Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
The morning of December 14, 2012, I had a long drive and intermittent NPR stations, so I continued to listen to "Far From the Tree". The printed book is 702 pages long, and it's about 40 Audible hours. I was on Chapter X, Crime.
The book is beautifully narrated, and author/narrator Andrew Solomon's pronounciation of difficult terms is flawless. Even so, it's a difficult listen.
I have often wished that Audible had a true Table of Contents, and never more than with this book. The chapters are (with thanks to Amazon print) I. Son; II.Deaf III. Dwarfs IV. Downs Syndrome V. Autism VI. Schizophrenia VII. Disabilities VIII. Prodigies IX. Rape X. Crime XI. Transgender XII. Father.
Each section could, on its own, be a separate book - with the exception of I. Son and XII. Father - combine those two, and those would make a book.
Dwight Garner and Julie Meyer, writing separate reviews for the New York Times in November, love the book unreservedly. After listening to "Columbine", I was thinking of using a credit for this new book. I purchased "Far From the Tree" right after reading Meyer's rhapsodic review.
I am the mother of two teenagers who would not be in any of Solomon's chapters, but each and every section made me ache with my love for them. The challenges of normal teenagers, with raging hormones, lightning fast mood changes, and their sudden bursts of astounding clarity pale in comparison to what Solomon's families face. I am a better parent to them knowing that they are 'normal'.
I'm not a physician, sociologist or therapist - I'm just a Mom. I gained real confidence in trying my best to be a good Mom from this book. It was the best 'parenting' book I've read since "What to Expect When You're Expecting" by Heidi Muroff and Sharon Mazel. The books are entirely different, but reading them has the same effect. I am more (not less) confident about my mothering because of these books.
Which brings me back to December 14, 2012, the day of the Newtown/Sandy Hook mass murder. I have been wondering since then whether Sue Klebold, if given the choice, would have rather have been in Nancy Lanza's position - killed before she knew what her son did. I suspect not, and I hope Solomon can answer the queston for us.
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It provided a great deal of detailed information about all types of ADD and other conditions that frequently accompany it. Sometimes it was a little too dry and technical (with lots of quotes about/from the DSM 4). But it isn't a subject onecan make terribly fascinating.
Clearly Dr. Brown is very well educated about ADD and other related disorders. The book will be helpful for anyone who needs understand and learn more about it. If you have someone with ADD in your life or you have it yourself, you will want to learn more about it. The book should be educational to both parents and sufferers of ADD. The audible format is definitely better for you if you've got ADD.
It was really just the author as the main character. He read the complex subject matter clearly and understandably.
It is my fault given how recent most research on ADD is, but since it was released in 2012, I expected it to be more up to date with current medications and information. I didn't realize that it was actually published in 2005 and I wonder if that might have been a later edition of an earlier book.
From the perspective of someone who has Adult ADD, but currently no insurance and no extra money to spend on non-essentials(I did have about a year of treatment w/ insurance and various meds and still something, but it does very little good).
I felt depressed after reading it and learning that he feels (and he sites studies that support this opinion) medication alone is the best treatment (helping 80% or more ADD sufferers. The studies sited clearly showed medication was by far the best and most effective treatment (whether it was provided with counseling / other support or not) along with a doctor to provide medication management.
He kind of seems to expect all these are options you can pay for (or your insurance will), but if you don't have very much money or insurance and medication didn't help you much, it seemed he felt you were out of luck.
He didn't offer any options for individuals who don't have the resources for a lot of expensive professional help. I assume there are many many people out there like me, who really want to get better and get their lives on track. I wish he'd offered some other alternatives that might be of help if I can't pay doctors and counselors out of pocket.
I have read some other books that felt there were other options that would help me, so I hope they are correct. I didn't like spending all that time learning about ADD, only to feel defeated that there seemed to be no options available for me to get better. I hope the other books are correct for everyone's sake in the current economy.