Saturday, April 18, 2009

Book Review: Superparenting for ADD

After a psychologist told us that M had ADD, I struggled greatly. In fact, I still do. It's almost as though I'm split right through the middle. One half saying "yes, this makes sense" and the other half saying "no, he's just a boy, this is just the way he is". It wasn't until I picked up this book that I realized both could be correct.

The book had me from the jacket cover description, which left me in tears in the bookstore aisle. It spoke about "unconditional love", "viewing the mirror traits", "the cycle of excellence" and "identifying and tapping the source". I have long known that when a child is born, they are born to their parents... I feel that God gives us the children we are meant to have, and I have always felt that I was meant to be M's mother.

In parenting him I've learned about myself. Even reading the "problems" with his ADD I see myself and it is now so easy to see the mirror traits.

Stubbornness = Persistence
Impulsiveness = Creativity
Intrusiveness = Eagerness

Within the covers of this book I learned about the three core symptoms of ADD: distractibility, impulsivity, restlessness or hyperactivity. M isn't hyperactive, his version is the "inattentive" type of ADD or ADHD. He has what the author calls "a Ferrari brain with bicycle brakes" and I've used that description to talk to M about his ADD gift.

Because that's what the authors - Edward Hallowell, MD & Peter Jensen MD - see ADD as being. It's the way his brain works and it's not "bad", "wrong" or in need or "fixing". Now at this point I expect some parents to say "yeah, but my son/daughter had issues much bigger than your son" and that's going to be true because there is no ONE way to have ADD. That's the point. That's why it takes "superparenting".

The book is overwhelmingly positive. From encouraging parents to "always listen for the song your child is trying to sing" to asking them to finish the book with a "cheer and a smile". The authors don't come across as patronizing, but supportive and caring.

Dr. Hallowell himself has ADD, as do two of his children. Dr Jensen is a world renowned child psychologist. Together they have written a book that is like a light to parents who to find their role as parents of children with ADD.

One of the best things I found in the book was the Kolbe Y Index that was created by Kathy Kolbe to determine what sort of learner your child is. M is still too young for that test, but I'm considering doing the "IF" test they offer.

I wish the psychologist had sent us home with this book. But then again, all he wanted to send us home with was instructions on where to get a prescription.

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