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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michelle A. Melyn, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book was developed from a meeting sponsored by the Little Foundation. It is a compendium of many topics relevant to specific learning disorders with special emphasis on their neurobiological origins and consideration of their causes as well as strategies for prevention.
Purpose: The purpose is to identify learning disorders, consider their causes, and devise strategies for preventions. These worthy objectives have been met.
Audience: Academic and medical professionals are the targeted readers. However, physicians may be more interested in chapters on genetics and brain imaging, while academicians may gravitate toward descriptive issues and non-medical management.
Features: Redefining the world of these disorders in light of newer scientific knowledge (i.e., electroencephalography, magnetic resonance imaging, SPECT scanning) is a masterful stroke, which is readily achieved by the editors. From this it is anticipated that strategies for prevention may be forthcoming, in addition to the medical, social, and educational ones already in place. The evolution and history of specific learning disorders is traced, from philosophical origins and initial applications to the present data. Each chapter is marked by an extensive bibliography.
Assessment: Although not all readers will find all chapters suitable for their needs, and some statements may be too dogmatic for some practitioners, it is a good discussion of the current ideas on this subject. Most importantly, given the rather complete review of substantiating medical data, this may well be an excellent reference for those working in the field, practitioners and teachers alike.