Beyond Ritalin: Facts about medication and other strategies for helping children, adolescents and adults with attention deficit disorders (1997)
Stephen W. Garber, Marianne D. Garber, Robyn F. Spizman
201 East 50th Street,
New York, NY 10022
In this excellent book pertinent information regarding attention deficit disorders is interpreted for the reader in layman's terms. The authors review medical, psychosocial, and educational factors that contributed to behaviours similar to those diagnostic of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This information is very important in the accurate differential diagnosis of ADHD, and suggests a range of treatment options beyond Ritalin to manage the behaviours.
Regarding management of ADHD, the authors discuss the different medications available, how they work, and when the medication is useful. They have highlighted what medication cannot do, i.e., remedy deficits in academic achievement, teach social skills, or correct a defeatist attitude produced as a result of untreated ADHD. This valuable information emphasizes the role teachers and other professionals play once medication is effective, to enable learning. The book also addresses the problems of the adult with ADHD.
Occupational therapists will notice one glaring mistake in the chapter discussing alternative treatments. The work of Dr. Ayres is referred to as "Integrated Sensory Training" and brushing is discussed as one "form of exercise" used in the "training". This ill-informed reference to the theory of Sensory Integration raises doubt regarding the accuracy with which other alternative treatments are discussed. Information in some of the other chapters appears repetitious, for example the references to learning and achievement, solving social problems, and learning self-control.
Apart from these shortcomings, this book is an informative resource for any parent or professional dealing with ADHD. Beyond Ritalin is one book which gives a holistic picture of the ADHD Syndrome, with emphasis on how to get an accurate diagnosis, alternatives to consider before trying medication, and what needs to be done in addition to medication to ensure success in daily life.
— Asha Asher, 1998