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The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child


The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child Cover

ISBN13: 9781594770494
ISBN10: 1594770492
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Explores how the ADHD gene is and has been critical to humanity's development

• Shows how artists, inventors, and innovators carry the gene necessary for the future survival of humanity

• Explains why children with the Edison gene are so often mislabeled in public schools as having a disorder

• 10,000 sold in hardcover since August 2003

Thomas Edison was expelled from school for behavior that today would label him as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but his mother understood how to salvage his self-esteem and prepare him for a lifetime of success. In The Edison Gene Thom Hartmann shows that the creativity, impulsiveness, and distractibility that are characteristic of ADHD are not signs of a disorder at all, but instead are components of a highly adaptive skill set utilized by our hunting and gathering ancestors. These characteristics have been critical to the survival and development of our modern civilization and will be vital as humanity faces new challenges in the future.

Hartmann, creator of the “hunter versus farmer” theory of ADHD, examines the latest discoveries confirming the existence of an ADHD gene and the global catastrophe 40,000 years ago that triggered its development. Citing examples of significant innovators in our modern era, he argues that the children who possess the “Edison gene” have neurology that is wired to give them brilliant success as innovators, inventors, explorers, and entrepreneurs. He offers concrete strategies for helping Edison-gene children reach their full potential and shows that rather than being “problems,” such children are a vital gift to our society and the world.


Thom Hartmann, creator of the "hunter/farmer hypothesis" of ADHD, argues that children who possess the Edison gene are adapted to give them brilliant success as innovators, inventors, explorers, and entrepreneurs, while these same qualities often cause them problems in the context of our public schools. Hartmann offers concrete strategies for helping Edison-gene children to reach their full potential.

About the Author

Thom Hartmann is a progressive nationally and internationally syndicated talkshow host and an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of 24 books, including Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception and The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, which inspired Leonardo DiCaprio’s film The 11th Hour. A former psychotherapist and founder of the Hunter School, a residential and day school for children with ADHD, he lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D


Introduction: A New View for Our Children

Genetics and Differences • 1993: The Hunter Gene • Distractibility • Impulsivity • Risk-Taking • Where Have All the Hunters Gone? • Indigenous Hunters Today • The Agricultural Revolution • Our Society's Hunters • The Edison Gene • The Crisis-Survival Gene • Hunters Before the Holocene • Adapted to Adversity and Change

Part 1: The Past

1. The World of the Edison-Gene Child

The Ancient World • The Salt Pump • The Great Ice Age • Heated by the Great Conveyor Belt

2. The Dawn of Civilization

What Made Us Human? • The Bacteria That Took Over the World • The Human Bottleneck • Before the Bottleneck

3. Three Ways Humans Were Killed Off by Weather

Warming by the Sun • Vulcan's Hammer • Survivors: AIDS Chimps and the Black Plague • Creativity Saves the Day • ADHD and Creativity • The Beads: Clue to the First Edisons

Part 2: The Present

4. Anatomy of a Diagnosis

How Edison-Gene Children Are Different • Are They Disordered? • Anthropology Meets Psychology • From Hunters to Inventors

5. The Mystery of Novelty-Seeking Behavior

The "Novelty Gene" • The Novelty Gene and ADHD

6. Genes Move Around and Turn On and Off

The Genetics of Behavior • Turning on Genes • Codominant Genes • Turning on Edison Characteristics

7. Other Genes and Influences

Neurotransmitters and Personality Characteristics • The Reasons for Genetic Variations • Culture and Genes

8. Scientists Find the "Adaptive" Edison Gene

But Some Say It's a Disease • Is It a Disorder? • Novelty Seeking

9. The ADHD Gene and the Dawn of Human Civilization

The Time Machine • The News Hits the Streets • The Edison Gene and Democracy

10. Brain Development and the Edison-Gene Child

Sense of Self • A Process that Mirrors Evolution • The Reptilian Brain • The Limbic Brain • The "New" Brain • The Unique Prefrontal Brain • The Brain Develops After Birth, Too • The First Pruning of the Brain • The Impact of Stress • The Brain in the Birth Period • The Brain in the Toddler Period • The Brain in the Early Childhood Period • The Brain in the Teenage Period • The Brain in the Early Adult Years • Adult Memory of the Stages of Brain Development • Intuition versus Information • The Loss of Intuition • The Tragedy of Lost Potential • Invasion of the Lizard People? • Are We Stuck in a Loop? • Triggering Events • Raising Fully Human Children • Schools May Be the Key • School as Torture • Condemnation • School as Work • Comorbidities • Applying Comorbidities to Edison-Gene Children • Breaking the Loop • Offering a New Story

11. The Edison Gene, Drugs, Exercise, and Nutrition

Nutritional Deficiencies Are Rampant • Environmental Toxins • Nutriceuticals • Yerba Maté: Nature's Ritalin • Drugs for Edison-Gene Children • Medications Bite Back • Burning Out Brain Cells? • Do Drugs Help Over the Long Term? • The Loss of Play • EEG Neurofeedback • Exercise: The Optimal "Treatment"?

12. Providing Discipline and Structure for the Edison-Gene Child

Nurturing the Hunters • Reward/Punishment versus Inclusion/Interdependence • Separating Person from Behavior • Break the Pattern with a Positive Message • Watch for Islands of Success • The Importance of Mastery • Turn Off the Television

13. Alfred Adler's Principles for Raising Children

Promote Mutual Respect • Encourage • Foster Security • Avoid Reward and Punishment • Use Natural and Logical Consequences • Act Instead of Talk in Conflict Situations • Use Withdrawal as a Counteraction • Withdraw from the Provocation, Not from the Child • Don't Interfere in Children's Fights • Fighting Requires Cooperation • Take Time to Teach Essential Skills and Habits • Never Do for a Child What He Can Do for Himself • Don't Overprotect • Avoid Being Overly Responsible • Distinguish Between Positive and Negative Attention • Understand the Child's Goal • A Habit Is Maintained If It Achieves Its Purpose • Minimize Mistakes • Try a Family Council and Have Fun Together • The Edison-Gene Family

14. Educating the Edison-Gene Child

Learned Helplessness • Reframing Identity = Success in Learning • Government Studies Pronounce on Medication • They Ignored the Environment • The Study Proved Ritalin Doesn't Improve Learning • But It Makes the Teachers Happy • Lighting a Fire for Learning • Education and Testing Corporations • How Modern Education Came About • German Schools Come to America • American Education and the Catholic Problem • Backlash Against the Authoritarian Model of Public Education • Maria Montessori • Rudolf Steiner • Free and Alternative Schools • Homeschooling and Internet Schooling • But What About Socialization? • Why Homeschooling Works for Edison-Gene Children • The Edison Gene through the College Years • Find a Mentor or a Coach

15. Edison-Gene Girls and Women

Be a Good Girl • Cinderella in a Hostile World • Cultural Barriers • Cultural Programming and Expectations • Healing the Wounds

16. Spirituality and the Edison-Gene Child

Edison-Gene Mystics • The Hunter's Reality • The World of the Hunter's Dreams • Dreaming with the Natives • Learning to Know • Understanding the Real World • Wild People and Tame People • The Loss of True Wisdom • When Access to Personal Spirituality is Lost

Part 3: The Future

17. How Edison-Gene Children May Change the World

Glimmers of How Culture Works • What Causes Culture? • The Biology of Culture • Primal Human Cultures • Cultural and Genetic Selection

18. Is Human Evolution Finally Over?

As Good As It Gets • We're Going Downhill • It's the Fault of Those People with ADHD! • Are We Standing Still? • Distant Bottleneck Events

19. One Generation to Save the World

Climate Flip-Flops to the Next Ice Age • A Global-Warming Bottleneck

Afterword: Yesterday's Child by Janie Bowman



What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

drsnip, November 1, 2006 (view all comments by drsnip)
I grew up with a brother with ADD and now I am married to a man with ADD. We also have a son with ADD. This book explains so many reasons as to why and how these people are capable of extreme genius. To give an example: My son is 5 and he is obsessed with the Solar system he corrects me as to which planet is which. The same goes for all species of Dinosaurs. My husband can pick up any book , read it and pass a test with about 98%, do a project like tile an entire kitchen floor, attach a threshold and make it look as if he had been doing this work all his life. My brother self taught himself on the computer. I call him when I have software or hardware issues. It is truly incredible how they can absorb, apply, do a creative wonder and make it look so easy. It is truly an amazing and beautiful Gift.
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Product Details

Hartmann, Thom
Park Street Press
Hartmann, Thom
Hartmann, Thomas
Children with Special Needs
Learning disabilities
Parenting - Hyperactivity
Special / Learning Disabled
Self-Help : General
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Now in Paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 6 x 0.7 in 13.265 oz

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Related Subjects

Education » Learning Disabilities
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » ADD, ADHD, Learning and Emotional Disabilities
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » General
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Special Needs
Health and Self-Help » Child Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Adult Attention Deficit Disorder ADD
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Child Psychology
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Metaphysics » General

The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child Used Trade Paper
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Product details 280 pages Park Street Press - English 9781594770494 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Thom Hartmann, creator of the "hunter/farmer hypothesis" of ADHD, argues that children who possess the Edison gene are adapted to give them brilliant success as innovators, inventors, explorers, and entrepreneurs, while these same qualities often cause them problems in the context of our public schools. Hartmann offers concrete strategies for helping Edison-gene children to reach their full potential.
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