Monday, June 24, 2013

How to deal with your ADHD child #6: The power of expectations

The power of expectations
One of the most basic characteristics of mankind is that we are social creatures. We gather in groups to form protective communities and societies. For these communities to work the way they are intended, we need guidelines, without which our societies would simply break down.

These guidelines are more than just laws, but also norms and culture. But having such rules is not enough. We need ways in which these guidelines can be enforced.

Breaking a law, you are punished in forms of imprisonment or financial penalty.
Breaking the norms of our community equally results in punishment, although in a different way. Breaking norms, you are punished when people do not welcome you in their fellowship or your social status in the group goes down the drain due to inappropriate behavior.
Because of this, we have developed a strong urge to live up to other people’s expectations in order to achieve social acceptance. This is a good thing. Without it, we would not get the benefits of being protected by our community.

The bad news
However, there is a downside: our urge to live up to other people’s expectations goes for both positive and negative expectations. If you expect other people to be kind and forthcoming, they will try to live up to it – and if you expect other people to be selfish and cold hearted, they will try to live up to that expectation!

The good news
In every kind of relationship, you can use this knowledge to better the lives of both yourself, your family and your community. When actively working with yourself and trying to change your expectations to be positive rather than negative, you can actually influence other people, because they will try to live up to those positive expectations.

In a nutshell: If you show your ADHD child that you expect them to do well in school, they will work very hard to prove your trust in them is not misplaced. But if your ADHD child gets the notion that you expect them to do poorly at school, they will not believe in themselves and they will not work toward such a goal.

So, basically, it's your call...

Find previous chapters here:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to deal with your ADHD child #5: What's your Resilience Number?

Being a father of two children with ADHD issues I have noticed that their reactions to other people’s demands sometimes seem to be arbitrary. Sometimes they take on a task as if they were normal children with no ADHD issues at all, but the next day that very same task suddenly becomes a mountain high obstacle they feel they can’t overcome. Maybe you have noticed it as well?

Having ADHD even the simplest task can be overwhelming and in the end may discourage that person the point of just giving up.

One day their homework is done in almost no time at all and the next day they can’t even find the energy to open their books and get to work, even if their homework that second day is much easier than it was the day before, when it seemed to be like a walk in the park?

It may seem strange, but there is a quite simple explanation for this apparently arbitrary behavioral pattern.

Each day your child fights the challenges of having ADHD and every single battle requires energy. Of course, this is true for all of us, but for the person with ADHD the energy consumption is much higher than that of normal people. Additionally, their level of stress has a huge impact on how well they do when fighting to achieve the best possible life.

When your ADHD child has a surplus of energy it can perform almost any task as if they had no ADHD issues to fight – but when your child has a worn down battery? Well, basically… Everything is a mess!

When this situation emerges, there is really nothing you can do about it. It is what it is: no juice, no movement! But the good news is that there are ways to prevent or at least postpone those situations.

One of the most powerful tools I’ve ever encountered in my learning experience of being a father of children with ADHD, is the “Resilience Number.”

In order to have some kind of understanding on how much more your child can take, you need to get your child to tell you about it. But having ADHD it is almost impossible to say with words how you feel and what you think you can accomplish.

The Resilience Number takes care of this problem in the simplest way: instead of trying to encourage your child to explain with words, how they feel, you may have more success asking them to give you a number. This number can be on any scale you like: 1-5, 1-10, 1-100 or whatever you think works best.

On that scale, the number 1 means that you are completely exhausted and that there is nothing left in your battery to deal with your ADHD issues at all. The highest number means that you’re ready for the world to come barging in and make any demand and you would be able to take on anything as if you had no ADHD issues.

How to use the Resilience Number
Let’s say the scale is 1-10 and your child comes home from school.

You ask about their Resilience Number and get the answer “7.”

This means that your child is fairly capable of getting their homework done as long as you’re available if they have questions.

If you get the number “4,” you may want to let your child rest for a while, give them some time off without any kind of demands. Then, an hour or two later, your child could be ready to get their homework done.

If the number is between 1 and 3, you might as well accept that their homework will not be coming anyway near to getting done that day.

If your child’s Resilience Number is 9 or 10, you can easily go do the laundry or go shopping while they complete their homework.

The point?
Did you get the point of the Resilience Number?
By using this tool you basically get an idea on how much more your child can take and act accordingly.

If your child has a low resilience, you know it is time to give them some rest in order to "recharge" their batteries.

