Friday, June 14, 2013

Buzz. A Memoir by Katherine Ellison

Buzz.  A Year of Paying Attention.  A Memoir by Katherine Ellison

Katherine Ellison has ADHD and so does her oldest son, Buzz.  She is married and extremely busy, disorganized and frazzled like most ADHD moms, me included.  Buzz is 12 and is seemingly out of control.  He has no friends, he tells his mom he hates her, he constantly picks fights with his younger brother Max.  Katherine wonders where she went wrong and how she is going to survive motherhood, as Buzz moves through junior high and high school.  So she makes a plan to pay attention to paying attention for a whole year.

Katherine with her son Buzz in tow, set out to investigate ideas and solutions that will help them to reconnect and find a way to be less angry, less distracted and more in tune to their brains and how they operate.  In Buzz, A Year of Paying Attention, Ellison investigates medicine, meditation, brain scans, Neurofeedback and more.  She drives and flies with her son to many different locations to learn all they can about ADHD.  ADHD is a work in progress.  It doesn't effect any one person in exactly the same way and so what works for one person, may or may not work for another.  It is important to explore ALL your options.

As a mother who has ADD and two kids with ADHD, I found this book to be extremely valuable.  Ellison and I have a lot in common and it was helpful for me to read that some of what she goes through is just as horrible as what I go through.  Ellison made me feel validated and that it is OK to be a work in progress as a parent.

For years, I have been against medicating my kids.  I worry and as Ellison points out, a lot of parents worry about medicating their kids.  It is not a decision to take lightly. That being said, my husband has been pushing to medicate our kids.  After reading Ellison's book, I am willing to give it a try with limitations.  So we will probably take the step when school starts in the fall with a two week trial.

I wish that insurance covered more than just medication for ADHD.  I continue to dream about a day when kids go to a school that is active, where kids can control their own learning and not remain seated in a desk all day.  Where educators facilitate and not have to give test after test or can choose to do something creative over reading the paragraph and answering the questions.  Schools should be a place where all kids can succeed, not just the "good" kids.

Ellison's book is great for parents of kids with ADHD.  Please read it.  She tries a lot of different methods and solutions (some are very expensive) so we don't have to.  She rules out what doesn't work and shares all the information available in her research in the pages of Buzz.  As a parent I found it vey valuable and of course it is helping me on my own parenting journey.

My advice and Katherine Ellison's advice is to keep trying.  Never give up on your kids.
So I will continue to search for what is best for my kids and continue to read books about ADHD.