Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir, is a poignant book about the challenges encountered by both parents and children as they cope with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The authors, Audrey and Larry Jones, provide a sensitive, knowledgeable, and often humorous account of the obstacles inherent in raising children with ADHD. They describe their personal journey, from dating to marriage to parenthood and grandparenthood. Although they put their experience in the context of every family’s aspirations, they also highlight the unique experiences of Black American families who are navigating the complex process of coming to terms with ADHD.
The authors take the reader through the early childhood years, when ADHD can result in academic frustrations and often dramatic childhood pranks. They then move on through adolescence and young adulthood, when, for youth with ADHD, the launch into independence can be fraught with more than the average obstacles. As the authors tell their family’s story, each of them stops along the way to reflect on the personal impact of the children’s challenges and to share their perspectives on how they might have handled things differently. This book will be an inspiration for the thousands of families who are confronted with ADHD.
–Elaine F. Walker, Ph.D. Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Director Mental Health and Development Program
Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322
I enjoyed reading Falling Through the Ceiling and gaining the perspective of parents raising three sons with ADD/ADHD. I would recommend this book to parents as a helpful way of approaching parenting children with ADD/ADHD. I would recommend it to my clients raising children with ADD. The perspectives of Dr. Jones regarding his own diagnosis of ADD would be helpful to the many adults who discover late in life that they have been struggling to cope with ADD for many years. The chapter on enabling one’s adult children and ways to help them to become independent and cope with their attention deficits would be helpful for all parents attempting to help their adult children maximize their potential for having a productive and happy life.
–Helen L. Evans, Ph. D.,Clinical psychologist
Falling Through the Ceiling provided me with an in-depth view into a family’s endeavors with ADHD/ADD. As an educator for over 20 years, I often ask what the student’s story or experiences are. The section “From Whence We Came” armed me with information of the impact of a parent who has or has not been diagnosed with ADHD/ADD and its possible impact on the student. I would recommend this book to educators and families who work or know anyone with ADHD/ADD.
–Dr. Marcie Beard, Executive Director of Schools
Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir is an unabashed memoir of a family’s experience of red flags and ultimately red lights. It’s about proceeding without heeding the warning signs that suggest help is needed. It’s about identifying behaviors that call out for intervention and possibly psycho-social treatment. The premise of the book is an alert to parents to pay attention to the repetition of critical behaviors as noted in the section, “For Parents, Lessons from Our Lives”.
I think this book would be helpful for any parent, it points out they are not alone, in spite of everything looking right, “should be right “, but is not right. I consider this book an essential read for parents who just can’t figure out why their child/children appear to have it all, but don’t do what they need to do, nor do they keep their promise. For the parents who have done everything they can think of to support, nurture and encourage their child/children, but to no avail, the child just does not seem to get it. I strongly recommend the reading of this book. In doing so, parents may emphatically recognize themselves in the many shared stories and, thereby, come to their own “aha”.
–Review by Mary F. Griffin, Parent to grandchild with ADHD, Licensed Master’s Social Worker, Frisco, Texas
I have just completed reading Falling Through The Ceiling and I am still breathless. The central theme of the book — sharing lived experience, with honesty and lessons learned– is wonderful. As we all struggle to raise our children and our grands, as we struggle to understand and get better, nothing is more valuable than shared experience from those who traveled the road before you. The additional beauty and value of Falling Through the Ceiling is exquisite storytelling around difficult and clearly painful subjects. Dr. Larry and Audrey Jones are wonderful storytellers, making the book a pleasurable as well as informative read. There are many things in the book that changed my perspective about ADHD. For instance, I had no idea that there was a spectrum along which the disability travels. I learned that hyperactivity can show up in many ways, including disconnection or disjointed reasoning.
I was particularly moved by Dr. Jones discovering so late that he too had a form of ADHD, particularly when thinking about what his struggle through college and medical school must have been like. I was wowed by the commitment and teamwork — even in concealing some of the negative effects of the disorder on their family– of Dr. Larry and Audrey Jones. As I understand the science of personality disorder or mental illness I think this book is a very good depiction of the interplay between science and society. I also thoroughly enjoyed the race specific observations and analysis. Refreshing!
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand the commonly referred to ADHD, from the real, living and in color perspective of these writers. I honestly think that anyone who wants a glimpse into how a strong middle class African American family deals with the realities life delivers to them would enjoy reading this powerful and poignant story. To the authors I say thank you!
–Sandra Moore, Parent and Attorney, St. Louis, MO
This is a beautiful offering from authors Dr. Larry and Audrey Jones. Falling Through the Ceiling is such an important story which many families and support villages will benefit from reading. Awareness is so important. I especially enjoyed the neuroscience aspect of the book as it relates to ADD and ADHD.
The title is spot on, especially in regards to sharing money and the difficulties of navigating life, as well as the emotional rewards gained through being able to teeter totter and continue onward.
Blessings to the Jones family. Not only should we read Falling Through The Ceiling, but I encourage village discussions to educate and promote awareness about ADD and ADHD.
–Sharron Cummings, Administrative Director Catholic Charities
New Jersey, Fontbonne University Alumni “77
Interview for Falling Through the Ceiling
Rosie Phillips Davis (formerly Bingham), PhD, ABPP
Professor, Counseling, Educational Psychology & Research
- What do you think is the premise of Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir?
I liked the metaphor of Falling Through the Ceiling. It may have helped the reader understand more had that story been presented at the beginning of the book. I kept wondering about the title.
- Were there sections that were powerful or changed your perspective on ADHD?
Every time there was discussion of Larry’s ADHD symptoms it was illuminating. I did not realize that one could be so successful in academics, career, marriage, family, and covering up. It will be inspirational for successful individuals to read about the challenges of another successful family.
- Did you agree or disagree on the behavioral science presented?
I did not attend to the behavioral science as much because you relayed it in a lay manner. This book should appeal to the lay public because it is the story of parents learning to deal with family issues. It also may benefit married couples.
- Would you recommend this book to someone?
I would recommend this book to successful African American families in particular because there are no books to help us to understand what can go wrong in our families. I believe we all struggle one way or the other and wish we could do it better for our children. I would recommend the book to K-12 teachers so they can develop a better understanding of the inter-generational aspect of ADHD.
- Who do you think would enjoy or benefit from reading Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir?
As I said earlier, some of the problems you describe are similar for many African Americans in our generation who are first generation and tried to raise their children in ways that afforded them what was needed for success—the things we did not have. Your story sounded like others I have heard and the families may or may not have had ADHD. There are similarities to our family. Our son has a learning disability and we have “saved” him too often too.
I believe educators would benefit from reading the book because it might encourage them to be more assertive in sharing more information about children with parents no matter the financial status of the parents if they realize that all may not be well in the households and the children’s welfare is at stake.
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