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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Stephen B. Sulkes, MD (University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry)
Description: This is a handbook for students and professionals working in interdisciplinary settings with children with developmental disabilities (DD). It uses outlines, lists, tables, and figures by multiple authors to present the essentials of DD types, etiologies, and evaluation and treatment procedures.
Purpose: The book is intended as a general sourcebook for providers in disciplines serving children with DD (e.g., motor and speech therapies, medicine, nursing, psychology, education, etc.), offering practical solutions to clinical challenges. By framing materials in an organized and often graphic manner, it appropriately meets the editors' objectives.
Audience: The audience comprises advanced trainees and working professionals in medical specialties (pediatrics, genetics, surgical subspecialties) and habilitative disciplines involved in diagnosis or treatment of DD children in health or educational settings. The multiple authors, mostly from the Children's Seashore House at the University of Pennsylvania, are clinical experts and leaders in interdisciplinary DD services. There is some overlap, inevitable in an interdisciplinary text, but this enriches rather than weakens the book. The only significant omission, given the intended audience, is that of the administration discipline's clinical impact in DD services.
Features: The book's tables and figures are its strength. Clear drawings intercut neatly with the relatively sparse text, providing organization and making information readily digestible. Suggested Readings, chosen for clinical utility rather than scholarly content, are somewhat dated. The table of contents and index are well organized. The print is easily readable. Appendixes, containing lists of U.S. public and private agencies, national organizations, and product resources, are particularly valuable.
Assessment: This practical new handbook organizes much diverse information and will work well for the intended audience. Interdisciplinary training programs will find it a useful reference. Primary physicians and other therapists will refer to it often in interpreting the reports they get from interdisciplinary teams, and in participating on such teams themselves.