The Top Five Books for Parents of Children with ADHD

By Dr. Mary Rooney, Ph.D.

Parenting a child with ADHD can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there is a sea of resources out there for parents – just search for books about ADHD on and you’ll find over 10,000 titles. But wading through all these resources to find the ones that are worth your time and money can be difficult.

In this next series of posts, I’ll be sharing what I’ve found to be the best books, podcasts, and TEDTalks out there for parents of kids and teens with ADHD. Some of these resources will offer practical tools and strategies while others will simply improve your understanding of ADHD and how it affects your child. All of them will help you feel less alone and more connected to the millions of parents who are facing similar challenges every day.   

Here are the top five books that I recommend for parents of kids with ADHD.

  • Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents (3rd Edition)
    By Russel Barkley, PhD
    Written by a leading clinician and academic whose career has focused almost exclusively on studying and providing treatments for ADHD, this comprehensive book provides current, science-based information about the causes of ADHD, what to look for when seeking an evaluation for ADHD, and understanding effective treatment options. It also includes practical strategies for working with your child’s school and a proven 8-step plan for improving your child’s ADHD symptoms at home.


  • ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know (3rd Edition)
    By the American Academy of Pediatrics
    This book should be required reading for all parents of a newly diagnosed child and can be a helpful refresher for parents of children with long-standing ADHD diagnoses. Based on the ADHD guidelines published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this book does an outstanding job of providing an overview of almost every topic related to ADHD. It covers everything from how to get a proper ADHD diagnosis to a balanced overview of treatment options – including medication options, parenting training interventions, and other behavioral strategies, and special education services and laws that apply to kids with ADHD.


  • The Everyday Parenting Toolkit
    By Alan Kazdin, PhD
    While not focused specifically on ADHD, the practical strategies included in this book are evidence-based and are the same approaches that form the core of many ADHD behavioral parent training programs. What sets this book apart is that it goes beyond these important strategies and also focuses on creating a nurturing family environment, setting appropriate screen-time limits, expanding the palates of picky eaters, and more. The author, Dr. Alan Kazdin, a leader in the field of behavioral interventions for ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders, writes in a style that is easy and enjoyable to read.


  • Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential
    By Peg Dawson EdD & Richard Guare, PhD
    If you have a child who has been diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD and whose main struggles are related to problems with executive functioning (like getting things done on time, staying organized, or following multi-step instructions), then this book is an excellent resource. Filled with practical strategies, worksheets, and troubleshooting tools, this book is a great resource for parents who are ready and eager to try out new techniques at home.


  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
    By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
    This book is not specifically written for parents of kids with ADHD, but it provides valuable strategies for coping with the strong emotions that kids with ADHD (and their parents!) express every day. If you want to improve communication with your child, reduce the number of conflicts at home, and improve your relationship with your child overall, then this book may be just what you’re looking for.



Mary Rooney, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. Dr Rooney is a researcher and clinician specializing in the evaluation and treatment of ADHD and co-occurring behavioral, anxiety, and mood disorders. A strong advocate for those with attention and behavior problems, Dr. Rooney is committed to developing and providing comprehensive, cutting edge treatments tailored to meet the unique needs of each child and adolescent. Dr. Rooney's clinical interventions and research avenues emphasize working closely with parents and teachers to create supportive, structured home and school environments that enable children and adolescents to reach their full potential. In addition, Dr. Rooney serves as a consultant and ADHD expert to Huntington Learning Centers.


Huntington Learning Center is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students of all levels succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington's mission is to give every student the best education possible. Call us today at 1.800.CAN LEARN to discuss how Huntington can help your child. For franchise opportunities please visit

This website does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only.

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