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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Child neuropsychology is a highly specialized field worthy of discussion separate from adult and geriatric neuropsychology. This book provides just such specialized coverage within a developmental framework.
Purpose: In contrast to many symptom- or disease-based books, this one is designed to provide a normal developmental foundation from which to further understand abnormal neuropsychological development.
Audience: Although aimed primarily at clinical neuropsychologists, the book also would be of interest to cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists, as well as other pediatric clinicians. The editors and contributing authors represent a complementary group of researchers and clinicians that bridge science to practice.
Features: As expected, the book begins with an introduction to CNS development. Several aspects are covered in the first few chapters, including neuroanatomy, genetics, and normal trajectories along with plasticity. It is heartening to see the incorporation of longitudinal studies and discussions of differences in findings between static or cross-sectional studies. There is also a chapter on neuroradiology, but this is limited to a handful of psychiatric disorders, which is perplexing given the neuropsychological content of the book. The second section focuses on the development of various neuropsychological domains, such as memory, attention, language, visuospatial, executive functions, and academic skills. This section really begins to read like a textbook, but without the illustrations, key concepts, or cases that can help to overcome the monotony of page after page of print. The clinical aspects appear separated into their own section at the end of the book and contain brief, general information about the practice of neuropsychology in different settings, but little detailed information about practical aspects of clinical practice. For example, the chapter regarding neuropsychological practice in schools never mentions IEPs, interdisciplinary plans, or relevant guidelines. The references are up to date and although the index looks comprehensive at first glance, much of the listings are taken up by author's names rather than subjects or topics.
Assessment: This book meets the aim of providing information about neuropsychological development from a general perspective. However, it fails to integrate clinical topics to stimulate reader interest and involvement, presenting as a dry textbook. Additionally, there is little that will help with the practical aspects of pediatric neuropsychological assessment, including differential diagnosis or treatment planning. For readers seeking a summary of the research literature, this can be a relevant review, but it falls short of being a usable clinical reference.