Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Walk in the Rain with Shelley

reminder to self to write about Four's book selection last night. later.

[update 4/24/2005] Four and I had been butting heads ever since his return from school this day. He certainly had his good moments, but there were times when he was just bouncing off the walls. M came home and the situation almost intensified, understandably. Both kids were so excited to her. LuLu tripped over some toys running out to see her, and Four, who had just gotten out of the tub and was getting lotion for his eczema, tried to run out naked. I made him at least put some underpants on. But when it was finally time to go to bed, and after much protesting and quarreling, Four finally picked out his two books: Shelley, the Hyperactive Turtle and A Walk in the Rain with a Brain. Brain is a neat book that emphasizes the value of everyone's brain and its celebrates the differences in people's skills and interests. It seems as if this book is linked to the ADD/ADHD literature in many circles, but I believe it's a valuable book for all of us. Shelley is a book about a little turle who displays all the trademark characteristics of ADD/ADHD and undergoes a process to help mitigate some of the negative behaviors associated with the diagnosis. [A side note about Shelley: there are definitely some valuable messages in this book, but some of the language seems to me overly negative and stigmatizing. Additionally, the book makes reference textually and graphically to medication, which may or may not be an option for some families -- we are certainly hoping to avoid it, if at all possible.]His selection of these books, after a day of trying behavior, was, to me, his version of an olive branch. I felt he was saying, "Dad, I know my behavior today was not the best, and for that I am sorry. Maybe this is why."


Douglas Cootey said...

Shelley sounds dreadful, but "A Walk in the Rain with a Brain” might deserve a look since I usually enjoy Hallowell's work. Of course, I've never read any of his children's books...

Your child is only four I take it? Too soon for therapy, but you may want to look into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for tips. It can best be summed up as mind over mood. That happens to be a book ( by Dennis Greenberger about dealing with mood disorders, but the techniques can be quite effective against ADHD. I have tried meds and found the side effects outweighed any perceived benefits. I wish you luck raising your children without them. They are often pushed on children or used as a crutch because the doctors don't really know how to help you. But they do know how to write prescriptions... :/

Douglas Cootey said...

I should add that Shelley sounds dreadful because it specifically offers meds as a solution to children. That sits uncomfortably with me. Smacks of propoganda. But mostly, I just don't trust them. :) Yes, I'm paranoid.

About 15 years ago I met with a doctor for a routine checkup. It was my first time with this doctor. When I told him of some of my difficulties with ADD he became very excited. He didn't believe in ADD and felt that I was simply a manic depressive who had been misdiagnosed. He wanted to put me on anti-depressants right then and there. When I balked at that I will never forget what he said to me. It has always embodied everything wrong with the medical profession to me. He said, "How do you know this isn't the magic pill that will make all your troubles go away?"

I didn't know. I couldn't be certain. But I also didn't believe in magic pills. It was the last time I visited that doctor.


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