This way, instead of exhausting your child and get to a point where nothing positive can be accomplished, your child is given the chance to raise their resilience and then, when they are ready, you can begin making demands.
You will find this to provide you and your child with a decrease of those not very fruitful battles AND an increase of situations where challenging your child actually improves their abilities both socially and school wise.

A note on responsibility!
Being the intelligent and wise parent you are, this probably already popped up in your head, but I’m going to say it anyway, just to be clear:

Your child is just as much of an angel as you were when you were young. It’s your responsibility to come up with ways to detect a lie!

Having said that, rest assured that if you explain to them what the Resilience Number is for and that when using it honestly, it will make their lives much easier, they will – in time – learn to not abuse your trust.

Find previous chapters here:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

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Monday, June 17, 2013

How to deal with your ADHD child #4 Tough Love well practised

I've already posted a few chapters of my coming book, "How to deal with your ADHD child."
You can read them here:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

And now for chapter 4:

On this blog I brought a post in April 2012 with the title “How to spank your wife” This post is by far the most read on my blog and the reason is obviously that provoking title. The aim of it was to bring some perspective on a term, we’ve heard again and again as parents: “Tough Love.”

As is the case with most terms and phrases when they become popular, “Tough Love” has, in my opinion, been subject to quite a bit of misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

Basically, “Tough Love” is the notion that for anyone to truly show their love for others, sometimes it is necessary to act in a way that could seem heartless, but are done anyway, because in the end, these actions inflict less pain on the person you love than if you had acted differently.

The challenge is to understand what tough love should be if it is to be a successful tool in bringing up our children and specifically when it comes to children with ADHD.

Tough Love is a strong tool, but in many cases this term has been used as an excuse to continue feeding patterns, which are really very unhealthy for all parties involved. If Tough Love is used based on a wrong understanding of what it really is, it will have a bad influence on your child and you risk ruining their self esteem.

All this applies for every child, but having children with ADHD, it becomes even more important. Children with ADHD usually have lower self esteem than other children, because their lack of understanding social norms makes them act in ways that are sometimes inappropriate. The natural outcome is that for a child with ADHD, verbal abuse, not only from other children, but unfortunately also from adults in their lives, is the order of their world. They get emotionally beaten every day and of course their self esteem is worn down.

As a parent or an adult working with children with ADHD, you have a special responsibility to try building up that self esteem and the above mentioned issues do not only count in regards to physical abuse, but stretches out to verbal and emotional abuse as well.
Read Chapter 5

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to deal with your ADHD child - #3

I've already shared two chapters of my work in progress, the parenting guide "How to deal with your ADHD child."

The first chapter is mostly an introduction followed by a brief explanation on how ADHD affects life, both for the person with this disability and for the entire family.

The second chapter is basically a test: are you ready to embark on a journey to become a better parent to your ADHD child with all the pain and life value reconsiderations this may hold?

In the third chapter I will present you with three key words. These key words are meant to be easy to remember and practically adaptable to your every day life as a parent to an ADHD child.

Here we go:

Basic key words
In this chapter I will present you with some basic key words. The aim of these key words is to provide you with something easy to remember that you can always fall back on, when a situation gets tense. To get the most out of this book, I encourage you to memorize these key words and get them imprinted in your heart for quick access in those difficult situations, where things get really troublesome.

Keyword #1: Firm Patience
Remember that a person with ADHD is not deliberately trying to be a nuisance. They have issues making it hard for them to interact with other people in the most common way. This is a part of their behavioral challenge. This means that for you to be the best parent possible you need to be patient.

But there is more…

Being patient, however important it is - and it really is! - it does not sufficiently help your child, if it stands alone. There's another element that enhances the power of patience: Being firm!
You need to be firm in the way you discipline your children and in the way you pass on your values and share your experiences.

No child has the experience needed to know right from wrong and for a child to learn, the parents must be firm. This is even more important when raising an ADHD child, because having ADHD makes it even more difficult to sort out issues based on their importance. As a parent to an ADHD child you have to be the filter he/she doesn’t have. Therefore, your firm character is necessary to give your child the best foundation possible to take their first few steps toward independency.

So, these two put together: Being firm and being patient, become Firm Patience, a very powerful tool in any kind of work raising a child. The patience establish positive relations between the two of you and the firmness raises your child to the best possible base for a good life.

Lose the chatter
When communicating with others we tend to use more words than we actually need. There are many reasons why. One reason is that using words is a sort of tool to get our thoughts sorted, that is: we think when we talk. Another reason could be our wish to be polite in the manner of which we address each other.

