkley’s ideas to life. I will certainly recommend this easy-to-read yet scientifically based book to everyone who comes through our adult ADHD clinic.”–J. Russell Ramsay, PhD, Codirector, Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program, University of Pennsylvania

 Dr. Kulman’s take:This is a classic book that was originally written for children by one of the leading experts in the world. Barkley tends to give very clear advice in his own unique, authoritative fashion.”


Driven to Distraction (Revised): Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder

By Edward Hallowell and John Ratey

Amazon Review: “Conversational in tone, encyclopedic in content, and, best of all, utterly convincing because of its grounding in clinical experience, Driven to Distraction should make Attention Deficit Disorder comprehensible even to the most distractible reader.”—Peter D. Kramer, M.D., author of Listening to Prozac 

Dr. Kulman’s take:  This is the classic book written for adults with ADHD. When it was originally written Drs. Hallowell and Ratey were just establishing themselves in the field. I have had the opportunity to go to numerous lectures from both of these brilliant men and their original insights in Driven to Distraction are still useful 25 years later.”


Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults

By Thomas Brown

Amazon Review: “A long-awaited, comprehensive book on ADHD that goes beyond mere clinical descriptions and background basic science to integrate the latest clinical, neurobiological and neuro-imaging findings in a manner which is both fascinating and persuasive. . . . This is an essential book on ADHD. It encompasses a broader definition of the disorder with an emphasis on cognitive, emotional and relational difficulties alongside the classic attention/hyperactivity symptoms.”―Dimitrios Paschos, International Journal of Environmental Studies

Dr. Kulman’s take: Dr. Thomas Brown is one of the leading experts on ADHD. He has been the foremost voice in making the connection between difficulties with executive functions and the symptoms of ADHD. This book, while a bit scientific, is for individuals who want to know more about the science of ADHD.


Focused Forward: Navigating the Storms of Adult ADHD

By James M. Ochoa

Amazon Review: “Focused Forward gets it! If you or someone you care about has the adult version of ADHD, read this book. Written by a man who’s worked in the trenches his whole career, this book is full of practical tips as well as a deep understanding for what this widely misunderstood condition is truly like. A hugely valuable contribution to the treatment of adult ADHD.”

–Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., New York Times–bestselling author of Driven to Distraction

Dr. Kulman’s take: “One of the under-identified side effects of ADHD in adults is its impact on emotional functioning. Many adults with ADHD find themselves having symptoms of anxiety, depression, and a low sense of self-esteem because it is hard for them to complete things to their own level of satisfaction.” 


The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD

By Melissa Orlov and Nancie Kohlenberger

Amazon Review: “Hands down the best book for couples dealing with ADHD.  No other book comes even close to providing a balance of the positives, negatives and all that is between:  ‘Thrive’ provides both inspiration and concrete strategies for couples learning to find joy again after years of struggling with ADHD.  I love this book!” – Bryan Hutchinson, Author of 7 Crucial Tips for Parents and Teachers of Children with ADHD

Dr. Kulman’s take: “This is a wonderful book for couples in which one or both members have ADHD. I have had the opportunity to talk on a few occasions with Melissa Orlov about her work and have been very impressed with her thoughtfulness and understanding of relationships in which one or more partners have ADHD. I’ve also had couples tell me that this was the best book that they have ever read to help them in their relationship.”


Understand Your Brain, Get More Done: The ADHD Executive Functions Workbook

By Ari Tuckman

Amazon Review: “Dr. Tuckman has provided us with a richly detailed discussion of ADHD in adults and especially how it should be managed, directly written for the adult with ADHD in mind. Wonderfully supportive and informative, this book provides countless recommendations for addressing the myriad symptoms of poor self-control and time management, inattention and disorganization, and impulsive and careless behavior that afflicts nearly every major domain of life activities for adults. The book should prove enormously instructive for both adults with ADHD and for clinicians who specialize in its diagnosis and management.”  —Russell A. Barkley, PhD, ADHD expert, researcher, author of numerous books

Dr. Kulman’s take: “Dr. Tuckman is a fantastic speaker and advocate for young adults with ADHD. His tactic in this book is to help young adults understand how improving their executive functioning skills are a key to improving the symptoms of ADHD. There are many powerful suggestions particularly in regards to time management skills that will be useful to college students and teenagers.”

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