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P. Supko "Books and Music" RSS Feed (Arnold, MD United States)

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Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools)
Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach (APA Lifetools)
by Vincent J. Monastra
Edition: Paperback
167 used & new from $0.01

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real-World Help, March 10, 2007
Of all the books I've read about parenting children with AD/HD, this is the most useful. The author, Dr. Monastra, runs an attention-disorder clinic that offers a class specifically geared to parenting children with AD/HD. He has taken that class, simplified the content, and broken it down into eleven lessons. While it is of course no substitute for attending a ten- or eleven-week class, the lessons are clear and highly valuable. He explains the condition from a brain-function standpoint, discusses the different medications (what they do and when each type might be most useful) and outlines simple techniques that can help address some of the biggest areas of difficulty. The book was very readable and engaging. Dr. Monastra understands that many parents of kids with AD/HD have AD/HD themselves, and he designed the book with that fact in mind. He also provides his "top 40" list of typical behaviors that parents may feel they need to address. Overall, I felt like I was reading about my own child, and his advice was extremely helpful.

With Love from Karen
With Love from Karen
by Marie Killilea
Edition: Library Binding
4 used & new from $18.95

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Further Adventures of the Killilea Family, November 5, 2006
"With Love From Karen" continues the true story of a girl, born in 1940 with cerebral palsy, and her family. This follow-up to the 1952 book "Karen" picks up five years after the end of the first book. Karen is now 12; the family has found a suitable house for their unique needs; and Gloria has officially joined the Killilea clan.

As with "Karen," I have read "With Love From Karen" many times since my teen years. Although I enjoy reading it as a continuation of Karen's story, I have never found it as compelling as the first book. Perhaps it is because the breakthroughs are different, or perhaps the writing is simply not as strong.

For those whose interest was piqued by the first book, I heartily recommend reading the rest of the story. If you have not been introduced to the Killilea's by reading "Karen," then you should start there.

The tone of this book is matter-of-fact tending toward upbeat. There are many anecdotes and stories that illustrate the Killilea family's interesting life. Some will make you laugh, others will make you roll your eyes; many will make you think.

A few important things to consider: The Killilea's were devoutly Catholic, and their attitudes and decisions reflect this as well as the era (1950's). The book was written long enough ago that the language and situations, particularly with regard to matters of educating the handicapped, may seem outdated and "wrong." Welcome to the world before the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act!

Readers should also note that the "C.P. work" in the book refers to Marie Killilea's work with United Cerebral Palsy, which she helped to found. She remained active with the organization for many years; read the book to learn more.

I am glad that I own this book, as well as the original "Karen." I am glad to have it on my bookshelf, where I can periodically pull it down, read it, and be reminded how lucky I am to be healthy and have a healthy family, as well as of how much (and how little) people have changed in the last 40 years.

by Marie Killilea
Edition: Library Binding
12 used & new from $35.98

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Product of Another Age, November 5, 2006
This review is from: Karen (Library Binding)
I have read "Karen" a number of times since my teen years, though prior to purchasing the book, it had been at least 10 years since my last reading. This story of a girl born in 1940 with cerebral palsy -- and all the trials, tribulations, and stigma that went along with its diagnosis, treatment, and daily living at that time -- remains intriguing and engaging.

More than simply an eye-opening account of life with a severely disabled child, "Karen" is a window into another era, even another culture (the story takes place in the well-to-do suburbs north of New York City). The Killilea's were a devoutly Catholic Irish-American family. This is before Vatican II and the changes it brought to the Mass and to the church itself. Smoking was socially acceptable, its health risks not well-consdidered. These things all play into the story.

I feel compelled to address Marie's (author/narrator) comment, during her husband Jiimmy's serious illness, that she would sacrifice her children. I believe other reveiwers have mis-interpreted her remark. She wasn't minimizing her love for her children; she was expressing her extraordinary love and devotion to her husband. Again, remember that the book was written in 1952 and should not be judged as if it had been written in 2006. Language, customs, beliefs, and even our culture were significantly different.

In summary, "Karen" is a fascinating story. Should you take everything in it at face value? No, of course not. Is it worth reading? Absolutely, if not for the day-to-day details of life with cerebral palsy, then for the window into life in suburbia in the early 1950's.

It is also worth noting that Marie Killilea was instrumental in founding United Cerebral Palsy, the organization that still advocates for and supports the cerebral palsied today.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 25, 2007 4:13 PM PDT

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