Book Summary

Fire Child, Water Child

how understanding the Five Types of ADHD

can help you improve your child’s self-esteem and attention


by Stephen Scott Cowan MD


Fire Child, Water Child is a revolutionary guide to parenting a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that does not rely on “quick fix” medications or pathologizing your child’s challenges.  In his years working with children with ADHD, pediatrician Stephen Scott Cowan has discovered that when it comes to treatment, one size does not fit all kids. What helps one child focus may not benefit another. Utilizing the wisdom of Chinese medicine, he describes five distinct ways children adapt to their environment – fire, wood, earth, metal, water and presents specific ways to support each of their strengths.  Fire Child, Water Child gives parents, for the first time, access to a customized guide to reducing the stress that contributes to their child’s ADHD symptoms. Through this personalized approach, you will discover long lasting solutions that help your child become more confident and less impulsive, and in so doing master the powers of attention.


The Wood child is the adventurous explorer, always on the move and gets frustrated easily when constrained.

The Fire child is the charismatic leader, outgoing and funny but can be prone to mood swings and impulsive actions.

The Earth child is the cooperative peacemaker who can feel worried and indecisive when stressed.

The Metal child is comforted by routine and finds it difficult to shift attention from task to task.

The Water child is the imaginative dreamer, deeply introspective, who struggles to keep track of time.


This holistic guide gives parents a chance to see the big picture of their child’s life and utilize all the forces that support a particular child’s nature. Dr. Cowan offers practical skills and activities that parents can use everyday to cultivate their child’s innate character strengths and develop the ability to focus calmly and effectively.