Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is one of the most common behavioral disorders in children. It is estimated that from from 3 to 5 percent of the school age population (between 1.46 and 2.44 million children) suffer from various degrees of this condition. The symptoms of ADHD continue into adolescence for 50-80 percent of the children that have it. Between 30-50 percent of them will continue to have these symptoms as adults. Coping with the problems associated with ADHD can be difficult and frustrating for the affected individuals, their families and also other people who they come in contact with: teachers, coworkers, peers. Successful management of ADHD largely depends on the access to quality information about this condition and various ways of its treatment. This pathfinder was designed to be a useful starting point for anyone interested in finding reliable print and Internet resources about ADHD and/or many of the issues related to it.

General information || Medical issues || Legal issues || Parenting ADHD children || Teaching ADHD children || Living with ADHD ||

General information

Printed Resources

There are many good books that provide a general overview of ADHD. Here are some of the titles that are recognized as the most authoritative:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: a Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment, 2nd ed. (Barkley, R.A., Guilford Press, 1999)
  • ADHD and the Nature of Self-Control (Barkley, R.A., Guilford Press, 1997)
  • Answers to Distraction (Hallowell, E.M., Ratey, J.J., Bantam Books, 1996)
  • Driven to Distraction : Recognizing and Coping With Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood (Hallowell, E.M., Ratey, J.J., Simon & Schuster, 1995)

You might also be interested in reading journals about ADHD. The two journals listed below publish materials on all aspects of ADHD written for affected people and those who work with them.

  • Journal of attention disorders (Toronto ; North Tonawanda, NY : Multi-Health Systems Inc., 1996-)
  • Attention! Magazine (Plantation (Fla.) : CH.A.D.D., 1994 -) – selected articles from this journal are available online through its website: Attention! Magazine (http://www.chadd.org/Content/CHADD/AttentionMagazine/default.htm)

You can find additional recommendations of books and magazines about ADHD at these sites:

  • A.D.D. WareHouse : (http://www.addwarehouse.com/) – this bookstore specializes in materials about ADHD and is recommended by the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD).
  • ADHD Bookstore: (http://w3.addresources.org/bookstore) – this online bookstore is maintained by Attention Deficit Disorder Resources.

Your local Public library may own some of the books about ADHD. The following Library of Congress subject headings and Dewey Decimal Classification numbers may be helpful in locating books about ADHD:

  • LCSH: Attention – deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • LCSH: Attention – deficit hyperactivity disorder in adolescence
  • LCSH: Attention – deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults
  • LCSH: Attention – deficit disordered children


  • DDC: 616.858 9 Attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity
  • DDC: 618.928 589 Pediatrics-Attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity

Internet Resources

There is a large amount of materials on ADHD available on the Internet and their quality varies greatly. For this pathfinder, we selected a sample of quality resources for each of several types of material: online reviews and FAQs, resource collections, online magazines and support groups.

Online Reviews and FAQs

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder : An informative booklet published by the National Institute of Mental Health. (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml)
  • ADD FAQ Site: A comprehensive Internet FAQ for parents and teachers of ADD diagnosed children, as well as adults interested in ADD. (http://www.faqs.org/faqs/support/attn-deficit/)

  • A Brief History of ADD

    by Bob Seay, the About.com guide to the topic of ADHD. (library/weekly/aa090597.htm)

    Resource Collections


  • Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (Ch.A.D.D) is the largest ADHD organization in the U.S. Its website offers an excellent selection of Internet resources on all aspects of ADHD and is especially strong at providing information about disability issues in the legislature. Provides a listing of regional chapters. (http://www.chadd.org/)
  • National Attention Deficit Disorder Association (NADDA) The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association focuses on the needs of adults and youth with ADHD. The site provides a wide range of information about all aspects of ADHD. Includes a list of regional chapters. (http://www.add.org/)
  • Attention Deficit Disorder: Web Resources This comprehensive list of Internet resources about ADHD is provided by the Mental Health Net, a service to the worldwide mental health community of professionals and laypeople. (http://mentalhelp.net/poc/center_index.php?id=3)
  • Attention Deficit Disorder: a guide from About.com maintained by Bob Seay. An excellent source for information on all aspects of ADHD, especially recent developments in research, current political issues related to ADHD and information in languages other than English. ()

