No Mind Left Behind – Adam Cox

Book review

A clinical perspective

In “No mind left Behind : Understanding and Fostering Executive Control”, using case studies and anecdotes, Clinical psychologist Dr. Cox presents a plan for parents to help children master the “eight essential cognitive skills” that are critical for “success in life and in work”, these are:
  • Taking initiative
  • Screening out distractions
  • Organizing
  • Thinking flexibly
  • Planning
  • Regulating emotions
  • Self-monitoring
  • Using memory effectively
The book addresses neuro-typical, as well as neuro-diverse children and includes practical suggestions for parents and educators. He devotes a chapter to each skill, explaining clearly what it is, how adults can recognize their child’s ability in each and helpful strategies for developing improvements. There is help and insight in this book for ADHD for sure but Cox fails to appreciate that these “skills” come at a price of lost creativity, humour, enterprise and adventure – his expectations for children seem extremely high.

With his exclusive “success focus” he misses out on the idea wellbeing, of childhood being more than training for work but about fun, self-discovery and play. I found that his talk of “skills” to be learnt (when chemical differences define behavioural choices) to be naive and a lack of focus on working with the person and their innate personality traits misses much of the point, that rather than denying the shortcoming and trying to fix it, it is often better to work around the issue than tackle it head on.
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ADHD Coach, Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis is an ADHD Coach, writer and founder of SimplyWellbeing. He has over ten thousand hours and fifteen years of experience in coaching ADHD executives, business professionals and creatives. His expertise with ADHD is personal, with decades of his own experience, bringing up an ADHD child, running a large support group and in coaching clients often for years He has published his writing via this website and has ADHD online courses in development. His business expertise comes from a twenty years career in software, from programming, through marketing, sales and running a few start-ups.

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