In most cases, this is not a bad thing. It usually improves our communication and helps us building relations with each other. But when communicating with someone with ADHD the excessive use of words has the very opposite effect. One of the basic challenges when you have ADHD is the lack of concentration and the difficulty of sorting which input is important and which is less important.

And when a sentence has more words than needed to pass on the intended message, the person with ADHD needs to use way too much mental energy in trying to figure out what that message is.

A person with ADHD has a much better chance of understanding what you’re trying to say, if you lose the chatter – that is: if you get rid of words not needed to pass on your message.

Choose your Battles
Every parent knows this: choosing your battles greatly improves the chance of success. But being parents to children with ADHD, this advice is crucial!

Having a child with ADHD you face all the issues of having a ‘normal’ child multiplied by 100. Facing each possible battle you would do yourself – and your child – a great favor, if you stop to think for a second and ask yourself two questions:

#1: Is this battle important to take on?
#2: Is this a battle that can wait?

The first question seems rather simple, but as you probably know it really is quite complicated. Most of the time, we don’t think too deeply about our own behavior. Our actions and decisions are based more on patterns we’ve built throughout our lives rather than carefully considering our options in each situation. And of course it has to be this way. If we took the time to think through every possible outcome of every single choice in our lives, nothing would ever be done.

But if we are to improve the outcome of our efforts, in parenting as well as any other part of life, occasionally we need to stop for a moment to ask ourselves what the best course of action is – and more importantly: why?

The second question is about prioritizing our efforts. Even if the battle in front of us is an important one, it’s not always beneficial to fight it right now. From time to time, it’s better to let it go for the time being and wait for a better time to take it on.

When asking yourself if the battle can wait, you should include another question: if I take on this battle now, what are the chances that my child and I can win the battle together?

Always remember what I pointed out earlier: you are in this together and no battle is won before you both gain from its outcome. If you win a battle, but the outcome does not better the situation for your child, then you really have gained nothing and the battle has been lost for the both of you.

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And now it's question time
If you have been following the latest posts on this subject and if I have provided you with anything useful, you might have some questions you would like to ask?

It could be anything: questions about the text itself, questions about ADHD in general or questions about real situations in your every day life dealing with a child with ADHD.

I will try to answer any kind of question to the best of my ability and remember this:

The only stupid questions are those never asked when given the chance, because not asking is the only sure way to not get an answer - and that is kind of stupid isn't it?

Additionally, I'd like to focus your attention to my new FaceBook Page, where you can keep yourself updated, ask questions, share your story, give and get advice etc.

How can you use what you´ve read till now?
Is there something you would like me to elaborate?
Feel free to tell about your situation and ask me for advice:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

BookReview: Parallel Lines by Ken Hartis

Parallel Lines by Ken Hartis

A naturally occuring time portal enables a young man to go back forty years in time. He decides to live a double life, one in his own time and one as Gene Starnes forty years ago. These two lives are always seperated by those fourty years, which of course means that time will still catch up with him as soon as fourty years have passed in both time lines. In the end he needs to make an important decision and his choice holds the dilemma of either risking losing everything or risking the destruction of the entire universe as we know it - and then some.

A book must be well written for me to really like it
It must also have a good story

Parallel Lines is a very good example on how these two elements should be prioritized: the book is very well written and as a romantic tale, the story is okay. But that's it. The author doesn't exploit the SF genre nearly as much as he could and the message drowns in over telling a tale that could've been told in half the number of pages.

That said, I'm quite impressed by the descriptions of roads, buildings and scenaries as they supposedly looked 50+ years ago. They appear to be grounded in the author vastly researching the premises of his book, though I haven't checked any of these details (I'm sure someone out there will...)

Finally, this book does hold one of the things that makes any book worth the reading time: it's not finished when you finish it, it makes you think...

How to deal with your ADHD child - #2

In my last post I told you that I'm writing a book on how to deal with your ADHD child. I posted the first draft of the first chapter and promised to keep posting chapters encouraging you to comment on the content. Today I present you with the second chapter:

Chapter 2: First you decide if you want to go on this journey

In this book I will present you with some of the situations you probably know all too well. These are situations you and your child find yourselves in on a regular basis and give you both a lot of grief and frustrations.

Please note the way I phrased this: these situations are the source of much grief and frustration, but not only to you; to your child as well. You are in this together!

Presenting these situations would be fruitless, if I did only that. So, of course, to give you some benefit from reading this book, I will also provide you with some tips and tricks that have proven their worth in my own home or in homes of other families, where ADHD plays an important part.

