The Bottom Line
By Martin L. Kutscher, M.D.; 224 pages. Subtitle: ADHD, LD, Asperger's, Tourette's, Bipolar, and More
If your child has behavioral challenges, you've probably had the experience of reading symptoms for one diagnosis after another and feeling your child could be tagged with any of them. Kids in the Syndrome Mix works to sort out some of those tangled strands and lead parents to meaningful interventions for their children, whatever the diagnosis may be.
- Allows parents to familiarize themselves with a number of overlapping diagnoses
- Gives good overview of techniques that work with behavior-challenged kids
- Chapters are short and easy to read
- Uses expert co-authors for some diagnoses
- Includes useful reference list of medications
- Downside of including so many diagnoses is lack of in-depth information on any
- Short case studies that open chapters seem contrived
- Makes dealing with these behaviors look easier than it actually is
- Omits what may be the biggest "syndrome mix" of all, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Chapter 1: Read this Chapter! General Principles of Diagnosis
- Chapter 2: Read this Chapter! General Principles of Treatment
- Chapter 3: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Chapter 4: Learning Disabilities and Differences
- Chapter 5: Autistic Spectrum Disorders: An Overview
- Chapter 6: Asperger's Syndrome and Its Treatment
- Chapter 7: Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Chapter 8: Sensory Integration Dysfunction
Chapter 9: Tics and Tourette's
- Chapter 10: Depression
Chapter 11: Bipolar Depression
Chapter 12: Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Chapter 13: Central Auditory Processing Disorders
Chapter 14: Medications
Guide Review - Book Review: Kids in the Syndrome Mix
"Alphabet soup" is the phrase commonly used to describe the endless acronyms for diagnoses that are commonly applied to kids -- ADHD, LD, TS, AS, BP, OCD, ODD, and on and on. For some kids, though, a plate of spaghetti might be a better analogy than a bowl of soup, as symptoms and signs of a variety of disabilities overlap and intertwine and jumble together. The diagnosis applied on any given day depends mostly on what doctor's office you're in and what their specialty happens to be. For parents, the correct label often becomes less important than finding something, anything, that will work now.
For those parents, the ones who read whole books about a particular disability just to cherry-pick out the explanations and suggestions that apply to their mix-and-match child, Kids in the Syndrome Mix will be a useful resource, since its chapters on disabilities like autism, ADHD and Tourette's are boiled down to just those things you'd be likely to grab from longer works.
Now, if you know for sure that your child has autism or ADHD or Tourette's and nothing else, there are certainly better books to read, with more details and more suggestions and more support. But if you're still casting about for a diagnosis, or have received too many, or have given up hope of ever having a name to pin on your child's behavior, this book can be very helpful indeed. If nothing else, "Syndrome Mix" is a nice label to use when you need one.