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Opinion & Essays - April, 1994 Issue #27 

by Glen Hunsecker
reviewed by: Linda Shaffer 

When a parent with an adolescent diagnosed with ADD put this book in my hand a year and a half ago and basically said -- please read this because it's our life, and finally I've found someone who writes about it like it really is; I READ THE BOOK RIGHT AWAY. If it's still on your to-be-read list, I'd recommend putting it nearer the top. 

What better recommendation could there be for reading a book than when a family says their son has been struggling for years and so has the family, and believe this book has more understanding and answers for us than all our years of counselors and seemingly endless searches for information in bookstores and library bookshelves. 

In its 6th printing, this book explains ADD, diagnosis, and treatment for both the professional and layman.

Hunsecker, with a Masters Degree in Psychology, explains a bit about how he became involved with this disorder. After collecting numerous research articles and seeing numerous patients, Hunsecker says he wrote this book so that professionals and parents could see how ADD needs to be treated by both physiological and psychological methods. 

Hunsecker boldly states that if every person who has ADD were treated at an early age, there would be substantial reduction in the following areas: (1) Reduction in crime rate (adult and juvenile); (2) Reduction in school dropout rate; and (3) Reduction in alcohol and other drug abuse. 

With all the research on ADD in the past twenty years, Hunsecker says he figures some readers will view his conclusions as panacea. But he says his research and seeing the dramatic changes in his clients makes him feel that his claims are warranted. 

The author also sticks his neck out saying that millions of our tax dollars are being wasted every year because ADD is being overlooked by public agencies. "MIS-treatment," he calls it. 

Hunsecker covers a lot of ground in this book. ADD, an inherited neurological problem. Physiological factors when removing food additives and refined sugars does not automatically cure ADD. A chemical imbalance that requires medication. And "psychologizing" too much in an effort to explain the behaviors of these children. 

The major point the author makes is that if a child has ADD there is absolutely no way that it can be caused by a psychological or social event. ADD is a hereditary physiological problem that can only successfully be treated through the use of medication. 

As Hunsecker discusses all the problem areas for a child with ADD, he relates his view on how it must be managed in a multi-faceted approach. And that if medication is left out, then the key element has been overlooked. 

There is a lengthy list of questions and answers in the book that usually come up within a family when trying to diagnose ADD and how to deal with it. Families can probably find some comfort in that they are not alone and that there are some answers out there. 

The book ends with case reports and finally one mom who states "I am so thankful to you (Glenn) for what you've done for our daughter and all the family. It's so great to know what was causing our daughter so much anguish and to be able to help her. The poor child has suffered.... I could see the pain in her face everyday. Now she has the most pleasant look of peace of mind on her face. Her self- esteem is coming back and she shares her feelings with me. She's happy - what more can I say than thank you and for the answer to a prayer." 

Copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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