8/13/07

Anne Fords On Their Own


Parenting is the most important challenge of any parents life, a never ending job. The challenges are often overwhelming, especially for the parent whose child is diagnosed with ADHD and other learning disabilities.

After receiving the diagnosis of a learning disability parents have many questions, the biggest of which is how their children will ever live On Their Own. How will they learn to live a happy and productive life? How will they find employment or ever truly be self sufficient?


These questions and more are one of the reasons why Anne Fords personal experience is an essential read, especially since in On Their Own she remembers asking those questions herself. In addition, the book is full of informative chapters covering every imaginative avenue and valuable resource available for this disability.

Written with John-Richard Thompson, On Their Own is Anne Fords second book based on her and her daughter Allegra's personal journey. A wonderful family guide full of useful information derived from the compassionate spirit of a good mother and writer.

Rearing a child with ADHD and other learning disabilities, is a lonely and frightening experience Anne Ford has written already, in her first book Laughing Allegra, she vividly recounts every detail of her reaction to a teacher’s insensitive description of her daughter, Allegra’s “problem.”




In the introduction for On Their Own, Anne remembers writing about her long painful journey in Laughing Allegra. She goes on to explain her book tour after the publication of the book. While on a book tour for Laughing Allegra she discovered many of the parents at the LD conferences such as the ones hosted by the National Disabilities Association, were facing many of the same challenges she had, and were grateful to her for telling “their story.” She also noticed on the book tour that the parents at these events were not just parents of small children but also the parents of high school students and older. She then realized that she was not as alone as she thought, in addition to discovering the fact that the challenge never leaves, but instead it is a battle you deal with everyday.

The introduction describes the events that lead Anne to write, On Their Own and how Laughing Allegra motivated her to join such organizations as the National Center for Learning Disabilities, first as a member then as Chairman of the board. On Their Own also addresses the universal fears shared by all parents of children with ADHD and other learning disabilities. All Parents share a concern for their children’s future, even parents whose children do not suffer from learning disabilities. We all worry, prepare our children for the future, and help our adult children when they reach adulthood.

On Their Own is full of useful information, beginning with signs and symptoms of the disability, to making friends, siblings, and even dating. The third part of the book covers graduating from High school, the transition to college, college testing and finding a job.

Sections 4 and 5 of the book, inform parents about motivating their adult child with ADHD and LD, as well as opportunities for employment. The last section follows with life concerns, medications, and estate planning. Anne wraps up her warm-hearted account of a loving mothers in depth personal journey, with the personal accounts of prominent people who have suffered from a learning disability, however moved forward to build successful careers.

For example, the last chapter starts with an introduction by Betsy Morris, and follows through with chapters by former Governor of West Virginia Gaston Caperton, and Charles Schwab Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Charles Schwab and company.

If you are coping with a child of any age with ADHD regardless of age, Anne’s Ford’s Laughing Allegra and On Their Own are a must have for your family's bookshelf.

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Motherhood is an art impossible to explain, one which requires a vast sea of love, devotion, compassion, and understanding, unmatched by any affection we will ever know again.- Ann Clemmons

Courage-

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Humor


Words-

Words are the core of our souls, without written, vocal or lyrical expression we lose sight of one another or worse, ourselves. Words bring forth the essence of the human spirit; so express yourself without abandon.

Ann Clemmons

Written Phrase

Why is it that those we should know or believe turn out to be the ones we least understand? I suppose the world is an illusion until we find our way home.-Ann Clemmons

Favorite Phrase

I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense...

Beatrix Potter’s Journal, 17 November 1896, from the National Trust collection.

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The Storyteller, by Dawn Drover

Alone in her world
of make believe
weaving her stories
of magic and light

She brings joy
to the eyes
of innocent minds
less jaded and free

For only they know
what's in her heart
holding the secrets
she guards so well

Life's hidden mysteries
belong to those
whose wisdom and truth
shine on in imagination


Written for Ann
~Dawn Drover~

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In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”'


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