Parenting a child with Asperger's syndrome is never easy, and adding ADHD to the psychological mix makes life even more difficult. In this searingly honest account of bringing up her son, Luke, Jan Greenman challenges common perceptions of a 'life with labels', and recalls her family's 18 year journey to the edge and back. Writing frankly about the medical issues of Luke's early years, including the impact of MMR and Ritalin, Jan recalls how Luke's diagnoses came about, and how life at The Edge, their aptly named family home, changed as a result. She describes the causes and effects of the behaviours associated with Luke's conditions, and the impact they had on each family member, including his younger sister, Abbi. The only predictable thing about Luke is his unpredictability, and Jan also takes a light-hearted look at some of his more unusual habits and obsessions. The book includes tips and advice from Jan, Abbi, and Luke himself, and the final chapters go beyond Luke's early years to look at his life as a teenager - his solo trip to Dubai, and subsequent encounter with customs, his expulsion from school, and the inspirational Headteacher who helped him to turn his life around.
"Life at the Edge" is a must for anyone involved in bringing up a child with Asperger's syndrome, ADHD - or both. Parents will take from the family's successes, learn from their mistakes, and realize that, no matter how close to the edge they may feel, they are never alone.
Acknowledgements. Introduction. Foreword by James Gray MP.; Chapter 1. A Very Good Place to Start, The Beginning: Luke's Birth.; 2. The Nightmare Begins: Luke's Illness.; 3. Going for Broke: Vaccinations, MMR and Eczema.; 4. Savour the Moment: Luke's Frantic Behaviour, Abbi's Birth.; 5. Consequences, Cause and Effect.; 6. Labelling of Luke - ADHD: Dr Murray and Luke's 1st Label.; 7. Turn on the Light, Language Literally: Language: Literal and Subtle.; 8. Black and White: Extremes, Sensitivities and Pain, Ritalin and Melatonin. Appendices to Chapter 8. Luke's Handwriting with Ritalin. Luke's Handwriting without Ritalin.; 9. Labelling of Luke - Aspergers Syndrome: Luke Diagnoses Himself with his 2nd Label.; 10. Siblings - Abbi's Chapter: Hammerhead Sunday and the Fight to get Help.; 11. Friend or Foe? Helpful Hints and Support Groups.; 12. Professionals - Just the Few: Consultants and Luke's 3rd Label. Appendix to Chapter 12: Letter from Luke's G.P.; 13. Sad, Mad but not Bad: Eating, Obsessive Habits and Temper.; 14. Call me Nigel: Luke's Obsessions.; 15. Education, War and Peace: Luke's Struggles and the Fight to get him Educated.; 16. The End of Life at 'The Edge': The End of our Family Life.; 17. Life at The Edge Becomes a Book.; 18. Nigel Mansell, Pinstripes, and Parliament.; 19. Dubai, Customs, and Contraband.; 20. Luke Tips Over the Edge of Reason.; 21. Trust, Trystan, and Public Speaking.; 22. Keith Lemon has the Final Word, Literally.