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Treating Huckleberry Finn. A New Narrative Approach to Working With Kids Diagnosed ADD/ADHD

  • ID: 2210957
  • Book
  • July 2002
  • 256 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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What would happen if Huckleberry Finn were in school today? Huck was a fidgety, restless, and ornery kid who would rather be exploring caves and smoking his pipe than sitting in a classroom learning the multiplication table. Today he would be labeled a troubled kid and diagnosed with a severe case of attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To calm him down, Huck would be sent to the school nurse for his regular dose of Ritalin.

Author David Nylund is one of a growing number of behavioral healthcare professionals who are convinced there is no scientific evidence that attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder actually exist. In Treating Huckleberry Finn, he presents a proven strategy for working with youngsters who, like Huck Finn, exhibit problematic behavior such as fidgeting, distractibility, hyperactivity, difficulty listening, paying attention, and following directions. This approach helps kids thrive by harnessing their innate abilities and talents.

Nylund′s SMART approach which gets results even with the most rambunctious, high– spirited, and unfocused children consists of five basic steps: Step One: Separating the problem of ADHD from the child; Step Two: Mapping the influence of ADHD on the child and family; Step Three: Attending to exceptions to the ADHD story; Step Four: Reclaiming special abilities of children diagnosed with ADHD; and Step Five: Telling and celebrating the new story.

In addition to debunking the myths surrounding ADD and ADHD and outlining a strategy that is results oriented, Treating Huckleberry Finn offers behavioral healthcare professionals, teachers, and parents:

  • Assessment tools that highlight a child′s strengths rather than deficits
  • Creative teaching methods for engaging children with learning problems
  • Strategies to empower children diagnosed with ADHD

This uplifting book is a practical resource for professionals, parents, and teachers who must safeguard the well–being of our vital, courageous, imaginative, and spirited Huckleberry Finns.

A new drug–free strategy for treating playful, adventuresome, restless, and rebellious kids

Treating Huckleberry Finn offers a drug–free alternative to treating rambunctious children. Author David Nylund′s SMART approach is a five–step strategy to understanding, nourishing, and learning to control the millions of youngsters who have been unfairly branded with the diagnoses of attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

"David Nylund asks the interesting philosophical question, ′If Huckleberry Finn was on Ritalin would he have tried to help the runaway slave Jim escape?′ Treating Huckleberry Finn should be read by both professionals and families looking for an effective alternative to medication–only treatment for ADHD."
Lawrence H. Diller, M.D., author, Running on Ritalin

"If you believe that Ritalin and behavior therapy are the only hope for kids diagnosed with ADHD, then read this book and feel challenged. If you are one of those professionals concerned about the biological fundamentalism currently gripping the field, then read this book and feel confirmed."
Scott D. Miller, cofounder, Institute for the Study of Therapeutic Change

"A much–needed corrective to the one–sided medical model treatment. This is the only book that actually seems to care enough to ask children what they think about being labeled ADD or ADHD and medicated on Ritalin or other drugs. I applaud David Nylund′s positive approach and his practical strategies for helping parents, educators, and mental health practitioners relate to children with troubling behaviors in a way that fully preserves their integrity as whole human beings."
Thomas Armstrong, author, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child and ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom

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Foreword ix

Preface xiii

Part 1 The Critique

1. Introduction: Huck Finn Meets Dr. Chad Geigy 3

2. Weird Science: Debunking the ADHD Diagnosis 13

Part 2 The Solution

3. The SMART Approach: An Overview 43

4. Step One: Separating the Problem of ADHD from the Child 69

5. Step Two: Mapping the Influence of ADHD on the Child and Family 87

6. Step Three: Attending to Exceptions to the ADHD Story 107

7. Step Four: Reclaiming Special Abilities of Children Diagnosed with ADHD 129

8. Step Five: Telling and Celebrating the New Story 153

9. Putting It All Together: SMART Therapy from Beginning to End 175

10. Huck at School: SMART Strategies in the Classroom 185

11. Huck Gets Smart: A Conversation Between Huck and David 209

Reading List 221

References 223

Index 228

The Author 234

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David Nylund
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