    Online Magazines and Newsletters


  • The ADD/ADHD Online Newsletter : A monthly newsletter dedicated to helping children and adults with ADHD. Many of the articles focus on the relation between nutrition and ADD/ADHD. (http://www.youradhdnewsletter.com/)
  • ADHD Research Update : an electronic newsletter about new research on ADHD and its practical applications. Published by David Rabiner, PhD, Licensed Psychologist. Registration on Attention.com web site (free) required for a subscription. (http://www.helpforadd.com/)

    Support groups

    In addition to the lists of local chapters of CHADD and NADDA provided on their websites, you might want to take a look at this list:

    • Local CHADD and/or Other Support Groups

      : (msubsupp.htm)

    Online support forums dealing with the general issues of ADHD:

    • alt.support.attn-deficit : a Usenet support group.

    Medical Issues

Reviews of the main medical issues related to ADHD such as getting diagnosed, selecting a mode of treatment, possible use of medications, occurrence of other coexisting conditions can be found in various printed and online sources. For this pathfinder we selected a sample of such sources that are both current and authoritative.

Suggested books about the medical issues of ADHD:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: a Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment, 2nd ed. (Barkley, R.A., Guilford Press, 1999 )
  • ADHD in adulthood : a guide to current theory, diagnosis, and treatment (Weiss, M., Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999)
  • ADHD with comorbid disorders : clinical assessment and management (Pliszka, S.R., Guilford Press, 1999)
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder : a clinical guide to diagnosis and treatment for health and mental health professionals, 2nd ed. (Silver, L.B. , American Psychiatric Press, 1999)

You can find bibliographies of books and articles about medical issues of ADHD at these sites:

Suggested online publications and collections of resources about the medical issues of ADHD:

Legal Issues

Persons who have ADHD and their families may be faced with legal issues concerning education and employment. This section lists selected resources that might be helpful in addressing those issues.

Suggested books on legal aspects of ADHD:

  • Attention deficit disorder and the law 2d ed. (Latham, P. S., JKL Communications, 1997)
  • Accommodations in higher education under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) : a no-nonsense guide for clinicians, educators, administrators, and lawyers (Ed. Gordon, M., Keiser, S., Guilford Press, 1998)
  • Higher education services for students with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder : a legal guide (Latham, P. H., National Center for Law and Learning Disabilities, 1994)

Online publications and collections of resources:

  • Major Federal Disability Laws – a list maintained by the NYS Commission on Quality of Care provides brief descriptions of laws which concern individuals with disabilities, links to text of these laws and to the websites of federal institutions involved in their implementation. (http://www.cqcapd.state.ny.us/advocacy/disabilityrightsada/disabilityrightsada.htm)

  • Worksite Accommodations to consider for people with learning disabilities and/or attention deficit disorder

    from The Job Accommodation Network, a service of The President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (http://www.jan.wvu.edu/media/LD.html)
  • Internet Legal Resources on Special Education and Disabilities compiled by the University of Virginia Curry School of Education (http://teis.virginia.edu/go/cise/ose/resources/legal.html)
  • Educational Advocacy Information & Guides for Parents & Advocates (http://www.familyvillage.wisc.edu/education/advocacy.html)

Parenting ADHD children

The experience of parenting an ADHD child can be quite different from parenting unaffected children. The approaches to parenting that work well with children who do not have ADHD do not work as well with children who have this condition. The parents of an ADHD child often have to become their child’s advocate, tutor, manage their medical needs. In this section we collected printed and online resources that might help in accomplishing these tasks.

