Understanding ADHD: 7 Must-Read Books for Educators and Parents

OT4ADHD Reading List

What books or resources do you recommend to understand more about ADHD?

People frequently approach me seeking recommendations for books or resources that can provide a deeper understanding of ADHD.

Reading has played a vital role in my life, serving as a valuable tool for overcoming personal and professional obstacles. Having explored numerous books on ADHD, (um… too many to count), I understand how overwhelming it can be to select the right ones to start with.

Below I share a glimpse into my own reading journey by recommending books that have profoundly influenced both my personal growth and my approach as a therapist. These seven titles have played a significant role in shaping the person I am today and have provided me with valuable insights into the complexities of ADHD. 

“ADHD: A Different Perception” by Thom Hartmann

ADHD A Hunter in a Framers World

Let’s start our journey with the first book I ever read about ADHD, the original edition of “ADHD- A Different Perception,” which I read way back in the 1990’s. 

 People with ADHD are Hunters In A Farmer’s World. 

Thom Hartmann

That sentence completely transformed my perspective on my own ADHD. At barely 20, I learned that my struggles with everyday life were simply a mismatch between me, “The Hunter,” and the environment built for “Farmers.”! I finally understood myself, I no longer consider myself dysfunctional, or broken. It just made sense, and I made sense. 

This book explores ADHD through a different lens, presenting it as a different perception rather than a disorder. It offers insights into the strengths and talents associated with ADHD and encourages an empowering perspective.

I learned to hunt inside the farmer’s world, find novelty in the mundane, dive deep into areas of interest, and forgive myself when I moved on to a new hobby or abandoned a college major because the hunt was over.

Today, I continue to apply this principle to hunters of all ages in the public school system, guiding them to use their strengths and find actionable ways to hunt within the boundaries of the farmer’s world. I consider this book, now in its third edition, an absolute must-read for anyone seeking to understand ADHD

Driven to Distraction” by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey, M.D.

ADHD Driven to Distraction
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A national bestseller for a reason , a classic, definitive must read for all is Driven to Distraction. This book offers a comprehensive understanding of ADHD, including its symptoms, causes, and impact on daily life.

It provides practical strategies for managing ADHD in both children and adults, emphasizing the strengths and potential of individuals with ADHD. To understand ADHD , Dr Hallowell and Ratey are a solid starting point

“Self Reg” by Dr. Stuart Shanker

Self Reg - It all starts with self reg
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This book focuses on the concept of self-regulation and its importance in managing stress and promoting well-being. It provides practical strategies to help children with ADHD develop self-regulation skills, leading to improved focus, behavior, and overall health.

I can remember the Monday morning after I first read Dr Stuart Shankers work. I walked into a Kindergarten Push In and could effortlessly explain everything every child was doing and why.  

It all starts with Self Reg. If you want confidence and clarity on self regulation, stop what your doing and read this book. 

“Smart but Scattered” by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

Smart but Scattered Executive Function Skills
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I did not really understand ” executive functions” when I learned about them as performance components back in grad school. I could define them, confused them a bit with IADLS and admittedly glossed over them for years in practice . I thought they were “ higher level cognitive skills”, nothing for me to address in a school based practice.”

That was until I read this book. ADHD clearly impacts the development of executive function skills.

This book focuses on executive function skills, and offers practical strategies to strengthen these skills, enabling children to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Dawon and Guare , unleashed the executive function obsessed monster I am today. 

“Lost at School: by Ross W. Greene

Lost at School
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Many years ago when I first read these famous , recently made viral words, I stopped short. 

“All children do well WHEN they can”.

Ross Greene

I came into school, found the school psychologist and quoted Dr. Greene demanding to know why we are not using this method? 

The guiding principles of Ross Greene’s work are transformative. This book focuses on understanding and addressing behavioral challenges in children with ADHD. It offers a collaborative problem-solving approach to improve behavior and support academic success. It emphasizes the importance of identifying and addressing the underlying causes of challenging behaviors. 

Behavior is communication . Behind every behavior is an unmet need. 

By reframing behavior and identifying lagging skills, we can sit on the same side of the table as the child and work together to solve problems, meet needs, and help all our students thrive.

“Your Brain Is Not Broken: A New Way of Understanding ADHD” by Tamara Rosier

Your Brain is Not Broken Book about ADHD
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This is one of the best books for anyone who has or loves someone with ADHD to understand how many of us think and feel.

It explores the strengths and unique qualities associated with ADHD with relatable descriptions and strategies to navigate emotional dysregulation and motivation

Rosier explains that “motivation is affected by two aspects of ADHD: an interest-based nervous system and emotional hyperarousal“, she even gives us a tool to hack it. An absolute self esteem/efficacy builder. 

“How to Reach and Teach Children and Teens with ADD/ADHD, Third Edition” by Sandra F. Rief

How to Reach and teach Children with ADHD
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“How to Reach and Teach Children and Teens with ADHD” is an essential reference and guide for the office of every single special education office, therapist and parent advocate.

This book offers a wealth of practical and evidenced based strategies and resources to choose from for managing ADHD in educational settings. It provides lists, charts, and specific tips on a wide range of topics, including classroom management, academic support, behavior modification, and building self-esteem. 

It is big, it is heavy and it is extremely useful.


Exploring these must-read books about ADHD will equip educators and caregivers  with valuable insights and practical strategies to understand and support individuals with ADHD.

Each book offers a unique perspective, whether it’s celebrating strengths, providing comprehensive understanding, addressing behavior challenges, or focusing on self-regulation and motivation.

Remember, gaining knowledge about ADHD is a continuous journey, and with the right resources, we can create an inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with ADHD to thrive.

I would love to hear which books shaped you as a therapist, parent or individual with ADHD. 

All books and small reviews are listed in our OT4ADHD Amazon Store ( affiliate link) . Some are on kindle unlimited* for free and many are available on Audible* as Audiobooks.

*As an Amazon affiliate we may earn a small commission at no cost to you from purchases.

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