But before presenting these troublesome situations, I’d like to focus your attention to your own basic standings and understandings. For you to succeed as a parent to a child with ADHD, you need to look inside yourself and ask yourself some questions that may be quite painful to your self understanding. The reason for this is that your basic understanding of what ADHD is and what kind of personal view you have on this disability greatly influences your everyday approach to your child. In other words: these are questions about your basic life values.

So, if you’re ready, strap on and join me on this expedition to your inner self:

Question #1: Is my child abnormal?

Interesting question, isn’t it? Reading this book you probably have a child, grand child or some other family member diagnosed with ADHD, but what does it mean? When you look at the child, what is the first thought that comes to mind? Is he/she a crazy person ready for the local nuthouse? Is he/she beyond reach? Will he/she never get a life even remotely close to something resembling a normal life? Or do you believe in the potentials of him/her?

Let me say this a bit bluntly: if you sincerely believe there is noting you or anyone else can do for this child and that he/she will never live a life worth living, there’s really no reason for you to read the rest of this book. I can’t help you…

However, if these negative thoughts have entered your mind and you believe they are no more than a frustrated person’s reaction to a difficult situation, it’s a whole different story. Those thoughts are quite normal, but they can be dismissed, if you want them be dismissed. So, do you want to change your own thinking? Then read on!

If your answer to the above question is something like: yes, my child is abnormal, but who is normal anyway? He/she deserves all the best things in life and I’m prepared to fight for it! If that´s your answer (or if your answer was just plain: no, my child isn’t abnormal, just a bit to the side, but we’ll manage together) – well, then we’re on the same page…

Question #2: Have I ever wondered if it was better that my child hadn’t been born?

If the first question was painful, this one should be really painful! No (normal) parent would ever think that, would they? Hmm… honestly? I think it’s quite normal to think that… Sometimes we parents think that kind of thoughts, but you know what? We don’t think like that because we are bad parents; those thoughts enter our minds because of our own insecurity. Again and again we doubt ourselves as parents: am I a good enough parent? Do I give my kids all they need? Am I even fit to be a parent yelling at them like I just did?

Thinking like that isn’t good, but it doesn’t come from being a bad parent. It comes from our wish to be good parents and every time we think, we are not doing a good enough job as parents, we simply let our deepest desire to be good parents come to the surface. We occasionally think like this, because deep down in our soul, we just want to do better! So, if that thought ever entered your mind – and, if it makes you feel bad – chances are you are a good parent always wanting to improve yourself and do better as a parent!

Question #3: Am I ready to fight both internal and external battles?

I think most parents, at least those who bought this book, would answer this question with a big “YES!” But you need to think about it in more detail. The journey you are about to embark on is not to be taken lightly. You will face battles you hadn’t even imagined before. Most external battles you know pretty much all about: battles with other parents, who do not grasp the situation and who believe all the issues with your child is merely a matter of bad parenting or a bad willed child; battles with teachers and authorities; and of course battles with the child’s grandparents and other family members, who don’t get how far having an ADHD child stretches your patience and your energy.

The internal battles, however, are a very different matter. Most of us seldom share our most inner thoughts with others and because of this, we rarely know the truth: that parents with an ADHD child has to fight internal battles, where we have to change some of our fundamental values to better the lives of both the ADHD child and the rest of the family. The journey of a parent having an ADHD child requires swallowing quite a few camels and you may as well embrace this truth sooner than later.

Read chapter #3 here
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Monday, June 10, 2013

How to deal with your ADHD child

I've thought about it for quite some time, but never really got around to it: I want to write a book to provide parents who have children with ADHD with some hands on tips and tricks on how to deal with having an ADHD child.

But I want to make sure my book is worth the read. I want it to contain information you need as a parent to an ADHD child and I want it to be practical, easy to apply in your every day life.

That's why I decided to make my first drafts of the book open to you in the hope that you will comment and help me develop the book to be "just the thing."

So, with no further ado, here comes the first chapter of:

"How to deal with your ADHD child" - a hands on guide to improve the life of the whole family by Per Holbo, father of two children with special needs.

According to “The 2000 US Census” about 19 percent of the US population have disabilities. In the old days, a disability or handicap was defined mostly as something physical, i.e. the loss of movement or control of your limbs. But in the recent years, this has changed. More and more professionals have come to realize, that there are disabilities not visible to the eyes. One of these is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD.)

