Book Review: Movers, Dreamers and Risk-Takers: Unlocking the Power of ADHD by Kevin Roberts

by Caroline on July 2, 2012

Book Review

As any of you who read my blog know, my husband and both of our girls have ADHD. To me, our household is messy, chaotic, and loud. Things never get put away. Deadlines are usually missed, or at least pushed back. Schedules are rarely adhered to. This makes my life seem completely out of control, because I’m very much a Type A, organized, needs-order type of girl. It’s the main reason I started this blog: to try to deal with the daily chaos in our home in a constructive way, so I don’t go off the deep end.

Cover of Movers Dreamers Risk Takers

That’s why I jumped at the chance to write a book review of Kevin Roberts’ new book, Movers, Dreamers and Risk-Takers: Unlocking the Power of ADHD. Something good about ADHD? Sign me up. Now obviously I know that people with ADHD can be successful, because my husband, Decoder Man, is one of them. He’s quite intelligent, and he is very good at his job. But being in the middle of the chaos caused by ADHD on a daily basis tends to bring me down, and I was hoping that Kevin’s book would help remind me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a freight train.

Thankfully, this book is every bit as positive, and humorous, as it promises to be. Here are a few of the topics covered:

  • The educational system is ill-equipped to teach kids with ADHD.  The routines, repetition, and institutional discipline oppose the way an ADHDer is able to learn.
  • Employ “The Opposite” method.  For example, when your ADHD child lies or even hides from you to avoid homework, avoid reacting with anger.  One of the characteristics of ADHDers is that they thrive on negativity.  They are hard-wired to be stimulated and even motivated by crisis.  Roberts maintains that they may even push buttons on purpose just to get the desired result — the result they need.
  • Humor is the key.  ADHDers respond well to play and humor.  Finding a way to handle schoolwork and procrastination with constructive games will increase the odds of getting it all done. (From TLC Book Tours)
I already knew that the traditional school model doesn’t work for ADHD. That’s why we’re using a virtual public school from home. But the girls still struggle with getting their work done well. Kevin gives 20 different tools that can be used to help kids with ADHD get through schoolwork and other daily tasks. While they are geared more toward middle and high school age, there are a few I plan to employ:
  • Assume the Worst: According to Kevin, people with ADHD have a “positive self-illusory bias” that leads them to think they’re already prepared for what they’re up against, that they’ve already done the homework, that they’re done with whatever they need to do. They lack that moment of self-doubt the rest of us use to make sure to make sure we’ve covered all details. I notice this with my girls daily both in school and out, whether it be “Did you really review for that chapter test?” or “Are you sure you brushed your teeth?” Continuing to question their readiness with help them to create, according to Kevin, a “healthy dose of self-doubt” that will increase their awareness of their interactions with the world around them.
  • Learning Centers: What’s the first thing I did when we decided we were going to be using a virtual, computer-based homeschool to educate our kids? I set up desks for both of them. But trying to stay in one place for a long time can be downright impossible for those with ADHD, and can actually make it harder for them to concentrate. This next year I’m going to try, whenever possible, to let them take their computers to different locations around the house when they work on different subjects. This will help give their brains the activity and novelty they crave, and hopefully help them to concentrate and be more productive.
  • Get a Little Crazy: Adding some creativity and activity to the day, whether it be through 15-minute video game breaks, a quick walk around the block before moving on to a new subject, or simply adding multisensory components to lessons will help to break up the monotony of the schoolday, and help my ADHDers to stay interested and engaged in their schoolwork.

One of the most important things about the book for me personally was Kevin’s continually bringing home the point that parents can make or break their relationship with their ADHD kids because of the parents’ attitude. If I have “The World is Falling Apart” syndrome (who, me???), and focus on the negative effects of my family’s ADHD, I will eventually lead them to believe that they are flawed and will not succeed. Looking at ADHD as a different way of interacting with the world, rather than as a disorder, will help me to guide them through their growing-up years in a positive way, and help them to learn how to live in a world that isn’t suited for their particular way of viewing life.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone who knows someone with ADHD, has ADHD, is an educator … well, to everybody, really. It’s funny, filled with current research on ADHD, and most importantly, gives hope that those with ADHD can not only succeed in life, but be a powerful force in it, coming up with new ways of doing things that the rest of us can’t even dream of.

I have one copy of the book to give away! Just leave me a comment by July 15 for a chance to win. Be sure to put your correct email when leaving your comment, because I’ll contact the winner by email. The book can be mailed to US and Canada only, no P.O. Boxes.

About the Author:
Author Kevin Roberts Kevin Roberts was born in Detroit, Michigan, attended 12 years of Catholic school, and graduated from the University of Michigan. He taught high school and middle school social studies and foreign languages for four years. For the last 13 years, he has been an ADHD Coach, helping ADHD individuals succeed in school and life. He conducts support groups for teens and adults who struggle with cyber addiction and is the author of Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap. Roberts is a nationally-recognized expert in cyber addictions and also lectures widely on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). He speaks French, Spanish, and German in addition to some conversational capacity in Greek, Italian, Arabic, Quechua and Chinese. In his new book MOVERS, DREAMERS, AND RISK-TAKERS: Unlocking the Power of ADHD(Hazelden Publishing; June 2012; $14.95/Original Trade Paperback; $11.95/E-book) Roberts passionately relates his experiences and those of others to explain what ADHD is, how it manifests in kids and adults, and how the advantages of ADHD can be used to better people’s lives. Learn more about Kevin and his work on his website,

**I recieved a free copy of this book from TLC Book Tours. The review, however, is entirely my own. I received no other compensation for this review.

UPDATE 7/25: Karen won the free book. It should be on its way to you now. Julie, I’ll let you read mine, since you’re closer.  😉



Julie July 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Hey chick! This is great, and I just may want to read that book. Heavens, it may unlock some hidden potential in my two kiddos, my husband or – gulp – even myself!

And, if I could sit down and concentrate on ONE thing for more than five or ten minutes, I might start a blog on how to fly by the seat of one’s pants. Maybe it would help you as much as your blog helps me from time to time. Get fast on your feet, choose your battles, and just go with it sometimes is kind of how I get a long. You ARE fast on your feet, I’ve seen you. You know what to let fly under the radar and when to draw that line in the sand. I’ve seen you do that too. And, I’ve also seen you plaster a great big easy-goin’ smile across your face and “just go with it”. You have it in you girlfriend, you are an inspiring and truly caring Mother and I’d say a blessing of a wife to that Decoder guy. Just keep writing, writing, writing….Coffee? Yeah, I’d love some. What was I saying? 🙂

Karen. July 5, 2012 at 9:54 am

I heartily second Julie.

And, I would sincerely like to read that book, too. But if someone else wins it, I do have a library at hand. 🙂


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours July 6, 2012 at 10:58 am

Although my son doesn’t have ADD/ADHD, he does have a serious medical condition (Eosinophilic Esophagitis). I have learned that my attitude toward this disorder can make a HUGE impact on his attitude and outlook on life in general, so I really appreciate Kevin emphasizing parents’ attitudes in this book.

I’m glad you found the book readable and helpful. Thanks for being on the tour! I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

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