Treating Huckleberry Finn: A New Narrative Approach to Working with Kids Diagnosed ADD/ADHD

Treating Huckleberry Finn: A New Narrative Approach to Working with Kids Diagnosed ADD/ADHD

Treating Huckleberry Finn: A New Narrative Approach to Working with Kids Diagnosed ADD/ADHD

Treating Huckleberry Finn: A New Narrative Approach to Working with Kids Diagnosed ADD/ADHD

Synopsis

What would happen if Huckleberry Finn were in school today? Huck was a fidgety, restless, and ornery kid who would rather be exploring caves and smoking his pipe than sitting in a classroom learning the multiplication table. Today he would be labeled a troubled kid and diagnosed with a severe case of attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To calm him down, Huck would be sent to the school nurse for his regular dose of Ritalin.

Author David Nylund is one of a growing number of behavioral healthcare professionals who are convinced there is no scientific evidence that attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder actually exist. In Treating Huckleberry Finn, he presents a proven strategy for working with youngsters who, like Huck Finn, exhibit problematic behavior such as fidgeting, distractibility, hyperactivity, difficulty listening, paying attention, and following directions. This approach helps kids thrive by harnessing their innate abilities and talents.

Nylund's SMART approach--which gets results even with the most rambunctious, high- spirited, and unfoc

Excerpt

Maybe I have ADHD. When I read Huck Finn's words about school (“… it was deadly dull, and I was fidgety”), I was reminded of many dull hours I spent fidgeting at my desk. I always got “talks and disturbs others” checked on my report card. I got at least one “you're not living up to your potential; you should be working harder” speech from the principal each semester of grade school and high school. Fortunately, I finished all that long before what David Nylund calls the pandemic of ADHD swept through our nation.

Huck Finn and I go way back. I first made his acquaintance in the fourth grade. Being raised in hillbilly country, where people didn't talk like television announcers, I was filled with excitement to find a book with a central character who talked like my friends. Up to that point, I thought everybody in books talked like city folks. Finding Huck was incredibly freeing and inspiring—so much so that on my next one-page writing assignment in school, I wrote with my best approximation of Huck's spelling and grammar!

Imagine the effect it had on me when my teacher responded by hand-delivering the piece to my desk, where she then gave me a loud and long dressing down for being insubordinate and disrespectful. Up to that moment, I had been feeling happy. I was proud of what I had written and thought she would be, too. After all . . .

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