Suggested books about parenting ADHD children:

  • Taking charge of ADHD : the complete, authoritative guide for parents ( Barkley, R. A., Guilford Press, 1995 )
  • The Attention Zone: A Parent’s Guide to Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Cohen, M.W., Brunner/Mazel, 1997 )
  • Fathering the ADHD child: a book for fathers, mothers and professionals ( Jacobs, E. H., J. Aronson, 1998 )

Suggested online publications and collections of resources:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder: What Parents Should Know

    : Published By Division of Innovation and Development Office of Special Education Programs Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services U.S. Department of Education (http://www.chadd.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Especially_For_Parents)

  • Children Who Can’t Pay Attention/ADHD Facts for Families : developed and distributed by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). (http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_who_cant_pay_attention/attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder)
  • Parenting a Child With Attention Deficit Disorder : a fact sheet developed by the CH.A.D.D. (http://www.chadd.org/fs/fs2.htm)

  • Parenting the ADD/ADHD Child

    : a collection of articles from About.com (http://www.add.about.com/health/add/msubprnt.htm)

Helpful online support forums for parents of ADHD children:

  • addparents: a mailing list for parents of children with ADHD. To subscribe, send the following email message to listserver@ourfriends.com : “subscribe addparents”.
  • our-kids: a mailing list for parents of children with special needs. To subscribe, send the following email message to listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu : “subscribe our-kids”.
  • ShadowSyndromeKids :a mailing list for parents of mildly affected children with ADD and other neurological disorders. To subscribe: go to
    Yahoo! Groups: ShadowSyndromeKids. ()

Teaching ADHD children

The effectiveness of managing ADHD at school to a large degree depends upon the knowledge and the persistence of the teacher. This section contains a selection of resources targeted specifically at teacher working with ADHD students.

Suggested books about teaching ADHD children:

  • Teaching the Tiger : A Handbook for Individuals Involved in the Education of Students With Attention Deficit Disorders, Tourette Syndrome or Obsessive-compulsive disorder ( Dornbush, M.P., Pruitt S.K., Hope Press, 1995 )
  • The ADD hyperactivity handbook for schools : effective strategies for identifying and teaching students with attention deficit disorders in elementary and secondary schools 2nd ed. (Parker, H.C., Specialty Press, 1996)

Additional books and articles can be found through the databases and Clearinghouses maintained by the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) (http://ericec.org/)

Selected online articles and collections of resources:

Helpful online forums :

  • sneteachtalk-l : Special Needs Education Network for teachers. To receive information about this list, send the following message to listproc@schoolnet.ca.: “info sneteachtalk-l”

Living with ADHD

Approximately one-half to two-thirds of children diagnosed with ADHD will grow up to be ADHD adults. The symptoms of this condition may create problems that impact their academic, professional, family and social activities. At the same time, many personality traits of persons with ADHD such as creativity, sensitivity and intuitiveness can become valuable assets in their lives if they are recognized and used properly. This section lists some of the resources that might be helpful for adults with ADHD in overcoming its negative sides and enjoying the positive.

Suggested printed resources about living with ADHD:

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults (Wender, P.H., Oxford University Press, 1998)
  • ADD in the workplace: Choices, changes, and challenges (Nadeau, K.G., Brunner/Mazel , 1997)
  • Adventures in fast forward : life, love, and work for the ADD adult (Nadeau, K.G., Brunner/Mazel, 1996)
  • ADD on the job : making your ADD work for you (Weiss L., Taylor Pub. Co., 1996)
  • Women with attention deficit disorder : embracing disorganization at home and in the workplace (Solden, S., Underwood Books, 1995)
  • Survival Guide for College Students with ADD or LD (Nadeau, K.G., Magination Press, 1994)
  • ADDitude (ADDitude magazine, 1999-) : consumer and lifestyle magazine for people with ADD. Subscription information and selected articles are available here: http://www.additudemag.com/
  • ADDvance (Advantage Books, 1997-): a magazine for women with Attention Deficit Disorder. Subscription information, selected articles and other resources are available here: http://www.addvance.com/
  • The K&W guide to colleges for students with learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders (Random House, 1991-)

Suggested online resources about living with ADHD:

Helpful online forums for adults living with ADHD:

  • ADDult : a mailing list devoted to discussing personal aspects of living with ADD as an adult, helping ADD adult family members of friends, or serving the needs of ADD adults in a professional capacity. To subscribe, send the following message to listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu: “subscribe ADDULT”
  • DSSHE-L : Disabled Student Services in Higher Education. To subscribe, send the following message to the listserv@listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu. : “subscribe DSSHE-L ”
  • ADD-MATE : a list for spouses and significant others of adults with ADD/ADHD. To subscribe, send the following message to listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu. : “subscribe ADD-MATE”.

This pathfinder was created by Helen V. Koustova