Friday, April 10, 2020

ADHD/2e Book and Podcast Recommendations


Please note that I have provided links primarily to the paperback copies of these books.  However, many are also available in eBook or audiobook for a quicker download and are usually a less expensive option.  


12 Principles for Raising a Child with ADHD, Dr. Russell Barkley : Dr. Barkley presents 12 key parenting principles that address the most common problems that ADHD poses, such as family conflicts, difficult behaviour, school problems, out-of-control emotions, and parental stress. 
Taking Charge of ADHD, Dr. Russel Barkley : This is a fantastic book for parents and caregivers, I highly recommend it.  You can learn more about Dr. Barkley at

Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (Fourth Edition, Dr. Barkley) : This is an expensive textbook and a very heavy read.  I highly recommend reading Taking Charge of ADHD first and then deciding if you wish to deepen your knowledge on an academic level.  

ADHD and the Nature of Self-Control, Dr. Barkley : currently unavailable online, this book is less cumbersome than the textbook above, but also a fairly heavy read.  

Getting Ahead of ADHD, Dr. Joel Nigg : This book discusses and differentiates between unsupported, even dangerous, approaches to "treating" ADHD versus the benefits of healthy nutrition, exercise, and sleep.  ADHD cannot be cured and there is no magic bullet, but there are very safe and effective medications, in addition to lifestyle changes, that can help one manage the symptoms and take advantage of the positives of being neurodivergent.  Dr. Joel Nigg also has a blog.

A New Understanding of ADHD, Thomas Brown : This book has gone up in price and is quite expensive for a small book.  That said, it is FULL of incredibly helpful, useful, and evidence-based information.  I highly recommend it if it is in your budget. 

I Can Learn When I'm Moving, by Nicole Biscotti : This book is written by Nicole Biscotti, who is both a teacher and the parent of a 2e child (gifted with ADHD).  It is a fantastic read for teachers who want to better support their classroom of both neurotypical and neurodiverse learners, as well as for parents who are trying to work with their child's school to better support their neurodiverse child.  

Emotional Regulation & Behaviour

Living with Intensity, Daniels & Piechowski : This book is geared towards parents and loved ones of gifted individuals (those whose IQ is in the 98th or 99th+ percentile).  If you have a gifted or 2e child (or anyone in your life), this book is fantastic, it discusses a modern take on Dabrowski's overexcitabilities.  You can also click here learn more about the upsides to overexcitability.

Beyond Behaviours, by Mona Delahooke, PhD : Another amazing book for looking beyond the surface behaviours in children and understanding the developmental physiology and biology that drives behaviour.  

Self-Reg by Dr. Stuart Shanker : A great book about first learning to regulate your own emotions in order to role model and teach your children to regulate their own.  

Education and School

Connections over Compliance, by Lori L Desautels : This book is aimed at school administrators and school staff, but is also an important read for parents, especially parents whose children have challenges in the school environment.  This book can provide parents tools for advocating for their differently wired children in the school system, and has invaluable advice for any adult working with children.  A key take-away is that focusing on relationship-building first and foremost is a necessity when helping children and teens work through big feelings and difficult situations. 

Managing ADHD in School, Dr. Russel Barkley : This book is also primarily geared towards teachers, but is also very helpful for parents to read so they can work collaboratively with their child's school. 

Lost at School, Dr. Ross Greene : A compassionate, child-centred approach to supporting children who are struggling at school.  This book focuses on children who exhibit challenging behaviours in the school environment, it is aimed at teachers, but is also very helpful for parents to read so they can work collaboratively with their school from a perspective of "children do well when they can".  Please visit to learn more about Dr. Ross Greene and his collaborative, proactive approach and philosophy.  

Nowhere to Hide, Jerome Schultz : Although the title is a bit dramatic, this book is incredibly compassionate and also evidence-based.  It explained, from a scientific and also empathic viewpoint, why children with ADHD and learning disabilities may be so resistant and stressed (or, as some like to call it, "defiant") at school.

