No parent is ever thrilled about their child going on medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to Dr. Raun Melmed, medical director of the Melmed Center in Scottsdale.
At the center, they “try to focus on skills as opposed to pills,” Melmed says.
To that end, Melmed has written a book for children with ADHD to teach them mindfulness and give them a better awareness of their surroundings. “Marvin’s Monster Diary: ADHD Attacks” ($10 paperback, Familius LLC) is about a young monster who is always in trouble at school and how a famous rock star, Stevie Strummer, teaches Marvin how to be cool at school.
The book teaches children the ST4 model, which stands for “Stop, Take Time To Think.” For example, Marvin makes ST4 badges to remind himself “to slow down and take a minute to think and make the best decision.” It helped him look around his bedroom to see homework strewn on the floor and reminded him to put the papers in his backpack and place it by the front door to make the next morning easier. ST4 also helped Marvin be more mindful in the classroom and at recess.
“I tell the kids to make up their own stickers and put them in different places like their backpacks or on their trapper binders or on the mirror in their room so they can just see it – a little reminder,” Melmed says.
“When you stop and take time to think about your behavior, your behavior will change. If they can learn something like this, it immediately puts the kid in the driver’s seat and that’s the purpose.”