Since I am neither a medical doctor nor a psychologist, I will refrain from explaining this condition from a medical point of view. This would be the ‘input’ of ADHD. The aim of this book is instead to explain the ‘outcome’ of ADHD, that is: what are some of the consequences in having ADHD as a part of your life and how can you deal with them?

The fundamental base of my expertise in this matter is two-fold: I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 35 – and two of my four children have similar disabilities (a boy aged 14 diagnosed with Other Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and a girl aged 12 diagnosed with ADHD)

The basic challenge of ADHD
Imagine waking up every morning and the first thing you have to do is putting together a jig saw puzzle. The pieces of this puzzle are scattered on floors and tables, not only in your own bedroom, but in every single room of your house, so before you can start putting the pieces together, you need to find them. Then, as you think you’ve managed to find them all and begin putting them together, someone comes into your room adding or removing pieces and you have to start over.

This is one of the ways ADHD can be experienced. A person with ADHD has difficulty figuring out which impressions are important and which are not. To deal with this, they have to put the pieces together. It is important to understand that this is no way to be compared with OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.) Having OCD certain actions are performed as a ritual. For a person with ADHD it is merely a need to sort out what is important and what is not – and then sort out what needs to be done first. This is something we all do, but for a person with ADHD it is much more complicated due to the challenge of concentrating on the task at hand and the challenge of being easily disturbed by additional impressions.

This presents the ADHD child with two basic issues:

Behavioral problems such as:
Acting on impulse
Acting inappropriate
Losing focus
Failing to fulfill even the most basic requirements and demands from other people

Development problems such as:
Failing to decode norms
Not learning as fast as other children their age

An example:
John has ADHD. He is 10 years old and has just come home from school. The first thing, he needs to do is his homework. If John didn’t have ADHD, he would simply get his books, pencils and paper and begin. But having ADHD this is a much more likely scenario:

John opens his school bag to get his math book. As he grabs the book, a cat walks by outside the window. He lets go of the book and goes to the window to observe the cat. His patient mother reminds him of his homework and he goes back to getting his math book. He places the book on the kitchen table, but as he goes for his pencils his focus is once again disturbed by a yo-yo lying right beside his pencil case. Instead of grabbing the pencil case, he takes out the yo-yo and starts playing with it. Again his patient mother reminds him of his homework… and so on…

Even the slightest thing can disturb John’s focus to something else than he should be focusing on and it is not a question of bad behavior. He just can’t keep focus on what he is supposed to be doing. The impressions of hearing a bird singing outside the window or observing someone walking close to him catches his attention and he simply forgets everything else around him. He has to focus his attention on these new impressions in order to address them – then, he can get back to what he is supposed to be doing.

The behavioral issue in this case emerges as failing to do the fairly simple task of getting out everything needed for doing his home work and failing to organize that very task.

The developmental issue in this case is obviously that not doing his home work will leave him behind in knowledge compared to his class mates.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

An old Vikings' Game

Despite what you might think, playing games is not a new idea in our modern society. Man kind has played games for thousands of years. Both in the middle east, in Africa, America and Europe.
One of these games is "Kings Pin," which I mention in my Sci-fi/Norse-mythology blend,  "Skrymers Glove."
It's an old Vikings' game in which two teams throw wooden sticks to knock down 5 pawns and a king.
Here's what this game is all about including a description on how to make the pieces to the game yourself:

Making the pieces to the game

Pawns: 10 wooden blocks, approx. 2"*2"*4" (remember sanding them to a smooth surface without splinters)
King: 1 wooden block, approx. 2"*2"*6" (for aesthetic purposes you could cut a crown in one end and color it)
Sticks: 6 wooden pegs, approx. 6" long and 1" thick
Markers: 4 wooden pegs with one end pointed

Setting up

The 4 markers are used to mark the playing field. Two markers identify each team's Base Line as shown above. Between the markers, place 5 pawns evenly distributed.

In the other end of the playing field you place team 2's Base Line in such a way that the 4 markers form a square of any size you want. The pointy end goes into the ground (though it is possible to play the game on almost any surface, grass usually is the most fun, because the unevenness makes it more difficult to hit the target.)

Finally, the king is placed in the middle of the field, that is: standing on the spot of where you put the king, the distance to all four markers should be the same.

Playing the game
In turns and standing behind their own Base Line, each team throws 6 sticks trying to knock over the opposite team's 5 pawns. When the team has thrown all of the 6 sticks, it's the other team's turn. When a pawn is knocked over, it's out of the game.