Relationship-Based Education, Dr. Josette Luvmour : This book outlines key components of Relationship-based Education that are essential for every teacher and parent to engage when teaching children.  Take home message: children and students can't learn until they feel safe and have a relationship with their educator (and an educator can be a teacher, parent, coach, etc.).  

Wounded by School, Kirsten Olson : This book may be difficult to read because we may see ourselves and our children in so many of the stories shared.  Wounded by School talks about how our traditional school system can be harmful for those children who do not fit within their box of what an ideal student should be.  Thankfully this book also talks about ways in which we can heal from school trauma and ways we can use our past difficulties to motivate us to push for change.  


The Explosive Child, Dr. Ross Greene : The Explosive Child is a highly practical, step-by-step guide for using Dr. Green's Collaborative and Proactive Solutions model to manage difficult behaviours at home and support parents and children to solve problems together rather than feeling like they are working against each other.  I highly recommend this as one of the first parenting books anyone with an easily frustrated child should read.

Unconditional Parenting, Alfie Kohn : This book takes a highly compassionate, supportive, and loving approach to parenting and to ensuring our children feel loved no matter what.  When some factions of society (including a lot of educators and administrators) are telling us that children need "consequences" (i.e. adult-imposed punishment) for making mistakes, Alfie Kohn allows us to appreciate and remember that we all make mistakes and that this an integral part of learning.  If we are afraid to err, then we are afraid to try.  Alfie Kohn teaches us that discipline is part of the problem, not the solution.  If we are afraid to make mistakes for fear of punishment, then we will be less likely to reach our full potential.  Click here to learn more about Alfie Kohn's theories.  If you only have room on your bookshelf (or in your brain) for two books, I would recommend Dr. Ross Greene and Alfie Kohn.  Alfie Kohn also has a blog that is well worth following.

Punished by Rewards, also by Alfie Kohn : Alfie Kohn explains how both rewards and punishments are ways of manipulating behaviour that destroy the potential for real learning.  Kohn advocates providing a caring atmosphere “so kids can act on their natural desire to find out.”  His website also has a blog post on this topic based on an interview with Ron Brandt.  

Parenting Without Power Struggles, Susan Stiffelman : Yes, this!  Susan Stiffelman's book focuses on seeing our children's resistance, not as defiance, but as behaviour that is communicating something important.  Stiffelman encourages adults not to take behaviour personally, but to understand why the behaviour makes sense, and what purpose it serves.  When we seek to understand what the child is trying to achieve through their behaviour, rather than punishing their surface actions or engaging in power struggles, we become a team working together rather than working against each other trying to "win" a battle.  Visit Susan Stiffelman's website to learn more.

What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew, Dr. Saline : Another compassionately written book filled with practical advice that is easy to read for busy parents.  

The Whole-Brain Child, Siegel & Bryson : This book is similar to the "Beyond Behaviours" book by Mona Delahooke.  I recommend purchasing one or the other to begin with and then deciding if you wish to purchase the other.  They are science-based and slightly heavier reads, but incredibly informative and important for understanding the underlying physiology and psychology of behaviour.  

Raising Human Beings, Dr. Ross Greene : If you haven't read any of Ross Greene's books yet, I highly recommend beginning with The Explosive Child first.  Many of his books follow a very similar approach and then each help adults apply his collaborative and proactive solutions model in different environments.  Raising Human Beings is a more general parenting book, where as The Explosive Child is a highly practical, step-by-step guide for managing difficult behaviours at home.  

Mindful Parenting for ADHD, Dr. Bertin : Written by a pediatrician and based in mindfulness techniques, this book aims to help parents and their children with ADHD to keep calm, flexible, and in control.  

Your Defiant Child, Barkley & Benton : I recommend reading this book after reading Dr. Greene's CPS model.  Dr. Barkley is a leading and world-renowned expert on ADHD, however his approach is somewhat in conflict with Dr. Greene's model and I recommend adapting a CPS model first and then using Barkley's evidence-based information to help inform your parenting.  I got this book in paperback format, but at time of writing it is only available in hardcover, audiobook, or eBook formats.  I don't recommend spending $50, but well worth the read or listen at around $15-$25.  While I do not agree with the use of the word "defiant" because of its negative connotations, Dr. Barkley's work is always worth reading.  

