In his book, The New ADHD Medication Rules: Brain Science and Common Sense, Dr. Charles Parker contends that ADHD is more than just about the behaviors being displayed in daily life that need to be assessed before starting medication. He helps you understand how medication interacts with the behaviors manifested, your body’s processing impact on medication and “what” exactly you should be be paying attention to while taking the medication. Here were the big ideas I got from this book.
Moving Beyond Appearances
In Dr. Parker’s book you learn that many ADHD symptoms can manifest in ways that do not fall into the categories of hyperactivity, inattention, and combined type subsets that are currently used in diagnosing. This can make prescribing medication almost like “guess work” which is not what you want to do with medication that affect the brain. Dr. Parker believes that many kinds of information is needed to be understood before jumping into medication mode. A full understanding of the individual needs to be assessed such as depression and the “degree of behaviors” (impulsiveness, avoidance behavior, over thinking) in prescribing adequate ADHD medications and dosages. His description of ADHD behaviors and their degree found are not listed in the DMV-4 but effect ADHD include descriptions of these three areas.
- Acting Without Thinking ADHD
- Thinking without Acting ADHD
- Avoiding ADHD
The Body /Brain Connection Can’t Be Ignored
According to Dr. Parker each person is unique and a cookie cutter approach cannot be used when prescribing medications, which is currently the standard practice for ADHD. He has found that the imprecise language used to diagnose ADHD is getting in the way of medication prescription and can have some very dangerous effects if not properly understood. His experience has focused on not only the brain interaction with medicine, but also how the “gut” metabolizes medication that either fosters brain function or impedes it. Several fascinating case studies are shared demonstrating the importance of the body/brain interaction. Including his approach to “burn rate” and it affects the delivery system of the brain and how this key understanding is related to making choices in dosage and medication.
Common Diagnosis Mistakes Often Made with ADHD and Medication
He includes an entire section of commonly confused co-morbid disorders that are often treat in tandem with ADHD and shares his experience in teasing the various factors apart from the disorders and how the medications commonly prescribed can interfere with overall treatment. These areas described include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
How Do you Know You Have “IT” Right and Other Common Sense Advice
You are the one in the driving seat when it comes to your medication! Dr. Parker is very good at explaining how to work with your medical team to get to the best starting place for you and your body when it comes to medication. Because you are an informed consumer after reading this book, you should have a much larger part in the conversation about which medication would work for you. He is quite clear that you are the one responsible for your care by being armed with the knowledge of burn rate, understanding the therapeutic window (top, bottom and sides), and common sense eating and sleeping habits. By being an informed team member, you are guaranteeing a more accurate and predictive ADHD medication experience.
So take charge of your ADHD treatment, conduct yourself as an actual member on your medical team, and make an informed decision about your treatment. But don’t take my word about the helpfulness of this book, click the link to get your own copy.
DeShawn Wert, B.S., M.Ed. and ADD Coach
With over 25 years in education as an instructor and administrator, I KNOW all students can be successful given the proper time and supports! My message to parents is, “you are not to blame and your child is NOT broken!” I work with students aged 8-24 and working adults experiencing transition in work or personal life. I speak, provide workshops, and train individuals on ADD specific topics on home, school and work.
To start finding your own ADD Answers and get moving forward, sign up for DeShawn’s FREE ADD Answers Action Plan which walks you through the process of targeting and addressing an area getting in your way at: http://www.youraddanswers.com/services/