Fast Minds by Surman and Bilkey is a very useful book for those who have ADHD, or think they might.
This is a book you will read and give away! Not because it is not worth reading but because it is! We all know someone with a fast mind, someone who would benefit from a book written by people who understand what having a fast mind is like, and, more importantly, how to manage life with one. You will love this book if you have a fast mind, and if you do not have a fast mind you will know someone who will.
Fast Minds describes just what life is like, the things that can go wrong, and just how to change what you do to have life work much better, if you have a fast mind. It describes many stories of how badly things can go wrong for people who may have many talents but who mismanage one aspect of their lives and it spoils their plans. It is written for adults who have, or suspect they have, ADHD, and it is reassuring for people to read about how it feels for others. This is especially so when adults may have put up with having a ‘fast mind’ yet may not have had a diagnosis of ADHD. For those who have had a diagnosis it is still very useful as it shows that ADHD problems persist into adult hood and that trying to do all that is advised in childhood does not make ADHD go away. Many of the people described are doing fairly well in their jobs and personal life so are understandably frustrated when they do something that may spoil their plans.
This is a book that acknowledges that having a fast mind is there for life, but gives hope that it can be well managed. It is a very good idea to have it handy to read a little at a time. Perhaps if you have a fast mind you will give the book away to someone for a while and then enjoy getting it back! The ideas about living are many and varied and help make the reader review what is important in their lives and how to have personalised strategies to achieve much wanted goals. You as a reader can enjoy being reminded to note, in yourself, or someone you love, gifts and talents as well as the limitations of a fast mind. Another writer called ADHD the ‘hidden handicap’ and so it is. Most ADHD people are often told that they could do much better if they just applied themselves better, or tried a little harder. The ideas in this book recognise how difficult this really is since those with ADHD are already trying as hard as they can. As someone who had written on her school report “Has an enquiring mind, would do well if she would concentrate” I feel for females who deal with their type of fast minds. This book provides various suggestions that allow all types of people with fast minds to move much closer to the individual person they are trying to be. The authors, who have worked with many who have fast minds, stress that each person is different. Parents of ADHD children could find much that will help them, and all those from teens up can read the stories and helps for themselves.
I have worked with thousands of ADHD children and the families that are trying to help them, where they investigated whether diet had a role in their ADHD. I like especially the section where they encourage you to ‘be your own scientist’ considering yourself as your own research project. And I love the amount of time and effort the authors have suggested is worthwhile when getting any medication right. They emphasize that everyone is different. Out in the big world people think that ADHD is a neat condition that fits a definition they know about. They often presume a fast mind must go with a fast body! They may feel that it has to have particular symptoms and if a child does, or perhaps does not, have one, such as sleep problems, then that child does, or does not, have the condition of ADHD. In fact each ADHD person has their own type of ADHD. They may have varying degrees of concentration, impulsivity and restlessness, as well as varying degrees of excitability, mood changes, being “on another planet”, touchiness, and happiness with the world. In childhood much is made of how they can manage education, and parent self-help groups support parents living with ADHD children. This book talks about how life is in adulthood. It has stories of what difficulties are likely, with suggestions that help with management.
People with fast minds are often tempted to start several good ideas at the same time. Another useful suggestions in Fast Minds is to change only one thing at a time. Reading this book is one change that is worthwhile as it can help keep a person with a fast mind focus on what they really want to get from life. I highly recommend this book. Joan Breakey
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