Raising a Secure Child by Hoffman, Cooper and Powell : This book is based on the Circle of Security philosophy, which is based on John Bowlby's theory of attachment.  Click here to read more about attachment theories.  This book is primarily geared to parents of younger children, but attachment theory is relevant to people of all ages.  After reading it, I actually wished they had "marketed" it to kids of all ages.  I truly found it relevant to babies, toddlers, and elementary school aged children, all the way from newborn to 12 years.  

The Power of Showing Up by Daniel Diegel and Tina Bryson : Shortly after I wished the book above (Raising a Secure Child) had been geared toward a wider age range, I picked up The Power of Showing Up by Siegel & Bryson, and my wish was granted!  The Power of Showing Up does briefly mention the Circle of Security, but builds far beyond that and is applicable to all relationships in life, but particularly to the parent-child relationship and is geared toward parents and people of all ages.  It would also be incredibly helpful for teachers and anyone who cares for children, to help understand why they may respond to their and others' emotions the way they do.  
A trigger warning: much of the early parts of the book (particularly the second chapter) encourage parents and readers to take a deep-dive into their own attachment history in order to better understand their own response to children's needs.  This can be a difficult journey for anyone who had a traumatic or difficult childhood, so one may wish to seek support prior to, or while going through, this process.  

Parenting with Presence, Susan Stiffelman : The author of Parenting Without Power Struggles also wrote a book called Parenting With Presence.  Susan also has a blog.

Grow Together, Dr. Josette Luvmour : This book focuses on the parent-child bond and meeting your child where they are.  Dr. Luvmour reviews child development theories and encourages parents to set realistic expectations and boundaries for their children, with strengthening their relationship as the primary focus.  

Effective Boundaries with Children, Dr. Josette Luvmour It's a fantastic book that provides strategies for setting boundaries in a loving way based on children's developmental stages.  At the time of writing, it's available as a FREE eBook with a Kindle Unlimited account through Amazon Canada.  

Giftedness/Twice Exceptionality 

Different Minds, Deirdre Lovecky : This is an incredible resource for parents of 2e (twice exceptional) children.  It is another more science-heavy, in-depth read, but in my opinion well worth the expense and effort.  

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back? by Jen Merrill : This book is a must-read for parents of twice-exceptional children.  It is an honest and hilarious account of a family's journey from diagnosis to public school to homeschool and so much more.  It is informative and entertaining, but more importantly, it's an act of solidarity for all the other 2e parents out there.  The writing is real and open, which allows 2e parents to breathe a sight of relief as we feel truly seen and understood in a society that rarely understands.  

Jen Merrill also has a blog called "Laughing at Chaos" and she writes for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (GFF), a supportive community for gifted learners and their families.  

Twice Exceptional, Barry Kaufman : This book is aimed at educators of 2e students, but again it's never a bad idea for parents to read these as well.  Being informed parents makes us better advocates for ourselves and our children.  

Smart but Scattered, Dawson & Guare : This book is aimed at parents of school-aged children who are quite bright, but are not doing well at school due to executive functioning difficulties.  In the school environment this commonly presents as forgetting to bring work home, forgetting to had in assignments, disorganized desk, backpack, locker, or binders.  Executive functioning is not only about organization and memory, it also includes emotional regulation and regulating one's attention.  

The Gifted Kids Workbook, Heather Boorman : Some people may think that having a gifted child is... well, a gift.  It is, yes, but it is not all success and overachieving.  In fact, many gifted children underachieve, struggle with social skills and emotional regulation (BIG feelings), and self-esteem due to being so different from their peers.  If you've read autobiographies by profoundly gifted people, many of them had a great deal of turmoil and struggle in their lives, and gifted kids are no different.  The Gifted Kids Workbook is a Mindfulness book that seeks to help gifted children recognize their strengths and the positive aspects of their uniqueness, rather than focusing on the ways in which they don't "fit in".

