When Patricia Quinn, MD, and Judy Stern first published "Putting on the Brakes: Understanding and Taking Control of Your ADD or ADHD" (Magination Press) 20 years ago, there were no nonfiction books for children that addressed attention issues in a straightforward way. Now Amazon has its own ADHD section, yet "Putting on the Brakes" remains the go-to resource for doctors and parents worldwide. The book has sold more than 150,000 copies and has been translated into 10 languages. A fully updated third edition will be published this year.
The idea for the book was a natural for Quinn, a developmental pediatrician in Washington, D.C., and Stern, a teacher and educational consultant in Rockville, Md. "I learned early on that parents don't know how to talk to their children about ADHD, so I started talking to the children themselves," says Quinn.
Their goal for "Putting on the Brakes" was to give children the words and concepts to communicate their needs and to show readers that there was nothing "wrong" with them. "We've found that kids think they might be 'dumb,' or they may get called lazy by adults who don't always understand their issues," says Stern. "We tried to deal with their feelings and reassure them, as well as give them good coping skills."
The third edition includes an expanded and updated section on medication and addresses new treatments, such as meditation, yoga and "green space" therapy in which children spend time outdoors.
"The anniversary edition can remind people of what a valuable resource it was when they were children, and lets them know it's still here," says Quinn. "It's been redone and repackaged for a new generation, so it's really the most up-to-date book available for kids and their parents."