If one of the teams manage to knock over all the pawns, the king is the target.

If a team knocks over the king BEFORE all of the opposite team's pawns are knocked over, that team has lost.

If a team knocks over all the pawns of the opposite team and THEN knocks over the king, that team has won.

NOTE! When throwing your stick, you must hold it in one end and do an underarm throw like when playing soft ball and the stick is not allowed to rotate sideways.

Alternative rules
To make the game a bit more interesting, these additional rules are just the thing:

Traitor Pawn Rule:
When a team has thrown all their 6 sticks, knocked over pawns are not put aside. Instead the team owning these pawns throw them to the other side of the playing field (they must land on the other side of the king - if not, they will throw again and keep doing so, till they do)

Any team having pawns on the other side of the king, MUST knock over those pawns, BEFORE knocking over the opposite team's pawns.

Any team having 1 or more of the opposing team's pawns on their side of the field, may throw their sticks from where those pawns are standing. (That is: they no longer have to stay behind their own Base Line)

When a team knocks over one of their own pawns while it's standing on the opponent's side of the field, that pawn is set aside and is out of the game.

Chaos Rule:
When a team knocks over the last of their opponents' pawns, everyone targets the king with all they have including the team's own pawns (this means that both teams can throw at the king and win)

There you have it! Enjoy the game!

Already tried the game? Feel free to leave a comment:

Historical Note: There really is no hard evidence that this game was actually played by the Vikings, but it's an interesting idea, isn't it?

Monday, June 3, 2013

BookReview: Paradise Palms by J.R Murdock

Paradise Palms: A Murder Mystery in a Time-Traveling Trailer Park
by J.R.Murdock

The story:
Sam lives in Paradise Palms, a trailer park in Minnesota with his girlfriend, Girlfriend (yes, that is her name...)
In the middle of the night his childhood buddy, Casper Jr., is killed under very unusual circumstances. He teams up with Detective Andrew and Myra, an expert in Dinosaurs, to solve the mystery.
Meanwhile, Lin Pza Pza, a government freelanced computer nerd calls a government associate to aid her in figuring out why several power surges have occurred the past few months in the trailer park at the same time each night.
What happened to Casper and why did the police find the head of a troodon, a dinosaur that should've been extinct a long time ago?

This is one of those books, where two genres meet. In this case Science Fiction in a more or less old fashioned Murder Mystery setting. Such a mix can be a difficult endeavor, but J.R.Murdoch manages quite well to balance the two in such a way that even though the murder mystery part plays the major role, especially in the beginning of the story, the Science Fiction part of it doesn't suffer (unless you prefer Science Fiction neat and clean, in which case you probably wouldn't bother spending your time watching X-files, Haven or Eureka - or money on this book...)

The story itself provides both a dry kind of humor (such as Sam's girlfriend actually answering to the name "Girlfriend" and the stereotype of two old men in the trailer park constantly finding each other hilarious while making jokes on everyone else's expense) and also it contains a story internally consistant.

A downside to the book is below average dialogue that both seems awkward (as in: noone would actually say some of the things being said) and even a bit too obvious at times.
Another problem is the excessive use of re-raps, specifically at the beginning of new chapters, where the point of view changes to that of another character. I really don't need to be reminded of what Sam was told by Myra when he refers their conversation to Girlfriend. A simple "then he told Girlfriend about his talk with Myra as best he could." Of course there could be circumstances in which new information need to be delivered this way, but in many cases in this book, it really isn't called for.

However, two things make this book a goodread:

The story is well conceived and is built up with both a basic story line and several minor stories going on between the characters.

The characters are well described and the author has success in making them come alive. Sam is depicted as the complex type. Anyone seeing him for the first time would probably take him for a typical trailer park yahoo, but the reader knows from the very beginning he is not. His relationship with his now deceased father is clearly warm, but in a manly "boys don't cry" kind of way. Lin Pza Pza is likewise well depicted as the child genious trying to grow up and become independant. Of course, some of the minor characters aren't as round, but that just adds to the reading experience - this way it's much easier to get a quick understanding of who is important in the story and who just plays a smaller role in getting the story going.

Overall the story is more character driven than plot driven and the author does this well.

This means, that even with some editorial issues and a few typo's, I would recommend "Paradise Palms" to you, if you like the out of ordinary kind of Science Fiction and/or Murder Mystery.

Personally, there is a whole range of other books I've enjoyed more, but still... it's worth reading...
I give it 3 out of 5 stars and stretching for the 4th star...

You can get the book here