Thursday, May 10, 2007

Beating ADD: Only a Mother Could Love Him

As a fictional account of an exasperating but lovable kid with ADHD, see my reviews of the Joey Pigza trilogy, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, Joey Pigza Loses Control, and What Would Joey Do? by Jack Gantos, posted last week.

For a first-person memoir, take a look at Benjamin Polis' Only a Mother Could Love Him, which seemed as if it could have been written by Joey P. (for Problem, as Grandma Pigza named him) Pigza, all grown up and looking back on his childhood. While researching for the Joey Pigza series, I ran across this account of the ADHD child from the inside looking out.

Polis offers a first-person view of growing up torn between his own impulses and others' negative reactions to his behavior. Recognized for his intelligence and talent, Ben seems to have been fortunate in the support of his family and to have benefited from the insight of a few teachers and school administrators who were able to detect ability in the midst of some destructive behaviors. Their forebearance enabled him to stick it out in school through the difficult teen years. How he came to understand himself and his own behavior makes an absorbing read.

It's a long haul with any child, but what we would especially wish for the ADHD child is plenty of this sort of patience, support, and, ultimately, self-understanding.



  • Thanks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:46 PM  

  • Do you think this is a book that might benefit a 13-year-old boy who is ADHD and struggling (but with much better self-control now than he was at age 8)? Or is the kind of thing that he'd appreciate later?

    -- Joanna.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:51 PM  

  • Dear Joanna,
    The book is intended for adults, but I'd advise you to read it first and use your judgment as to whether it would be helpful to your son.

    It might, because 13-year-olds often discount a lot of what parents tell them, but tend to listen to the same advice from young adults who seem closer to their own situation. (I remember from English lit that the old Saxons used to give maternal uncles the job of raising boy children as they approached adolescence. There might be some wisdom in that venerable practice!)

    By Blogger GTC, at 8:46 AM  

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