- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Voice; First Edition edition (October 5, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401340881
- ISBN-13: 978-1401340889
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,535,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention Hardcover – October 5, 2010
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In this funny, well-written memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and former foreign correspondent Ellison describes life after she learns that her 12-year-old son, Buzz, suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and that she’s got it, too. Looking back, the Stanford graduate sees the signs, even in her choice of profession. Who needs Ritalin when you can cover coups? Ellison expertly weaves together her family’s story (at one point her son grabs a huge butcher’s knife, waves it at her, then holds it against his own throat) with interesting information about impulsive behavior (the ancient Greeks used leeches to treat it because they thought it was caused by too much red blood). She gives her take on treatments they tried, and gives thumbs down to food additives (they appear to increase hyperactivity) and stimulants (at least for Buzz, they cause terrible insomnia), and thumbs up to neurofeedback, meditation, and a new pet dog. Parents of kids with ADHD should find comfort in this book, which combines helpful information on the disorder with Ellison’s personal story. --Karen Springen
About the Author
Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist, former foreign correspondent, writing consultant, author of four books, and mother of two sons. Her most recent writing has focused primarily on neuroscience and the environment.
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Ellison's memoir - and yes, it is a "memoir", not a scientific study - takes a look at a year in the family's life as mother Katherine buckles down to help both Buzz and herself. Because, helping Buzz find his way in the world with ADD (and ODD thrown in) means Katherine has to learn to deal with her own ADD. Would a non-ADD mother be detached enough to know the best way to handle Buzz's idiosyncratic behavior? Ellison takes a year where she investigates the "hows" and "why", and even the "how-not's" and the "why-not's", of ADD in both age groups. She looks into the all-important and controversial issue of medication. And the support groups - mostly good, but largely affiliated with Big Pharma - that help both ADD'ers and their families. She also talks about the sometimes screwy mind-management solutions that often cost a lot in both time and money, and are not the "quick fixes" their proponents often sell them as. She also explores meditation and the comfort that can bring, slowing down a busy world and bringing it into focus.
Again, this is a "memoir" and must be read as such. Ellison gives a lots of informational notes in the back of the book about where to get help for your ADD child. But, at the end, it is a story of a mother and son, who clearly love each other, finding their ways in this fast-paced world.