Book review

Is there life without Ritalin? With more and more children being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, there's an alternative movement afoot. Rita Kirsch Debroitner, R.C.S.W., Ph.D., a New York City-based holistic psychotherapist, and children's book author Avery Hart, M.S.W., have pooled their talents in "Moving Beyond A.D.D./A.D.H.D.: An Effective Holistic Mind-Body Approach" (Contemporary Books, $16.95). The natural course of treatment outlined in the book includes exercises for the whole family, and shifts the focus from the negative to empower ADD sufferers to effect change from within. According to the authors, "The ADD/ADHD-identified person is missing the grounding and centering that give comfort and security to the inner self."

The emphasis here is on mind/body therapy and the natural healing capacity of children. The techniques outlined have been developed at Debroitner's Rhinecliff Non-Drug ADD Program. The non-medical approach she created helps children learn to reconnect to themselves and the inner harmony needed to emerge whole. The step-by-step plan includes case studies that demonstrate true recovery.


Even if your ADD child is thriving under a Ritalin regimen, you may want to read the chapter on this oft-prescribed drug, including a sobering comparison of the physiological effects of Ritalin and cocaine. This book also offers important strategies for managing ADD/ADHD and provides information on the role of food, TV and video games. It is also useful for teachers with ADD-diagnosed students and for adults with ADD.