Boost: Perspectives in Giftedness, Kelly Hirt : This book is aimed at teachers and homeschooling parents of twice exceptional students, but as always, it is beneficial for all parents to be well-informed advocates and support people for their children.  Kelly Hirt encourages educators to create a safe and supportive environment where twice exceptional learners are "boosted" (or lifted up) in a system that so often seems to to push them down.  Kelly also has a blog called "My Twice Baked Potato" in which she describes her life with her own 2e son.  

Differently Wired, Deborah Reber : Differently Wired is a memoir of Deborah Reber's experience with her own twice exceptional son.  She unabashedly and bravely describes in great detail all the challenges and successes they have experienced in their lives thus far in the hopes to help other parents going through similar experiences.  Debroah's philosophy is to let our children guide their learning and their lives, to honour and celebrate their individuality rather than trying to force them to conform to the mainstream system.  If you enter your name and email address on the Tilt Parenting website, you can receive a copy of the first chapter by email.  

The Self-Driven Child, by William Stixrud, PhD and Ned Johnson : Stixrud and Johnson want us to empower our children to make their own decisions with our loving support.  To learn more about the authors and their book, visit their website at  


One of my favourite Podcasts is Tilt Parenting by Debrorah Reber.  Each episode she interviews an expert on a different topic related to parenting, neurodiversity, school, and childhood struggles.  Something that I love about her Podcast website is that you can sort the episodes by topic, so you can easily search for the episodes relevant to you, your family, and/or your interests. 

Dr. Ross Greene has a podcast as well.  This is a call-in style podcast where parents call with challenges they are facing and Dr. Greene and his co-host help them work through it in a CPS style.

A podcast geared specifically towards neurodivergent and 2e ("twice exceptional") folks is Mind Matters.  Neurodivergence is any brain outside of the "norm" (typically developing), this can be giftedness, ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, any way in which our brains diverge from the mainstream.  

Susan Stiffelman, author of Parenting Without Power Struggles, also has a podcast of the same name.  Susan Stiffelman usually speaks with an expert guest on a variety of topics related to parenting, family life, and neurodiversity.  

In It: Raising Kids Who Learn and Think Differently : From the creators of, host Amanda Morin talks with families of kids who struggle with reading, math, focus, and they also speak with experts who offer support and practical advice.

Books & Videos for Children & Youth 

The Monster Diary Series:  Includes books about emotional regulation and mindfulness, anxiety, ADHD, social skills, and screen time, in a "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" style.  They're a short read, good for independent readers at about a grade 2 reading level, or for a parent to read to their child.  

Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD:  It says it's appropriate for grade levels 3-7.  Depending on the child's reading abilities and maturity, it's probably more suitable for grade levels 3-6.  In kid-friendly language and a format that welcomes reluctant readers, this book helps kids know they’re not alone. 

My Brain Needs Glasses:  This book is written from the perspective of an 8 year old boy, so it is geared toward second and third-graders.  Our son read it in first grade and still found it relatable, it is likely suitable for readers at 2nd-4th grade levels, or to be read with an adult for first-grade level readers.  

Bryan Smith has a great series of kid's books on various types of Executive Functioning challenges that are also geared toward grade 2-3 level readers, but would be suitable for grades 1-4 level readers, with some help for the first graders.
All Dogs Have ADHD:  This is definitely a cute book geared toward younger readers, or those who prefer books with big (adorable) pictures and fewer words.  Great for dog-loving children.  A note: this book does not use person-first language.  Some neurodiverse people prefer identity-first language and believe that person-first language is ableist.  Alternatively, some find identity-first language offensive, as we are people with a difference, but this difference is not our only characteristic.  It's a part of who we are, but not all of who we are, and some people do not want to be defined by their diagnosis.   Regardless of one's opinion, the person with the disability is the one who gets to decide for themselves which they prefer.  

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