Today I want to tell you of about an easy-to-use workbook written by Kerin Bellak-Adams entitled AD/HD Success! Solutions for Boosting Self-Esteem: The Diary Method for Ages 7-17. Who is it for? What is it for? Ms. Bellak-Adams is a highly respected expert in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and an authority on building self-esteem in children and adults. She has penned a practical workbook for children aged 7 to 17. Parents, teachers, classroom aids, counselors, and school psychologists are using Bellak-Adams’ proven techniques for boosting self-esteem with children and adolescents with an AD/HD diagnosis. Ms. Bellak-Adams’ book inspires caregivers to help children under their care to make positive changes in their daily lives at school, home, and in the community.
Boosting Self-Esteem and Gifts of AD/HD
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is characterized by behavioural challenges regarding everyday functions such as focus, organization, impulse control, awareness of time, anxiety regulation, and social skills. In the Overview entitled All About ADD and ADHD, it continues to say,”…all forms of ADD share common denominators. Each affects a person’s lack of motivation in areas of study…People with ADD are prone to losing items, short-term memory issues, delayed and/or prolonged stages of emotional growth, difficulty in following nonverbal and social cues, and limitations in verbal processing. All these leaning issues often make life more complicated and drastically impede the development of self-esteem.”
In Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), hyperactivity is involved meaning there is fidgeting of the hands, a constant need for movement, impulsivity (physical and verbal), and physical and mental restlessness. The person with ADHD feels he is different and acts differently; therefore, his self-esteem suffers too.
Another reason youth with ADD ADHD need a boost to their self-esteem, Ms. Bellak-Adams writes, is that as youth grow they are under increasing pressure to learn more, to learn faster, and to keep up with ever-increasing competition. This pressure is felt more deeply when there is ADHD involved and self-esteem has even a lesser chance to flourish.
How can the adults in a youth’s life help develop his self-esteem?
The author believes these children must receive positive reinforcements. Their self-esteem has to be boosted starting as early as first grade through the recognition of accomplishments. Every child has to recognize they have strengths and have something special to offer. They have to have the chance to do positive activities with positive people. By boosting a child’s self-esteem, they are motivated to develop their self-interests and recognize their unique strengths.
…they may possess tremendous intelligence, resourcefulness, mathematical capabilities, wonderful personalities of empathy and humor, and the ability to achieve a great many accomplishments that supersede those of the average individual..
Kerin Bellak-Adams, AD/HD expert
How does Kerin Bellak-Adams’s workbook help youth with their self-esteem?
The above paragraphs explained WHY these children have low self-esteem, therefore this workbook helps children, tweens, and teens develop new behaviors that will allow them to feel good about themselves when facing problems and anxieties. They will learn coping strategies to feel more in control and will learn how to help themselves feel the best that they can so they can develop their full potential.
In addition to the limitations that AD/HD imposes, these individuals must be made aware that they also may have gifts as explained in the Overview, “…they may possess tremendous intelligence, resourcefulness, mathematical capabilities, wonderful personalities of empathy and humor, and the ability to achieve a great many accomplishments that supersede those of the average individual.”
Youth must know together you will work to make the most of these gifts.
Readers are reminded to make copies of all the supporting exercises, Diary Pages and worksheets because these will be used more than once to compare progress, for reinforcement or for maintenance. For the users’ convenience, PDF files of the reproducible pages are also available on their web site. Read about the reproducible pages here.
Now you can purchase individual pages from AD/HD Success! Solutions for Boosting Self-Esteem: The Diary Method for Ages 7-17 on the author’s web site here. Simply click on the button next to the page you would like to download. All files are in PDF format. If you do not have a PDF reader, you can download a free one by a link on their page.
The workbook is in four sections:
Section One: Getting Started where readers learn how to use the workbook with notes to parents and teachers and a customized Home/School Accountability Form. This form, designed for parents and teachers, improves daily communication and is very useful to refer to during Parent/Teacher conferences.
Section Two: The Diary Pages with a note for kids and teens and an explanation of the Feelings Rating Log. Before a youngster begins the Diary Pages they are asked to circle the answer that best describes how they feel or think about themselves on the questionnaire entitled How High Is My Self-Esteen? At the end of the year this will be done again to see if they have changed. Then follows over 50 reproducible Diary Pages divided for 5 age groups. You are instructed to only choose the pages that deal with the goals that the adult and youth feel must be strived for. You repeat these pages as often as necessary until you see a consistent change and adult and youth is satisfied with the results.
Example of a Diary Page for a Child Ages 7-8
Check off any of these things that you did today!
— I shared the computer or television with my brother/sister or classmate.
—I came in for dinner as soon as I was told.
—I waited to say something to my parent until he/she was OFF the phone.
Today was a good day because:
Feelings Rating ____
<1….Not Good…3….OK….5… Good…7…..Great!….10>
See how user friendly these Diary Pages are? They are age-appropriate, can be done in a no time accommodating kids with a short attention span, and they measure concrete, useful goals that have a yes or no answer to prevent haggling. The author always finishes the page with a prompt to write about positive events or accomplishments during their day.
Section Three: For The Parents includes forms for a Parent Self-Evaluation, Parent Self-Talk Coping Strategies, and If Your Kids Could Say What Is Really on Their Minds to help your child/teen to verbalize his/her thought.
Section Four: The Success Stories where you see other students’ stories, the stories of famous people with AD/HD, and an invitation to share your success story.
Features I Like Best
- When using and sharing this workbook it opens communication channels with all parties involved: child/parent/teacher/therapist.
- You can pick and choose what you want to work on and customize your program.
- It is a unique, practical, and time efficient motivational tool to foster life skills these children sorely need.
- The topics covered are relative to a youth’s life and the Diary Pages are designed to be reused until the goal is reached.
- Readers will enjoy the encouraging phrases or quotes. I like this one,”In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby
- It does have an index, however it is only two pages long and most words listed are only to find the author of a quote. To make it easier to find a topic, it would be handy to have a more detailed index.
- As the idea is to make multiple copies of the workbook pages, it would be better and more convenient if the book was spiral-bound so the pages could lie flat. Like I already mentioned, however, PDF files of the reproducible pages are also available on their web site.
Yes, I recommend AD/HD Success! Solutions for Boosting Self-Esteem: The Diary Method for Ages 7-17 by Kerin Bellak-Adams. By working one day at a time on developing inner values and goals, these youngsters, inspite of their AD/HD or because of the unique gifts of it, will be much better off to face adulthood.
Information is from the author’s website, Reach Beyond ADD,
Kerin Bellak-Adams, B.A., ACC
ICF – Certified Coach,Consulant, Specializing in ADD/ADHD
APA (American Psychoanalytic Association)
C.H.A.D.D. of Bergen County – Executive Board Member
Ms. Bellak-Adams is a highly respected expert in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She is an internationally published author, certified coach through the prestigious International Coaching Federation and works closely with the mental health community here and abroad as a consultant.
Kerin is President of CPS Publishing, LLC, a distributor of personality assessment tests and textbooks, created by Dr. Leopold Bellak, and CEO of Reach Beyond ADD. She is also a graduate of Hofstra University, American Coaching Association, and Fast Track Coaching.