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New Memoirs Explores ADHD and the Black Family

Posted August 24, 2018
By  Asha Smith

Authors of the new book Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir decided to do something when expensive, dangerous behaviors repeated in their home, Audrey and Larry Jones sought help from teachers and therapists regarding their children. During his adolescence, each child was diagnosed with ADHD, just as a hyperactive disorder was becoming a recognized clinical condition. For at least 20 years of his career as a pediatrician, Larry did not link his children’s symptoms and signs of ADHD to himself.

Married over 46 years, Audrey and Larry are parents, grandparents, and fun-loving mates who enjoy each other’s company, civic, volunteer and cultural activities and frequent traveling. They had a whirlwind spring romance in 1970 as college students, married in late summer of 1972, and in four years had three sons, one right after the other.

In 2008, Audrey was stricken with an illness, which took its toll on her health and led to a permanent disability. Her gift of recovery included an opportunity for Larry and Audrey to seriously reflect on their sons’ actions, starts and misfires as young adults pursuing college educations and meaningful employment as they all lived with the challenges of ADHD. Rather than just writing about the road to recovery, Audrey and Larry chose to tell their whole story, with the intent of helping other families acknowledge and address behaviors that can adversely affect couples and families.

"Our stories are examples of the things that can happen when ADHD runs rampant and untreated for parent and three sons. That is what defines the universality of our stories. We fell into the same trap as many other parents, thinking that Drew, Jay, and Rob were just lazy and willfully not completing assignments in school. Parenting is probably the most humbling experience of your life. Few of us are trained in parenting and we encounter events in our children’s lives, which should lead us to professional counselors and therapists. Our darling children can throw us off kilter because they really do the darndest things," Audrey said.

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