Children with ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, often enter Jim Poole’s office wondering what’s wrong with them. They struggle in school and at home and with friends, and they receive feedback from all sides telling them they’re broken. Poole tries to change that attitude, and he begins with a renaming. Instead of telling kids they have a disorder, he tells them they have FastBraiin. (The extra “i” was a typo when registering the domain name, www.fastbraiin.com, possibly resulting from Poole’s own ADHD. He doesn’t explain why he didn’t fix it, but one guesses that it’s a way to embrace his “mistakes.”)
Poole is a pediatrician who, over four decades, has treated thousands of children and adults with ADHD (which he uses synonymously with ADD). In his FastBraiin clinics, patients see a health care provider, a counselor and an educator, who all work together for integrative care. Since he can’t personally visit with everyone seeking his advice, he published this book in 2020 to share his 360º approach to helping parents care for their FastBraiin children. The problem with much of existing treatment, he says, is that diagnoses are negative, and care is incomplete.
Poole says ADHD kids’ potential shouldn’t be judged by how well they fit into traditional classrooms. He shares the belief of Edward Hallowell, the author of Driven to Distraction who provides the foreword to this book, that the three main traits of ADHD—impulsivity, distractibility and hyperactivity—actually offer strengths: creativity, curiosity, and energy. Parents and children just need the empowerment to see it that way.