The Myth of the ADHD Child Revised Edition: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion

The Myth of the ADHD Child Revised Edition: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion

Of the almost 400 books we have written about, The Myth of the ADHD Child, Revised Edition: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., is the one book that has left me “sitting on the fence”. Why? As a teacher with thirty years in our French elementary classrooms and as a grandmother to a teen with ADD, I have seen first hand how helpful medications can be for students with ADHD. On the other hand, yes, probably many students could also be helped by the “101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion” as described in Thomas Armstrong’s book.

If you are the parents of a child diagnosed with ADD/ADHD you will surely benefit from reading this book. Many of the suggestions given are very helpful; however, if your child has been carefully evaluated by a specialist and has been prescribed medication and seems to be coping better do not stop this medication without long conversations with your doctor, spouse, and teachers. Do not feel guilty or think you are a bad parent because you are giving your child medication for his ADD/ADHD. Start incorporating in your child’s routine some of Dr. Armstrong’s tips and after a while discuss with his other caregivers and health care professionals what you should do to continue to support your child: will it be with or without medication(s).

While reading the book, I took notes to pass along immediately to my daughter so she could better help her daughter with ADD. The detailed Table of Contents makes it very easy to locate sections you want to reread or direct a friend to read if they do not have the time to read a book of over 350 pages.

Almost each chapter ends with a section titled “FOR FURTHER INFORMATION. Here readers will find links, contact information, names of resources, associations, speakers, etc. that parents will appreciate greatly.

Parents at their wits end because their child does not sleep well will love “STRATEGY #77 titled “Make Sure Your Child Gets Sufficient Sleep”. Dr. Armstrong has nine great suggestions for creating optimal sleeping conditions for your child or teen.

As you can see, The Myth of the ADHD Child is a wealth of information and parenting tips for ALL parents. My comments at the beginning were to make sure parents do not stop their child’s treatment by his specialists and try to care for their child by themselves trying to follow the suggestions in a book.

Dr. Armstrong, a psychologist and learning specialist, is an expert in his field and is a respected consultant to educational groups around the world. On the the American Institute for Learning and Human Development web site you can find sixteen other books by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.

What is being said about The Myth of the ADHD Child, Revised Edition

“Thomas Armstrong offers practical alternatives for parents who want to enable their ADHD-diagnosed children to tap the natural strengths of their atypical minds, manage stress, and express their creative intelligence without relying solely on medication. An inspiring guide to helping your kids live up to their fullest potential.” —Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

“Parents everywhere should read this book, not just those with kids diagnosed with ADHD. Thomas Armstrong presents a wealth of strategies, ideas, tips, and resources that will help parents nurture kids who feel good about themselves, who have skills for coping with life’s challenges, and who practice learning strategies that will help them succeed in the classroom and beyond.” —Jack Canfield, Coauthor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series and The Success Principles™

“At a time when ADHD and the medications used to treat it are growing by leaps and bounds, Thomas Armstrong asks parents to think critically about the ADHD diagnosis, to value the uniqueness of their children’s different rhythms of learning, attending, and behaving, and to appreciate and use the wide range of non-drug strategies that are out there to help their kids prosper in school and flourish in life.”
– Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, Building Moral Intelligence, and UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

The following is information I received about this book when I got my copy. It will help you figure out if it will be helpful for you.

ADHD has become the most common behavioral disorder in children in the U.S. with rates skyrocketing in recent years. In The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Spam without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion, award-winning author Dr. Thomas Armstrong examines what he believes is a dubious diagnosis with a problematic history. Originally released in 1996 as The Myth of the ADD Child, this expanded edition is essentially a completely new book, incorporating the latest research on ADHD, including the growing critical literature and research supporting new nondrug strategies to help inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive kids. Dr. Armstrong proposes 101 drug-free strategies to deal with our children’s behavior and attention span difficulties and help maximize their strengths, talents and abilities.

In The Myth of the ADHD Child, Dr. Armstrong discusses:

  • The overmedication issue: what do the studies show regarding the dangers of psychoactive medication use with children?
  • The school environment issue: there is a link between school accountability/school pressure to achieve and the rising rates of ADHD, as well as a correlation between being the youngest child in a class and the higher risk of being labeled ADHD, and consequently medicated;
  • The gender issue: what used to pass for normal boyhood behavior is now pathologized as ADHD, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, etc.
  • The late bloomer issue: rather than letting our kids grow at their own rate in a supportive and enriching environment, we’re medicating late bloomers for not immediately meeting milestones.

Frustrated at what’s being done to our children in the name of “science” and “medicine,” Dr. Thomas Armstrong urges parents to build a program around these holistic strategies and wean their kids off of high dose prescriptions. An important topic that deserves a closer look,

Dr. Thomas Armstrong is a strong objector to the extremely controversial ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Seeing haunting Orwellian echoes of medicating our kids to force them to pay attention to what we deem more important, Dr. Armstrong argues that kids may be inattentive, hyperactive, and/or impulsive – but that’s what kids SHOULD be. They might exhibit difficult behaviors for which busy, overtaxed parents wish a quick fix, but these behaviors should be countered with practical strategies that address them individually, not with drugs.

Dr. Armstrong also provides a helpful breakdown of these strategies categorized by type of approach (behavioral, cognitive, creative, ecological, biological, etc.) so be sure to check that out as well if you’re looking for targeted solutions based on things like dietary changes, alternative therapies, exercise techniques, and more.

This new release provides a compassionate, comprehensive, and strategic response to the tragic overmedication of America’s children. Armstrong, a pioneering expert on neurodiversity, asks parents to think critically about the ADHD diagnosis, supposed brain deficits, and the long-term effectiveness of drugs, and to value of the different rhythms of learning that children exhibit.

Excerpt from The Myth of the ADHD Child
Strategy #1 Page 95
Let Your Child Fidget (Ages 4-18)
“Stop wiggling!” “Keep your hands to yourself!” “Spit out that gum!” “Don’t fidget!” These are phrases frequently heard as harried teachers and parents supervise kids sitting at their desks doing schoolwork or slouching over kitchen tables doing homework.  Now comes new research suggesting that such behaviors as foot tapping, gum chewing, leg swigging, chair tilting, and finger rapping aren’t so bad after all.  Scientists divided children aged ten to seventeen into two groups, those who had been diagnosed with ADHD and those who were typically developing.  They fitted actometers to their ankles as a means of recording their leg movement (a good measure of fidgeting)… Results indicated that ADHD-identified kids performed better on the task when they were fidgeting…

Schools are beginning to recognize the benefits of fidgeting and are building it into the school day… teachers keep boxes of “fidget tools” available, including Silly Putty and Koosh balls…research suggests doodling can also aid in comprehension and focus and other small objects that your child can safely and quietly manipulate while he works. The key word here is quietly. Steer clear of objects that make clicking, tapping, or rattling sounds that could disturb others in the house…Allowing your child to fidget while he works creates a win-win situation: Your child is better able to focus and you have one less thing to stress about.

Therapy Shoppe:  (the reader finds the contact information of this store)

Thomas Armstrong, PHD, Author of The Myth of the ADHD Child, Revised Edition: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or CoercionABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., is the executive director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development, as well as a psychologist, learning specialist, and consultant to educational groups around the world. He has written for Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Parenting magazine, and is the author of sixteen books, including Awaken Your Child’s Natural Genius and The Myth of the ADD Child. He has appeared on several national and international television and radio programs, including NBC’s The Today Show, CBS This Morning, CNN, and the BBC. Learn more at

Buy The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Spam without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion 

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.