I have the pleasure today of reviewing a book written by a colleague of mine, Penny Williams. It’s called “Boy Without Instructions” and it’s Penny’s account of raising her son, nicknamed Ricochet, and helping him make his way through school and life with ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and other challenges. Ricochet is a gifted child with an above average IQ who struggles to learn. To tell you that this book is good is an understatement. Penny’s writing style is easy to read and yet elegant at the same time. I started reading this book one evening and did not put it down until I was done. I think that all of us can relate somehow to the various members of Penny’s household and to the challenges they faced. If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, you can relate to this family right away. And if you happen to have some challenges of your own, you can relate to Ricochet too. Like all families, there were good times along with the bad. I think life is just more interesting when you have ADHD. One of the things that struck me about “Boy Without Instructions” was Penny’s mama bear attitude. You know what that’s like. You will go to any lengths for your child and no one better stand in your way. I love the parenting tips that Penny shares, especially the counting technique that she learned from their counselor. I also love the fact that Penny tells it like it was; there are no attempts to be anything but totally honest here. Penny is revealing her family’s journey in order to help other families who travel the same roads. I love the part where she talks to Ricochet about quitting baseball and his reply. And I also love the part where Penny realized that she was depriving Ricochet of some pretty typical child activities because of his ADHD and that it wasn’t fair. Rather than keeping him from baseball because of his lack of coordination, she learned to work with him on those skills. In all, “Boy Without Instructions” is a story you may be familiar with. It breaks your heart and lifts it up too. Even if you are like me, whose children are grown, I think you will enjoy this book. You can find it here. About Penny: Penny Williams is a columnist for ADDitude magazine and blogs at A Mom’s View of ADHD.
My review on GoodReads:
Penny Williams shares a very honest and personal account of the struggles her family went through in raising her son, Ricochet, who has ADHD. Boy Without Instructions gives the reader a very real glimpse into the challenges and joys of raising a special needs child. Easy to read – I read it in one sitting – and well written. If you are a parent of a special needs child, you should read this book. You may even come away with a few new tools to add to your skill set.