Scattered MindsScattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder – published in the U.S. as Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates And What You Can Do  About It – is written from the inside by a doctor who himself has Attention Deficit Disorder. It offers a completely new perspective on ADD and a new approach to helping children and adults living with the problems Attention Deficit Disorder presents.

Scattered Minds (U.S.: Scattered):

  • Demonstrates that ADD is not an inherited illness, but a reversible impairment, a developmental delay
  • Explains that in ADD, circuits in the brain whose job is emotional self-regulation and attention control fail to develop in infancy—and why
  • Shows how “tuning out” and distractibility are the psychological products of life experience, from in utero onwards
  • Allows parents to understand what makes their ADD children tick, and adults with ADD to gain insights into their emotions and behaviors
  • Expresses optimism about neurological development even in adulthood
  • Presents a program of how to promote this development in children and adults alike

Purchase The Book Online

Read from Scattered Minds (U.S.: Scattered)

The following chapters are available to read online:


“This delightful, helpful book is a welcome addition to the literature on ADD.  Based on solid research and a strong humanistic sensibility, it is written with humor and compassion, from an unsparingly honest personal perspective.  I would enthusiastically recommend Scattered to anyone touched by ADD—adults, parents, and professionals.“

John J. Ratey, M.D.

co-author, Driven to Distraction

“Those with ADD, their loved ones and their physicians will profit from reading this book. People who do not yet know they have it will have their lives transformed.“

Canadian Medical Association Journal

“Maté's argument is organic, a refreshing change from the medicalized and mechanistic models dominating the debate.  You won't find a drug chart or Seven Easy Steps to the Road Less Scattered here. You will find family stories, an accessible description of brain development and sound information.  You will also find hope.“

The Globe and Mail

“In one of the most comprehensive and accessible books about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Maté , a Canadian physician and popular medical columnist, challenges many accepted notions about the condition, which afflicts more than three million children and a significant number of adults…   In the closing pages of this well-documented but sure-to-be-controversial book, he effectively hammers home his suspicions about the possible over-prescription of Ritalin and other drugs to control rather than heal children, and proposes that, in some cases, emotional support, patience and love can be more powerful remedies than chemicals.“

Publisher’s Weekly

“[U]tterly sensible and deeply moving…  Dr. Maté offers an original and helpful theory about a condition whose diagnosis has spread like wildfire in North America. Until now, the medical profession has mostly proclaimed attention deficit disorder as a hereditary genetic disease and prescribed a drug called Ritalin by the bucketful.“

Vancouver Sun

“[Maté] challenges the standard view of ADD [and] asks questions that deserve to be considered about a debilitating disorder—and the kind of society in which is flourishes.“


“Enlightening and sensitively told [with] a much needed focus on adults and adolescents with ADHD...  For someone who is wondering if their own lack of attention, impulsiveness, distractibility, or hyperactivity may be ADHD, this would be a good read.“

Winnipeg Free Press

“Scattered Minds [is] necessary reading for anyone who lives with the effects of ADD, in himself or in others; it's an encouraging and reassuring approach.“

The Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay, ON)

“Since reading this book, I have found myself being more aware of my parenting style.  I will consider his advice of always thinking of the long term objectives for my son’s development when parenting him, rather than using short term approaches to controlling his behaviour.  This will be a book to keep on the shelf for future reference.“

Synergy Magazine (Vancouver Island, BC)

What Readers Say

“As a 27-year-old man in an increasingly pressured society I cannot express the value and life lessons that your books have elucidated for me. Just a year ago, I was dangerously close to out-of-control binge partying and was using cocaine regularly.  I always knew there was something amiss.  My report cards always said:  ‘Has potential but cannot apply himself’.  The way you explained some of the ADD symptoms and daily accounts was like reading the daily itinerary of my life:  the shame, attachment problems, aggression; misplacing keys, my wallet, the phone. I had not kept a job in years and was out of a degree just one year from completion. Since your book, I have changed my life. I am now just a month from completion of my undergraduate degree, I spend more time at the library than anywhere else and have had the best year of my recent life.“

“Yesterday I finished your book Scattered.  I went through almost two highlighters noting everything I found important…  I couldn’t believe how insightful it was, over and over and over again.   I learned invaluable information to apply as a parent, and as a psychotherapist.  I’m sure I’ll get even more from it when I go through it a second and third time around.   A very heartfelt thank you!“

“I am reading Scattered.  My son was diagnosed a couple of years ago with ADHD, as was I.  I have done a lot of research and reading on the topic since then.  I have felt compelled to tell you that your book is far superior to all the other books and online articles I have read…  I have never felt that someone understood and was able to describe so clearly the condition that is ADD.  I feel great relief at being understood so completely, and I know that I will be able to convey some of this understanding to my 17-year-old son.“

“I just finished reading Scattered Minds, and I do believe that this week is the first time I have exhaled in twenty years.  I feel…explained, understood, accepted…by me.  Finally!  Thank you for helping me clear my own path and accept my own journey.“

“I found Scattered Minds absolutely fascinating, and I feel like I finally have some understanding of my daughter, who is 17 years old, as well as my husband. The title of the book is what caught my attention, as I have often thought of my daughter as “scattered”. I am inspired by my newfound insight into the dynamics of our relationships [and] I am working on giving her the attention and unconditional love she needs. Thank you for your wonderful book.“

“I am 45 years old, and I have ADD.  Most of my life I had no idea I had it.  For the last 15 years, I have been studying about it and trying so hard to overcome it.  I don't know how I stumbled on your book - Scattered - but I did, and I wept through it.  Never have I read a more gracious, and elegant description of what it is like to be me.  My husband who also has ADD, heard of my feelings about your book and began to give it to high school students in his classes who exhibited the signs of ADD.  They all would read it and weep through it.  My friend who also has ADD and has walked through so much with me and I with her, has passed the title of your book to so many people...they are experiencing such a shift from it! The affects of ADD are so deep and profound...your words touch just that place.  Peeling back the skin of the multiple layers of this adventure, I find the question of attachment at the very core.  It has catapulted me further in "therapy" than any technique or theory or counseling hour ever has. I wish that I could give you great gifts for what you have given (no doubt suffered to give) to me without even knowing me. Thank you! “

“I am only a bit of the way through Scattered Minds but must stop before I read any further to extend a sincere ‘THANK YOU!!!’ and ‘God bless you’ for this incredible and insightful work. It is a relief and source of hope to be able to put a name to s I have feebly tried to self-analyze for many years… Thank you for seeing ADD as one more manifestation of the beautiful diversity of creation instead of a disease, for your frankness about your own situation and growth, and the courage and conviction to share what you have both suffered and discovered. On those days when you may wonder whether or not your life has made a difference, know that one middle-aged mom in the Midwest is walking with a new hope in her heart because of the work you have done. “

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