LOMBARD – A better understanding of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is what Donna Mac hopes to communicate to readers in her new book, "Toddlers & ADHD: Relief for Parents; A guide for Clinicians and Teachers."
Mac, a licensed clinical therapist and a Lombard native, wrote the book for parents, clinicians, pediatricians, teachers, occupational therapists, social workers, counselors and psychologist.
"ADHD is a disorder of self-regulations," said Mac, a Glenbard East High School alumna who currently lives in Montgomery. "Kids have trouble with irritability, aggression and excessive hyperactivity which often comes out in dangerous play."
Along with 15 years experience working with children diagnosed with ADHD, two of Mac's three daughters, 5-year-old twins Makenzie and Katie, both have ADHD. Her experiences as a mother raising two girls with ADHD has greatly influenced the book, Mac said.
"I never expected that my kids would have ADHD," Mac said. "I have so much professional and personal experience, I needed to help other parents who have no idea – because it's hard."
Mac began writing the book in April 2013 and wrapped up earlier this year. The book is her first, and was published in March by Balboa Press.
Overall, the book distinguishes typical behavior versus ADHD behavior, Mac explained.
"I go through areas of ADHD on what is normal and what is clinically significant."
The book also discusses the disorder as genetic, and stresses to readers that behaviors associated with ADHD are no one's fault, Mac said.
"I want parents to understand that it is not their fault," she said. "I want them to realize their child has less activity going on in their brain than a typical child does."
Mac focuses on coping skills for parents, as well as children diagnosed with ADHD, to help them deal with their impulses. A list of scenarios provides specific language that families can use to navigate behavior associated with ADHD, Mac said.
The book is not meant to formulate or rule out a potential diagnosis, Mac stressed.
"It's meant to give understanding of child development," she said. "If you are concerned [for your child], you need to seek out a clinician."
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Learn more about Donna Mac and her book on her website at www.toddlersandadhd.com. The book is available online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.