Will vs. counterwill
"ADD children can hardly be said to have a will at all, if a "will" is a capacity which enables a person to know what he wants and to hold to that goal regardless of setbacks, difficulties, or distracting impulses.
"But my child is strong-willed," many parents insist. "When he decides that he wants something he just keeps at it until I cannot say no, or until I get very angry". What is really being described here is not will, but a rigid, obsessive clinging to this or that desire. An obsession may resemble will in its persistence, but has nothing in common with it. Its power comes from the unconscious and it rules the individual, whereas a person with true will is in command of his intentions.
The child’s oppositionality is not an expression of will. What it denotes is the absence of will which only allows a person to react, but not to act from a free and conscious process of decision making.
In the ADD child the underdeveloped circuitry of self-regulation reinforces the counterwill reaction. Because the child with attention deficit disorder is unable to disengage impulse from action, his automatic negative responses are expressed immediately and dramatically, in ways the adult world usually interprets simply as deliberate rudeness.
Further magnifying the brazen outbursts of oppositionality is another feature of underdevelopment, the one-dimensionality of the ADD child’s emotional processing. In a manner characteristic of infants and toddlers, children with attention deficit disorder are unable to hold in their minds simultaneously two different images of themselves or of others. For the preverbal child the "me" is either happy or miserably upset. Mommy is either good or bad."
I re-read every chapter of this book at least once before moving on to the next. I have it as an audiobook and an ebook for whoever would like to read it.