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Out of the Woods
Beat Cop to Top Cop
In Passage Perilous
"I Hear America Singing"
The Last of His Mind
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Tangled Roots
My Journey at the Nuclear Brink
The Five-Ton Life
Big Bone Lick
Fatal Sunday

Attention Deficit DisorderAttention Deficit Disorder

The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults

Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D.

Selected for Association of American University Presses (AAUP) Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries

Winner of the Will Solimene Award for Excellence in Medical Communication from the New England Chapter of the American Medical Writers Association

Selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine

Narrated by Tim Lundeen

Available from Audible

Book published by Yale University Press

Myths about Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder(ADD/ADHD) abound. This disorder frequently goes unrecognized, and even when diagnosed may be inadequately treated. In this up-to-date and clearly written book, a leading expert offers a new way of understanding ADD. Drawing on recent findings in neuroscience and a rich variety of case histories from his own clinical practice, Dr. Thomas E. Brown describes what ADD syndrome is, how it can be recognized at different ages, and how it can best be treated.

This is the first book to address the perplexing question about ADD: how can individuals, some very bright, be chronically unable to “pay attention,” yet be able to focus very well on specific tasks that strongly interest them? Dr. Brown disputes the “willpower” explanation and explains how inherited malfunctions of the brain’s management system prevent some people from being able to deal adequately with challenging tasks of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. His book is an authoritative and practical guide for physicians and psychologists, parents and teachers, and the 7 to 9 percent of persons who suffer from ADD/ADHD.

Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D. , is assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, and associate director of the Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders. He is author of the Brown Attention Deficit Disorder Scales for Children, Adolescents, and Adults and editor of a textbook, Attention Deficit Disorders and Comorbidities in Children, Adolescents, and Adults.


“Although many write of executive functions in rather general terms ... Brown provides a very clear structure for defining and understanding this complex set of brain functions that are often impaired in those with ADHD.... Although there has been a growing consensus that current diagnostic criteria are more appropriate for children than for adults, Brown is one of the first to clearly outline developmental differences in ADHD symptoms.... Brown's book ... proceeds to challenge nearly every current DSM-IV diagnostic criterion for ADHD.... Here's hoping that the DSM-V committee pays close attention to Brown's reformulation of ADHD.”

Journal of Attention Disorders

“An excellent account.... He delineates clearly how the syndrome evolved into a psychiatric disorder.... His explanation of how research in neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychology links to ADD is extremely interesting.... This book should be in all health care providers’ libraries. Highly recommended. ”


“Brown's book is thorough and compassionate. Consider it essential reading if you are concerned about a child or an adult who may be struggling with this syndrome.”

Baltimore Sun

“Brown’s view [that AD/HD ‘occurs along a continuum of severity’] rings true to many mental-health professionals. It certainly does to me. And I’m sure it will ring true to parents who have been told that their child’s ‘significant symptoms of AD/HD’ don’t quite meet the official criteria for a diagnosis of AD/HD.... Thanks to the clinical vignettes that complement Brown’s explanations, this intelligent book does a better job of explaining AD/HD than any book in recent memory. It’s a must-read for anyone with an interest in AD/HD, whether of a personal or professional nature.”

ADDitude Magazine

“This book is a valuable resource for people who struggle with attention and concentration, as it not only describes ADD and ADHD but also offers suggestions for getting help.”

Science News

“In accessible terms, Brown explains the neurobiolgoy that underlies ADHD and describes the scientific research in both neuropsychology and neuroradiology that contributes to our present understanding of ADHD.... I would ask the families, young people, medical residents, and students with whom I work in my clinic to read this book. I would likewise invite teachers, social workers, and others who want to learn more about this condition to read it. Those who work with people with ADHD will hear about the nature of the disorder in the true voices of patients themselves—and about the potentially severe consequences assoiciated with the mismanagement of the condition. ”

—Marsha D. Rappley, New England Journal of Medicine

“This is an excellent book.... It is current, thorough, comprehensive and highly informative. It can be read not only by professionals with an interest in the area, but also by lay individuals with sufficient sophistication to read such a book with advantage. It is written in a straightforward style with little omission. This could be used as a companion or supplemental text in an advanced undergraduate or graduate course in psychopathology. Any course focusing on ADD would want to add this book to its reading list.... Any reader of this Journal who sees children or adolescents with ADD or ADHD will want to own or borrow it. The price ... is remarkably reasonable, making this book easy to acquire.”

—Howard A. Paul, Child and Family Behavior Therapy

Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults is a resource that provides a fresh perspective on understanding ADHD. Brown's discussions of his views regarding cognition and executive function in ADHD, along with his recommendations pertaining to adult ADHD criteria, set the stage for not only a better understanding of the disorder but for future work as well.”

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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