The Power of Books
As a child, I loved nothing better than going down the street with my best friend to our favorite tall, shady bush. We’d pick out a cozy spot underneath the branches, take out the books we’d brought, and read for hours. In the years to come, books would be my way to understand and gain perspective about the world. They were my solace through difficult times and my favorite form of relaxation.
When my child, Lee, was diagnosed with ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety, I turned to books. My shelves started to fill up with memoirs, books with parenting help, and ones that gave me facts on ADHD, as well as its impact on society.
As you can see from the photo accompanying this blog, I ended up with a full collection and thought I’d share some of my favorites. For a full list of the titles and authors, you can go to my ADDitude page.
A big fan of memoirs, I loved “Raising Will; Surviving the Brilliance and Blues of ADHD.” Katherine Quie’s journey to help her son reminded me so much of my own and the many challenges Lee and I faced. From Quie’s struggles to help Will at home and in the classroom, to the moments when she sees his extraordinary talent as a musician shine, this book is a must for parents raising a child with ADHD.
Another book that resonated with me was “The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids with ADHD, Anxiety, and More,” by Elaine Taylor-Klaus. As an ex-teacher, I appreciated her strategies to help kids in the classroom, stressing individual steps over the outcome. As the mother of a complex child, I welcomed the invitation to step into acceptance and create a new perspective. Elaine not only acknowledged the difficulty parents faced, she empowered them to believe in themselves and see the possibilities, instead of the obstacles.
At a conference that focused on ADHD and autism, I met Stephen P. Hinshaw, one of the authors of “The ADHD Explosion; Myths, Medication, Money, and Today’s Push for Performance.” His lecture cited many statistics and facts from the book, written with Richard M. Scheffler, which convinced me it belonged on my bookshelf. “What,” the authors asked, “…is driving the ADHD explosion–parents, doctors, schools, culture, the healthcare system, or Big Pharma?” A compelling question.
These are only a few selections from my collection that turned me into an advocate and changed my life for the better. I hope one of them is just what you need this spring. Knowledge gives us power!
As Mother’s Day approaches, I want to thank all the special moms who supported me through the years. Parenting a neurodiverse child is challenging and makes it difficult sometimes to find understanding friends. When I was struggling, long before my child’s ADHD diagnosis, two moms stepped forward and gave me hope and the gift of friendship. This blog is in honor of them.
Even though I’d heard that communication is a skill we learn and practice, no one told me how important that would be in raising my child. Between Lee’s inability to focus, a lot of hyperactivity, and emotions that were hard to regulate, it became my challenge to find a different way to communicate. In this month’s blog, I put together the tips that worked for me over the years. Hope you’ll find one that works for you!
One of the workshops I loved at last year’s CHADD conference was led by Ryan Wexelblatt, the “ADHD Dude.” A popular speaker, he chose to highlight “Situational Awareness,” and it was an eye-opener. Join me in this month’s blog as I figure out how to keep Lee safe in parking lots, only to find it turned around on me many years later. And a big thanks to Ryan for his words of wisdom that motivated this blog!