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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: There are an estimated one million children in the United States with a chronic illness that affects their daily functioning. This book provides information regarding some of these illnesses, the impact of these illnesses on children, and approaches to treating these illnesses.
Purpose: According to the editor, the purpose is to provide diagnostic and treatment information regarding common chronic illnesses in children. Although the book provides medical information, its primary aim is to provide specific information regarding psychological and educational considerations for these children and their families.
Audience: The editor does not target a specific audience, but the book would be appropriate for psychologists, school counselors, social workers, and educators. Physicians and nurses also may find it helpful in coordinating medical treatments with those of a psychosocial nature. The editor has many years of experience in this field and has published several books and articles on the topic.
Features: The book begins with a concise but informative introduction to the effects of chronic illness on psychological, neuropsychological, and educational functioning. The second chapter provides a useful review of the school-professional interface and covers salient statutes regarding accommodations in the schools. The subsequent chapters address individual diseases, such as cancer, endocrine disorders, epilepsy, pervasive developmental disorders, and many more. Each chapter provides brief information about the disease and the expected outcomes based on empirical data so that professionals can be wary of problems that may arise and can implement either prevention or treatment strategies as necessary. Finally, the chapters end with a review of the medical and psychoeducational implications. The one drawback is that there are entire sections (e.g., stress inoculation in cancer patients) that are lacking even a single scientific reference and the references in general seem to be limited. While much of the information in this book seems logical, it is difficult to evaluate the veracity of some statements without scientific support.
Assessment: This is a concise book that provides useful information regarding chronic illness in children, the direct and indirect impact of disease on their development, and implications for common treatment options. The scarcity of empirical references in some sections is unfortunate, but perhaps this can be remedied in a second edition. This book is definitely worth reading for anyone involved in the care of children with chronic illness.