Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In- When to Worry and When Not to Worry

Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In- When to Worry and When Not to Worry

by Perri Klass, Eileen Costello
     
 

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The toddler whose tantrums scare all the other kids on the playground . . . The three-year-old who ignores all his toys but seems passionately attached to the vacuum cleaner . . . The fourth-grade girl who never gets invited to a birthday party because classmates think she’s “weird” . . . The geek who is terrific at math, but is failing every other

Overview

The toddler whose tantrums scare all the other kids on the playground . . . The three-year-old who ignores all his toys but seems passionately attached to the vacuum cleaner . . . The fourth-grade girl who never gets invited to a birthday party because classmates think she’s “weird” . . . The geek who is terrific at math, but is failing every other subject. Quirky children are different from other kids in ways that they–and their parents and teachers–have a hard time understanding or explaining. Straddling the line between eccentric and developmentally impaired, quirky children present challenges that standard parenting books fail to address. Now, in Quirky Kids, nationally known writer/pediatrician Perri Klass and her colleague Eileen Costello, a seasoned pediatrician with a special interest in child development, finally provide the expert guidance and in-depth research that families with quirky children so desperately need.

A generation ago, such children were called odd ducks or worse. But nowadays, they are often assigned medical, psychiatric, or neurological diagnoses. The diagnoses often overlap or shift, but the labels can be frightening. Klass and Costello illuminate the confusing list of terms applied to quirky children these days–nonverbal learning disability, sensory integration disorder, obsessive-compulsive behavior, autistic spectrum disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, Asperger’s syndrome–and explain how to assess what exactly each diagnosis means and how to use it to help a child most effectively.

Quirky Kids takes you through the stages of a child’s life, helping to smooth theway at home, at school, even on the playground. How do you make it through mealtime, when emotions often erupt? How do you help the child’s siblings understand what’s going on? Is it better to “mainstream” the child or seek a special education program? How can you make a school more welcoming and flexible for a quirky child? How do you help your child deal with social exclusion, name-calling, and bullying?

Choosing the right therapy for quirky children is especially difficult, because their problems fall outside traditional medical categories. Coping strategies might include martial arts or horseback riding, or speech and occupational therapies. Klass and Costello cover all the options, as well as offer a thorough consideration of the available medications, how they work, and whether medication is the best choice for your child.

Drs. Klass and Costello firmly believe that the ideal way to help our quirky kids is to understand and embrace the qualities that make them exceptionally interesting and lovable. Written with upbeat clarity and informed insight, their book is a comprehensive guide to loving, living with, and enjoying these wonderful if challenging children.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Boston pediatricians Klass and Costello address a growing parenting issue: when to worry and when not, how far to push for diagnosis and/or treatment when a child's "quirkiness" becomes concerning. Broadly defining "quirky" kids as "the ones who do things differently" (they may exhibit skewed development, temperamental extremes or social difficulties), the authors explore such confounding and complex syndromes as anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder, Tourette's syndrome, oppositional defiance disorder, Asperger's syndrome and other problems. Reassuring but frank, Klass and Costello walk parents through the steps of helping a quirky child, beginning with talking to the child's pediatrician, coping with the parents' sense of loss of a perfect child, getting a diagnosis and negotiating the maze of evaluations and evaluators. Parents of quirky kids share many similar dilemmas, such as whom to tell, how to deal with social and peer issues, or how to handle homework. The authors present a thorough discussion of the many therapies and medical treatments available, but also advise parents to keep their own lives in balance as they search for answers, warning that "making your own single quirky child into your life's mission can be dangerous." The book is a good place for parents of quirky kids to start their research, though some may find the title off-putting and a bit quirky itself. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345451422
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/11/2003
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.24(d)

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