I just finished reading for my professional book club the book titled BUZZ- A Year of Paying Attention by Katherine Ellison. It is a memoir in which Ellison shares the story of a year in her life as parent of a twelve-year-old son, Buzz who is diagnosed as having attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) along with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). She herself too is diagnosed with ADHD. The story tells the story both through humor and truth.
It really opened my eyes to the challenges of being a parent and then the extra pieces that go with being a parent of a child with special needs. Buzz isn’t the only child; there is a brother named Max. You hear a bit about his struggles too living with all this; but you don’t hear too much. Thus, it made me think of the many siblings of children with special needs and how their lives are affected too. Plus there was a husband to all this-Jack. You heard about him at various times throughout the book.
I saw how this diagnosis not only affected the child who had it, but also those around him daily. It is quite a challenge. The family struggled through the maze of doctors’ views, the medicine battles and the school system’s challenges. The book provides great insight into how it is to live with ADHD and ODD.
I pray for all those affected and hope we continue to search for ways to prevent or lessen these conditions.
I thank God for teachers and places like the Cooke Center for Learning and Development which work to help children with special needs and their families.
Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu