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When the labels don't fit : a new approach to raising a challenging child
Probst, Barbara
Adult Nonfiction BF721 .P763 2008

Comments  Summary  Contents  Reviews  Author Notes

From Publishers' Weekly:

Probst, a clinical social worker and educator, argues that our society has become too quick to diagnose and label children who think or act outside the box as having a psychiatric disorder or disease. Although there are times when a diagnosis and medication are called for, Probst believes that the "diagnosis explosion" is over the top (adding up the medical statistics, she concludes that "44 percent of all American children are pathologically depressed, anxious, defiant or hyperactive"). Probst presents fresh tactics for dealing with difficult children, using temperament as a basis for understanding and intervention. Guiding parents through a temperament questionnaire, she maps 11 core traits, including energy source, attention and sensory sensitivity. She then offers practical strategies and tools parents can use when a child's social or physical environment clashes with his temperament (for instance, a simple timer can help a child who has problems with transitions; discussing a "backup plan" may help a child who has trouble adapting to unexpected situations.) The author encourages parents to "reframe" their own thinking and focus on their child's strengths (i.e., a label such as "antisocial" can be seen as "self-sufficient," or "hyper" as "lively"). Readers seeking innovative ways to handle a challenging child will be drawn to Probst's bright and benevolent approach. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Verdict: Although some of Probst's communication strategies could be useful for older verbal children, libraries will get more nuanced information in a title like Roy Richard Grinker's Unstrange Minds. Background: Educator Probst challenges parents and educators who rush to use labels like autism, Asperger's, and ADHD to understand better children with developmental issues. The author argues that by coming to understand a child's temperament and responding with her outlined strategies, parents will create an environment that will allow children to develop and prosper. While this sounds promising, the book provides an overly optimistic (bordering on naOve) plan for dealing with children with the above diagnoses. Her solutions all revolve around negotiation with the child, a very difficult task for a low or nonverbal child. Additionally, Probst suggests that pursuing treatment without a label of ADHD or autism will allow you to "view your child as fundamentally healthy." This comment will be sure to offend many parents of children with special needs and adds to the stigma associated with many of these diagnoses.--Corey Seeman, Kresge Business Administration Lib., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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