Sunday, August 26, 2018

Memoir Discusses ADHD in African American Families

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 Nationwide -- Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir (available online at offers a poignant look at the challenges encountered by both parents and children as they cope with attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

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Authors Audrey R. Jones and Larry A. Jones, M.D., are candid about the struggles their upwardly mobile, African American family endured with ADHD.

Discussion or acknowledgement of ADHD in African American families has been historically taboo. The self-imposed stigma of having ADHD looms large, yet scholarly studies of the disorder often rely on personal and caregiver reports. Based on their own experiences, Audrey and Larry crafted a blueprint for discussing the causes and effects of ADHD and the ever-increasing possibilities through diagnosis and treatment.

Married for over 46 years, Audrey and Larry have three sons. During adolescence, each child was diagnosed with ADHD, just as hyperactive disorder was becoming a recognized clinical condition. Audrey and Larry sought help from teachers and therapists, and realized they had much to learn and share. (For at least 20 years of his career as a pediatrician, Larry did not link his children's symptoms and signs of ADHD to himself.)

In 2008, Audrey was stricken with an illness that led to a permanent disability. Her gift of recovery included an opportunity for Larry and Audrey to seriously reflect on their sons' actions, starts, and misfires as young adults pursuing higher education and meaningful employment - all while living with the challenges of ADHD. Rather than just writing about the road to recovery, Audrey and Larry chose to tell their whole story, with the intent of helping other families acknowledge and address behaviors that can adversely affect couples and families.

"Our story was written to reveal to parents and professionals the path that our family took to get to a place of resilience with ADHD," they said. "It is our hope that your path will be straight and with few cloudy days."

"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," said Rosie Phillips Davis, Ph.D., ABPP. "I believe we all struggle one way or the other and wish we could do it better for our children. I would also recommend the book to K-12 teachers so they can develop a better understanding of the intergenerational aspect of ADHD."

"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. This book will be an inspiration for the thousands of families who are confronted with ADHD," said Elaine F. Walker, Ph.D., professor of psychology and neuroscience and director of mental health and development at Emory University.

For more details and/or to purchase Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHD Family Memoir, visit

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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