Use this alphabetical index to find books that have been reviewed for the Harried Parent's Book Club.
Bottom Line: In a book intended for teachers but of interest to parents who've been told their children can't possibly be accommodated, a behavior analyst and a psychiatrist explain to schools that it's not so impossible to handle kids with over-the-top behavior -- there are practical ways to understand, adapt, and accommodate. Really.
Bottom Line: When it comes to inclusion, Falvey is a true believer, convinced that children with disabilities can and must learn with their non-disabled peers. She makes a compelling case, and it's gratifying to read a book that's so relentlessly upbeat about our children's abilities. If your district has made a true commitment to inclusion, this will be an invaluable resource. If not, it may just break your heart.
Bottom Line: This is a book written for early childhood teachers, and not intended as anything but. While teacher books are often of interest and service to parents, too, this one is pretty well tied to the classroom. It's interesting, hopeful reading, but without a lot of practical application for parents. The rating's purely a parent's perspective on a non-parenting book.
By Diane Linder, in consultation with and edited by Maya Memling; 141 pages. Subtitle: Reflections on Our Journey to Inclusion
Bottom Line: There are two journeys in this lyrical memoir, a boy traveling through misguided therapy and inappropriate classrooms before arriving at a school environment that fits just right, and his mother finding her way from doubt and fear to advocacy and trusting her instincts. If you're somewhere on that road, this family will be good company -- particularly for those also putting their faith in inclusion.
Bottom Line:The classic book on early-onset bipolar disorder has added more than 22,000 words for its third edition, encompassing new treatments, new research, and new laws. Remaining the same is the reassuring, non-alarmist tone and practical advice about an often alarming and befuddling disorder. If you're looking to learn everything you can, it's a lifesaving resource.
Bottom Line: In many ways, teenagers are naturally bipolar, swinging from manic excitement to depression just as a normal expression of adolescent hormonal chaos. But if your teen swings more sharply and disastrously, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder may be appropriate. This comprehensive, accessible, and somehow upbeat book tells you how to get one and what to do with it -- at home, in the doctor's office, and at school.
Bottom Line:Call this The Bipolar Child-lite. It's shorter, more easy-going, informative but not overwhelming. That's great, if you need to ease into the subject, or just want more ideas and encouragement. But it's also light on nuts-and-bolts, nitty-gritty advice for those in the trenches. Still, there are worse ways to pass your time than swapping stories with an amiable and appreciative psychiatrist.
Bottom Line: "When I hold it in my hands, I still remember the time the world seemed upside down to me, and it was a meditation, a kind of therapy." That's how Welsh writer Wyn describes this book, a chronicle of the first seven years in the life of her son, Joe, who has severe cerebral palsy but nowhere near the gloom-and-doom life that was predicted for him. If you still remember those upside-down times or are going through them still, it may represent a comforting meditation for you as well.
Bottom Line: Like many dad memoirs, this one strays from the day-to-day personal details into a journey to research a particular disability -- in this case, the extremely rare cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome -- and tackle the bigger questions of where children with severe disabilities will fit in the world. If these are issues that obsess you, too, you'll want to travel along.
By Howard Eaton, Ed.M.; 264 pages. Subtitle: Stories of Children with Learning Disabilities and Attention Disorders Who Changed Their Lives by Improving Their Cognitive Functioning
Parents eager for a solution to their children's learning disabilities have good reason to be interested in research on new techniques and case studies indicating that the brain can be changed for the better. Brain School is interesting reading and may validate a lot of your thoughts about the failure of traditional accommodations to help your child and the inability of testing to paint an accurate portrait. Unfortunately, if you decide you'd like to get some of this good stuff for your own child, the book doesn't do much to help.