- Paperback: 260 pages
- Publisher: Citadel; Third Edition edition (June 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1559724900
- ISBN-13: 978-1559724906
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,759,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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However, the book was a pretty dry read, given the sophomoric writing style. There were even several misspelled words and grammar gaffes - editor? In one instance she made a big deal about her kid drawing a two dimensional triangle, when what she really meant was a three dimensional triangle. Hopefully her quotes from the professionals were accurate.
The overall tone of the book was rather oppressive. I feel bad for the author and her family for having such a miserable existence for so long. I think it would have been helpful to sprinkle in some more positive, lighter anecdotes rather than just all the bad stories.
My child is now eleven, the same age as Mary Fowler's child is at the end of the book. I picked up this book at the library because, after going through so many years, I thought it might be nice to see another parent's perspective.
Well, first it was nice to see that there is another child on this planet who is my son's twin! As far as behavior is concerned. That was *nice* to read about! On the other hand, her perspective is very different from mine on a lot of issues. She went a completely different route than we did - she had her child diagnosed with ADHD, and treated medically, and also she put him in a special program. We chose not do any of those things, but not because we didn't want to deal with it, rather, we felt a different approach would work better.
We did not want to go the medical route because we did not want to view him as "our child, the problem" and we wanted him to grow up normally. What we did do was all kinds of natural stuff, such as allergy testing, sensory integration therapy, physical therapy, but we kept him in a school setting. It was very hard, but we assumed that he would outgrow most of his more severe symptoms eventually, with lots of love, attention, and therapy. We also kept him in a regular school setting, and asked the teachers to accomodate him, plus got him help with homework, tutoring, etc.
I am not saying that our approach is better, simply that it was the approach that we chose. I don't think that anybody could make that decision for a parent, that is an individual decision that each person has to make on his own. But when I read this book, I knew why I made the decision that I did.
Throughout the book, Mary Fowler refers to her child as a "problem" child, with a terrible disease, ADHD. And it is so hard to have such a child, and nobody can understand how hard it is to have a child with ADHD, it is just so impossible. Well, I would like to say something. My child had severe ADHD, and believe me, it was not easy. However, in no way can the pain of having an ADHD child compare with the pain of a parent who has a child with cancer, for instance, or any other kind of severe medical condition. To call ADHD a "severe" medical condition is simply not true. The majority of the children with ADHD outgrow it as they get older, and almost all of them can lead normal, productive lives.
And even the behavior problems of a child with ADHD... well, I know parents who have real problems with their children, they are totally out of control, and these children - Surprise! - do NOT have ADHD. They may have anger management issues, depression - who knows? There are some children who are harder to raise than others. There are some children who really test every bit of patience that a parent can have. And there are children who are within "normal" range, and parents still have a hard time raising them. Even "easy" children come with their share of problems, too. So the attitude of "poor me" my child has a problem, and nobody can understand how hard it is for me to have a child with such a severe medical condition, well, I just don't go for that, I'm sorry. AND I am talking as someone who has gone through with my child everything Mary Fowler has, and more.
Sometimes we forget to remember the good parts of being a parent, the fun parts of just having a kid and enjoying him, sometimes we have to be reminded to just "enjoy" our children. A medical diagnosis, in my opinion, makes it too easy to focus on their symptoms - and you are constantly thinking in terms of how bad was he today? Is it time to adjust the medication? And you become so focused on constantly cataloguing all your child's symptoms, and you are also constantly reminded - my child has a problem, my child has ADHD, every time you have to remember what to say to report to the doctor, the therapist, whatever. And for me, by just focusing on my child as a kid, I think that it was easier for me, and easier for me to see all the good qualities that my child has, easier for me to allow him some slack (he liked to dig in the backyard all day? okay, some kids have more energy) and not looking at everthing he does as a symptom of a disease.
However, if the medical route is the route you wish to take, this book will be very helpful to you, as it has a lot of information as to what to do and where to go to get the most help.
But whatever you do, don't forget to sometimes just focus on you child's positive qualities (he has to have SOME positive qualities!) and just enjoy his childhood!