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Only a Mother Could Love Him: Attention Deficit Disorder [Paperback]

Benjamin Polis
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 2003
For all parents who have ever cried in despair over their hyperactive, impulsive, and seemingly uncontrollable child; for every teacher who’s ever vented frustration at a student who just won’t pay attention; for every kid who has ever asked himself, Why does everyone hate me?–help is here. Only a Mother Could Love Him is a remarkable look inside the mind of a person with ADD/ADHD. Ben Polis attended six different schools, served over three thousand hours of detention, and drove his family into counseling. But through great determination and the use of self-taught concentration techniques, Ben not only graduated high school but also attended a competitive university.

Ben describes what it’s really like to feel those constant impulses, to get all that medication, to desperately want to be “normal.” In addition, he offers lots of valuable advice to parents, including

• finding what forms of discipline will work–and what will never work
• surviving the daily homework struggle
• medicating or seeking other methods of treatment
• teaching your ADD/ADHD child to read

Only a Mother Could Love Him is a much-needed salve for parents and kids who feel isolated, depressed, and confused. From schoolwork to exercise to drugs, Ben Polis has important insights to share–and a message of hope that will warm the hearts of those suffering the most.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 167 pages
  • Publisher: Add Help Guide (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740081692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740081696
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,710,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A unique perspective on ADHD 26 Jun 2006
By LKB
Format:Paperback
This booksdifferent to how I expected but it was well worth reading. It gives a unique insight into the mind of someone who has ADHD and helps us to understand their reactions and feelings. A must for any parent who has a child with ADHD and anyone working with children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Only a Mother could love him 16 Mar 2006
Format:Paperback
This is a very heartfelt book written by a very determined young man. If you have a ADHD/ADD child or think you might it really gives you a good insight into their lives and the traumas they go through every day. The tips and coping stratagies are extremely practical and helpful and it gives you hope and encouragement for your child. Even if you do not have an ADHD child this book will give you a good insight into why these children behave the way the do. A must for all parents.
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3.0 out of 5 stars nothing earth shattering but it is heartfelt 5 Jan 2006
Format:Paperback
We've known our own son has ADHD for several years so a lot of this book's Important Tips and insights (small schools and classes are better, ADHD = total lack of self control at times, etc) were not new, but the view from 'inside' ADHD was. I can sympathise a lot more with my own boy now that I've read Ben's story. You'll know you're reading a first book, written by a 19-year old (and later revised by a 21 year old) ADHDer, and a rather egotistical one at that, but it's worth persevering with to get that insight. If you haven't done much/any research on the subject, this is probably as good a place as any to start. Just remember - this is one case history and not everything he says may be true for the ADHDer(s) in your life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the top two ADHD/ADD books 14 Oct 2003
By John Faughnan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My wife and I are both physicians who've managed children with ADD/ADHD, but our professional experience is dwarfed by our personal experience.
In this domain we are experts.
There are two books that stand out amongst all the hundreds we've scanned and the dozens we've studied. One is 'The Explosive Child' by Ross Greene.
The other is this book. It's not the best organized or structured book; it's a bit scattered and tangential. It's speculative in places and not "evidence based". The writer is not as polished as Greene, the style is more like a business book than an academic book. All which is to say that the author writes like he really does have ADHD.
No matter, the book works. It's the best source of ideas and insight we've come across in years. I'm particularly intrigued by the focus on deficits in working memory; I think he's right about the importance of this particular disability and it's not been a major topic of research until recently.
It's also very optimistic and encouraging for parents and family. A quick read, I'd recommend buying copies for teachers and grandparents.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice for parents of ADHD kids 2 Nov 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
now that I have read this book, i can wholeheartedly recommend it to other parents. Our two sons have ADD and have exhibited some (but not all) of the behaviors described in this book. Fortunately we did not have the problems with violence he describes. However, one of our sons became a champion wrestler and I think this was an excellent outlet for him. As Benjamin says, individual sports are very important for the ADD student.
He describes problems in school that accurately reflect our sons' school careers. Excellent grades on tests, next to no homework done, so low GPAs. Like Benjamin, our older son is doing extremely well in college, because he is studying things that deeply interest him (physics) and not things that don't (english literature).
Two things I would change in terms of advice to other parents. Benjamin says that kids should not be medicated daily. We have seen a specialist at NIH who says that the latest evidence shows that daily doses of ritalin or equivalent are actually beneficial. the brain seems to develop new neurotransmitter capabilities if the dosages are kept constant.
the other has to do with reading. Our sons were not interested in reading until we discovered which topics interested them. Our oldest is sports-crazed, so he learned to read box scores at age 5. the first words he read were Philadelphia and Chicago. We bought lots of sports magazines and books and watched sporting events with him to reinforce what he learned in reading. Our younger son was very interested in comics, so we bought every Calvin & Hobbs book. We read them to him over and over and later he learned to read them himself. Great vocabulary builders! Now both are voracious readers. We kept the house awash in books on many topics. If they indicated an interest, we got books on that topic. so they learned to enjoy books.
So, thanks to Benjamin for an inside look at a world that is very difficult for a non-ADD parent to fathom. We wish you well, Benjamin, and all the other parents who are out there dealing with this problem! Your children can definitely grow up to be successful, though it may not feel like at when they are in third grade!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only a Mother Could Love Him 27 Nov 2003
By sewwhatsnew@hfx. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone needing information on ADHD. My 13 yr. old grandson lives with us and I was at my wits end over his school work and unpredictability. I found this book and just devoured it. It was not long before I could see thru the eyes of my grandson and truly understand some of what he is feeling.
The opinions stated in this book are not always mine, but I found a lot of his insight just so valuable and sometimes humorous. I have highlighted many passages and keep it by my bed so I can remind myself that I am not going crazy. Ben tells it like it is.
Ben Polis is a brilliant young man who should be applauded for his courage in writing this book and sharing his life with us.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Isabelle's Mind 30 July 2005
By Juliet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I really thought that this book is brilliant. My younger sister Isabelle, she is 9, has A.D.H.D and I never quite understood her. I have at many times told her that she was stupid and that I wished she was never born. She has put a large burden on our family in many ways, yet when I read this book it opended my eyes. It has taught me how to deal with Isabelle in a way that works best for her. I have tried to read books written by doctors and experts on the subject but those made me feel like she was even more "less normal" than I thought, and that I would never understand her. I am so thankful for this book and the opportunities it has opened up for Isabelle and me. I can finally see one of her crazy fits for what it really is, an expression of love.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ADD with heart and insight 1 April 2007
By Katsurina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ben Polis set out to write a book that would help parents understand their ADHD children. In that regard, I feel he succeeded admirably. It certainly provides a lot of insight into the mind of kid who just can't control himself.

