Child Decoded: Unlocking complex issues in your child’s learning, behavior or attention
Children are a puzzle, and parents don’t always have all the pieces. What do you do when you still can’t understand your six year old? Or when your preschooler regularly hides under chairs and tables? Why does one child knock you over with enthusiastic hugs while another cringes at the gentlest squeeze? How do you help when she just can’t figure out basic math facts and the sight of numbers brings on the waterworks? What is normal and when should you seek help? What help is available and how do you find it? And how do you know if what you’re trying is really being effective?
Child Decoded tries to answer many of those questions that swirl through a parent’s mind. By acknowledging that children and their difficulties are as complex as anything adults face and that there really is no one-size-fits-all solution, the writers of this book simultaneously complicate the process of figuring out what to do for your child and make it possible to find the right combination of resources to address all of your child’s specific needs. The first section gives checklists so you can find out which chapters will be most relevant to your child’s situation. The second section details an array of disorders and challenges that may contribute to your child’s difficulties (attention disorders, processing disorders, autism spectrum disorders, after-effects of concussion, learning disabilities, emotional and/or social issues). The next sections detail alternate therapies that have been found useful—from psychiatry to nutrition to naturopathy to chiropractic neurology. The last section is perhaps the most useful, with information on how to advocate for your child in the school system and coordinate your child’s care among what may be many providers. Finally, there is a reminder to keep your child’s best interests in mind and not overwhelm her with too many interventions. Each chapter is written by at least one specialist in the subject, and credentials (and often contact information, including email) are provided at the end of the chapter.
The book is geared toward finding professional support for your child, so while there is a general explanation of the various conditions and treatments covered, it may seem like a lot of information that doesn’t actually tell you anything. If you’re hoping to help your child yourself, without a bunch of specialists, testing, and therapies, this probably is not the book for you. Fortunately, while some interventions may have been useful while raising my children, none of their issues were severe enough to interfere with their learning. If, however, you know that your child’s problems are more than you can take on alone, but you just don’t know where to start, or perhaps the help that you’re getting doesn’t seem to be a good fit, this could be an invaluable resource.
Robin E. McEvoy, PhD, Kim Gangwish, and Marijke Jones