ADD Simplified - helpful tips for ADHDers, strategies for minimizing effects of adult ADD and ADHDI just finished reading Sidney Parker Holt’s ADD Simplified, recently published by Hendrix International Press (2010), and I’m so glad I did.

Ironically, I got blood on the book. I’d been fishing for a pen to make notes. As I searched, my finger dragged across a sharp staple in a business card at the bottom of my purse. I didn’t even recognize the name on the card.

It’s ironic because, had I already read Holt’s book, I might have 1: written my connection with this person on the back of the card; and, 2: filed the card in a sensible place for future reference, instead of tossing it into my purse with all the other un-filed flotsam & jetsam.

The book was worth spilling my own blood for (how’s that for a positive review?). The best advice I can give you about ADD Simplified is: READ IT.

An ADHD-friendly read

Holt’s book is written in an ADHD-friendly style. Meaning: it has short, snappy paragraphs; it’s only 128 pages in total; it has lots of sub-headings. It’s even got black and white photo illustrations for visual learners.

It’s practical: there were several tips that I wanted to apply immediately, and wish I’d heard years ago.

It’s positive: Holt is a member of the tribe. He has something to teach us, but he uses a humble, supportive tone, with a dash of humor. He’s endearingly encouraging and optimistic. When discussing de-cluttering he writes, “Doesn’t that sound good? Doesn’t this prospect [of getting rid of clutter] make you feel better already?”  Yes, by gosh – it does!

Wish I’d thought of that!

One example of a tip I wish I’d heard (or thought of myself) years ago, was the simple idea to highlight the date and amount on a bill or receipt before filing it. I blush to think of how much time I’ve wasted, when I finally got around to inputting my bills and receipts as data, because I had to scour a particular receipt for these details.

ADD Simplified author Sidney Parker Holt suggests getting a labeller and using it - A LOT!

ADD Simplified author Sidney Parker Holt suggests getting a labeller and using it - A LOT!

While not all tips will work for everyone, Holt’s covered so much territory, I’m sure most if not all of us will find at least a few things that will make the modest price of the book ($9.95 for a Kindle edition ; $14.95 for paperback) well worth it.

Not only is the book chock-full of practical, easy tips, there are helpful websites and software listed; gadgets and technology recommended; and a bonus section at the back of the book which lists useful books, more websites, reasons to buy a smartphone and blogs about ADHD (including ADHD: from A to Zoë).

A bit of nit-picking…

Lest you think I’m biased in my review because my blog is listed, not so. My being listed as “Mrs.” and my blog referenced as strictly “personal” stuck in my craw. I’m definitely a “Ms.”, and my blog posts range from personal stories to reviews (like this one), to interviews with ADHD experts to…well…you know, you’ve read them.

I also would have been a lot happier had Holt shown as much respect for the English language as he did for most of the needs of ADHDers. A good final copy edit would have made all the difference.

I was mildly to horribly distracted by typos, grammatical errors, and syntax that at times rendered the writing nonsensical. For example, we’re told that people who had perfectionistic tendencies “…had a 51% increased risk of death over people who did not.” (p. 80). I know I’m demonstrating perfectionistic tendencies right now, but I’m pretty sure my chance of dying is pretty much the same as anyone else’s, regardless.

Although Holt offers excellent tips for organization, he needs to apply these skills to the organization of his own book. For example, ADD Simplified had sections on Keeping Track, Dealing With Clutter, Money Matters, Dealing with Procrastination and Reducing Stress – but you wouldn’t know this because none of these sections are listed in the contents.

This oversight means that it will be frustrating to find a specific topic again later. On the other hand, Holt is demonstrating just how hard it is for us ADHDers to actually be organized, even while authoring a book with organizational tips.

The final verdict…

Holt’s humble and helpful approach far outweighs any technical deficits in the book. None the less, one hopes a competent copy editor will be engaged for the 2nd edition – and there definitely deserves to be a 2nd edition.

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