ADHD 2.0 Book Summary - ADHD 2.0 Book explained in key points
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ADHD 2.0 summary

Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction – from Childhood through Adulthood

4.7 (935 ratings)
25 mins

Brief summary

ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey is a guidebook for individuals and families dealing with ADHD. It shares the latest ADHD research, provides practical tips for managing symptoms, and offers hope for those affected.

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    ADHD 2.0
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    People with ADHD have brains that are structured and function differently.

    If you or someone you care about has ADHD, you’ll be used to the negative stereotypes. There’s the socially awkward kid who disrupts the class. The spouse who’s constantly late and forgets appointments. The employee who’d be a workplace star if they could just get their act together.

    And this isn’t fair. Because people with ADHD are many other things, too. They’re the kid whose projects are amazing when they’re interested in the subject matter. Or the partner who loves more fiercely than anyone else you know. Or the colleague who comes up with a brilliant solution seemingly out of nowhere.

    Yes, they may be impulsive, hyperactive, and distractible. But they have important qualities that outweigh this. An ADHD brain makes you energized, creative, fearless in the face of problems no one else wants to deal with and committed to seeing whatever you’re invested in through – no matter what.

    These are some of the many gifts ADHD brings to the world. In fact, it can be a superpower. To unleash its full potential, it helps to understand what’s going on inside that dynamic brain, and then put some strategies into practice to get the most out of it. We’re going to explore those strategies a bit later on. But first, let’s take a look at what makes these brains in particular, such a hive of activity.

    We’ve recently learned a lot about how different brains function, thanks to the development of fMRI – functional magnetic resonance imaging. This amazing new technology lets us watch the brain in action, kind of like a moving X-ray. It’s helped scientists identify two key modes of thinking that act like a seesaw with each other.

    The first is TPN – which stands for task-positive network. This type of thinking happens when you’re immersed in a task – in the zone, so to speak. When TPN is in play, you pretty much forget everything except what you’re doing. If you experience hyperfocus, you’ll know how that feels. It’s also the reason why sometimes you can’t step away from what you’re doing.

    The second mode of thinking is DMN – or default-mode network. This is the realm of the imagination. It allows you to look back, draw on past experiences, and look forward to imagined plans or outcomes. When you’re in DMN, you might be innovating or solving problems.

    TPN and DMN are designed to tag team each other, keeping us balanced between getting things done and dreaming up the next big thing. The challenge for people with ADHD is that their brains don’t switch between the two modes of thinking as seamlessly or regularly as other people’s brains. This makes them susceptible to getting stuck in one mode. And this can lead to all kinds of consequences.

    First, they might be so engrossed in a task that they forget their other obligations – picking up the kids from school, going to an important appointment, meeting the person they’re dating. Or their imaginations can lead them into dark places, making them fixate on failures, disappointments, and shame they may have experienced because of their ADHD.

    The other recent discovery we’ve made about ADHD brains is that a strip down the center of their cerebellum is smaller than in other brains. The cerebellum is the part of your brain that looks after motor function, as well as cognitive and emotional processes. It’s responsible for things like learning new skills, regulating emotions, and making quick decisions, but, interestingly, also balance and coordination.

    Luckily, the cerebellum is also the most plastic part of the brain, meaning that with some understanding and commitment, people with ADHD can strengthen it and overcome some of the challenges ADHD causes.

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    What is ADHD 2.0 about?

    ADHD 2.0 (2021) provides updated science and guidance on living a successful and happy life with attention deficiency hyperactivity disorder – ADHD. It offers insights into how people with ADHD can tap into their strengths and unleash their full potential.

    Who should read ADHD 2.0?

    • People with ADHD who want to reach their full potential
    • Teachers and parents supporting children with ADHD
    • Managers and leaders who value an inclusive work environment

    About the Author

    Dr. Edward M. Hallowell and Dr. John J. Ratey are renowned authors whose book Driven to Distraction pioneered a broader understanding of ADD/ADHD 20 years ago. After continuing their research and publishing several further books, including Married to Distraction and Super-parenting for ADD, these coauthors have joined forces again to provide updated information and insights for people with ADHD, and parents, educators, and loved ones of people with ADHD.

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