ADHD Introduction

Since our seven year old son was diagnosed with ADHD at the end of kindergarten, we’ve been gradually learning about this condition and how to help us all manage the challenges of ADHD.


The first thing that I would recommend to parents of kids with ADHD is to join the national organization CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD).  See the Membership info page for details about types of memberships and fees.  Try searching online for membership discounts as there are periodically discounts such as $10 off a first time membership.

The benefits of a membership in CHADD include support groups and educational programs from local chapters, and other educational programs such as the Parent to Parent training program.  My CHADD membership also included a free DVD and a subscription to Attention magazine.  See more below about discounts on the Parent to Parent training for CHADD members.

CHADD Parent to Parent Program

The Parent to Parent Program (P2P) is a 14 hour training program developed by CHADD to provide parents of children with ADHD with an introduction to ADHD and strategies for dealing with the challenges of ADHD.  The price for CHADD members is lower than non-members.

P2P is taught by volunteers through some local chapters, as well as online via  The two options for P2P online are:

Online Webinar – $149 for CHADD members; held at a scheduled date and time, and taught by a live instructor

On Demand Class – $199 for CHADD members; access to a pre-recorded, online version of the course at the registrant’s convenience within 3 months of the registration date.

The next Online Webinar date should be posted on the online class page, or you can contact CHADD through the web site to find out when the next one is scheduled.  I have not gotten a satisfactory explanation for the higher cost for the On Demand Class.  If the next Webinar date is farther in the future than you’d like to wait, try asking if they’ll give you the On Demand Class at the Webinar price.  It can’t hurt to ask.

I personally did the On Demand Class and found it very well done.  It provided a very thorough introduction to ADHD including much of the terminology and background information that I had slowly accumulated through reading books on ADHD and attending CHADD meetings for several months.  I also liked that while books on ADHD provide one author’s limited view and experience on ADHD and how to treat it; the CHADD P2P training presents the combined experience of many longtime CHADD members and professionals.  Though the training is 14 hours, I was able to do simple tasks while watching such as folding laundry which made it easier to fit the training into my schedule.  I was not able to bookmark my position in the video other than short pauses (long pauses resulted in losing my place in the video and it wasn’t easy to skip to the place where I left off)  so I found it good to have the flexibility of the On Demand Class which allowed me to watch when I had a convenient two hour block of time available.

The topics of the seven sessions are

Session 1 – Overview of ADHD
Session 2 – Assessment to Multimodal Treatment (medication and behavior therapy)
Session 3 – Managing the Impact(s) of ADHD on the Family
Session 4 – Developing Parenting Strategies and Positive Behavior Interventions (behavior charts and reward systems)
Session 5 – Educational Rights for Your Child with ADHD (504’s and IEPs)
Session 6 – Building an Education Team: Bridging the Gap Between Home and School
Session 7 – Resiliency, Teen Challenges & Future Success

I highly recommend doing the P2P training and joining CHADD to get the discount on the training fee.  In addition, you’ll be able to attend any local CHADD events for free or at a discount for the year of your membership.  (My local chapter doesn’t charge a fee for meetings, but has a suggested donation of $5 per meeting for non-members of CHADD.)

More ADHD Resources offers additional resources which are available to members and non-members alike, including their Tips and Resources page.

CHADD Intro Webinar 1 1/2 hour free introduction to ADHD

National Resource Center on ADHD – introduction, symptoms and diagnosis, educational rights, and strategies

ADHD Books

Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach by Vincent J. Monastra

Monastra presents a good introduction to ADHD and treatment in plain language.  He also covers some strategies for handling behavior challenges, checklists for goals, and some school interventions useful for 504 and IEP creation.


ADHD in HD: Brains Gone Wild by Jonathan Chesner

Chesner is a young man who has struggled with the challenges of ADHD himself.  He describes his own experiences and strategies for the benefit of both kids and parents.  An easy-to-read book with fun, mixed-media illustrations.



A.D.D. Not BAD by Audrey Penn

Jimmy Jumpingbean’s teacher tries some creative ideas to show the class how to better appreciate Jimmy’s differences resulting from ADHD.  After they literally walk in each others’ shoes and try to sit still with a ladybug in their shirt, they all have a much better understanding of Jimmy’s situation.

The author is a practicing psychiatrist who has a lot of experience working with ADHD patients.  My son and I really liked this book, and it gave us some good discussion starters.

All Dogs Have ADHD by  Kathy Hoopmann
A presentation of the characteristics of ADHD through fun photos of dogs.  A humorous introduction to ADHD for kids and parents.


I hope other parents find this information helpful!

What books and resources have helped you?

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