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 and Beyond 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.
Written from the mother's point of view, with excerpts from her son Luke, I found this book to be engaging, informative, humorous and sometimes outrageous...I think this book will be an enjoyable and informative experience for readers.
Support and Training for Exceptional Parents Newsletter
Until the birth of her son, Luke, Jan Greenman was the treasurer of a private merchant bank. She is passionate about telling the family's story to give hope to others for a better tomorrow. Jan, Luke, and Abbi live in Wiltshire, UK.
This is a deeply moving and thought-provoking account of the effect that we have on our loved ones - parents, siblings and wider relatives... Seeing behaviours and acts that many of us will have done from the neutral perspective of someone else can help with our own behaviours and actions, and in particular being aware of those around us and the effect we have upon them.
This is the best account I have read of the impact of autism on a family. Jan, Luke and Abbi give their different perspectives on their life so far, in challenging and insightful ways. Any parent would find this book fascinating. But every teacher, social worker, policy maker should be sat down in a room and made to read it!
Professor Richard Ashcroft
Any parent struggling with such a child will find this packed with practical tips not just from the author, but from the entire family.
The Midwest Book Review
I found it fascinating to read about Luke and his family. I found the insights from Luke himself especially helpful. The book is very easy to read. It is almost like you are sitting in a room with the author and she is telling you about her life. It is always encouraging to know you are not alone. The author's honesty was incredibly refreshing.
Tara's View on Books blog
This is a story of hope, and parents will come away with the knowledge that even though they may feel like their life is teetering on the edge, they are not alone... While Luke's story is definitely an original one, the struggles and feelings of being overwhelmed and out of control will be familiar to families dealing with a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The authentic voices of Greenman, Luke, and Abbi are invaluable in validating the feelings of all those living with ASD.