I would absolutely recomment this book to parents who have a child that has, or may have, ADD/ADHD. I would also consider it a must-read for teachers and students aspiring to be teachers. The classroom is a really rough place for kids with ADD and there are too many teachers who'd rather ignore a trouble-maker than actually put the effort into helping them. I think this book might give them what they need to be more compassionate with children who need the attention.

There are a lot of good ideas in this book for staving off temper-tantrums and explaining to the child how he is misbehaving.

I addition to the advice and insight, it's a really touching story. You really get a sense of the sadness and confusion Ben went through, as well as the horror his parents felt on more than one occasion.

The book would probably be great for someone in their teens or older who is living with ADD and wants to feel that they are not alone, or could benefit from his coping strategies.

I do have a couple criticisms. First, it should be noted that while Ben grew up with ADHD, he is not an expert on the subject. His advice comes from personal experience, not research. His techniques, while probably very helpful, will not apply in all cases. There are also times in the book where he simply does not undertand what it is that he's talking about. He tries to talk about stuff that is beyond his own experience, and in a few cases he is not correct, or, for example, displays that he doesn't actually know what the word "symptom" means. The average person will probably not catch these mistakes, but they are there, and it should be remembered that he is not an expert.

The other problem I had was that it was very male-centric. When giving advice he always refers to "your son". The book probably has little to offer parent of daughters with ADHD unless the daughter follows a pattern of symptoms more typical of a boy.

Overall, the book really is excellent. It's a good read and I expect very helpful. But keep in mind, especially if you are a parent of a child with ADHD, that he not an authority.
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