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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Clinical child neuropsychology is a highly specialized field requiring advanced training in developmental psychology, neuroanatomy, and neuropathology. This book reviews the field from the necessary training to specific disorders to treatment and rehabilitation.
Purpose: The book appears to have several aims. The first is to provide an overview of the field, the training and credentialing necessary to practice in the field, and other professional issues. The second is to provide information about the assessment process, and the third is to extensively review the literature regarding specific diseases and related treatments.
Audience: The audience is primarily clinical child neuropsychologists, but students of psychology and neuropsychology would also benefit from the comprehensive coverage. The editors and contributing authors are well-known and recognized experts in the field.
Features: There are many updates to this third edition, including new chapters and new authors. Some areas of new or expanded coverage include ADHD, learning disabilities, drug abuse, Hispanic populations, and pervasive developmental disorders. The book is bursting with information, sometimes with seemingly unending text without benefit of tables or figures, which would make it more readable. The information is generally of high quality and up to date. The inclusion of literature reviews for treatment options is especially welcome. Nevertheless, the chapter on pediatric brain injury rehabilitation is feeble, with many references to adult programs. Readers will find coverage of different neuropsychological approaches to the assessment of children, but the inclusion of the Luria-Nebraska battery is perplexing, given that the test author could come up with only two references to support it, one of them being the test manual. Chapters on the use of psychotropics in children are of critical importance and live up to expectations. The references throughout the book are generally excellent, but occasionally study conclusions are overinterpreted without an analytical look at methodological study flaws (e.g., claims about cognitive dysfunction associated with PTSD). There could be better coverage of learning disabilities, as well medical conditions, as both receive short shrift. Additionally, there is a vast hole in the book, with no discussion of motivation, effort, and symptom validity, which can have more influence on low performance than genuine neurological illness. Thus, practitioners failing to consider this issue are not only practicing in a substandard way according to professional guidelines, but also run the risk of misattributing the cause of low scores, which in itself can have devastating outcomes for children.
Assessment: This handbook is filled with an abundance of useful information and guidance in the practice of child neuropsychology. Readers will find it a welcome addition to their library, as long as they are aware that it is focused more on the practice of child neuropsychology than on providing a comprehensive review of neuropsychological functioning in various diseases.