Reviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Convincing children to eat healthy can be challenging, but the special problems associated with children who have a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) make this a daunting obstacle. This book describes methods that can be used with children with PDD who also have eating problems.
Purpose: The main purpose is to alert clinicians and parents when eating behaviors are worthy of attention and to provide them with specific strategies to manage eating problems in children with PDD.
Audience: This book is aimed at pediatric clinicians, including pediatricians and psychologists, as well as parents of children with PDD. The authors are well versed in this area from both a scholarly and clinical perspective.
Features: The first half of the book is dedicated to parents and caregivers and the second half has a focus more appropriate for professional providers. The layout, especially in the first section, is very user friendly. The subsections in each chapter are relatively short and important terms are in bold. Additionally, practical examples give parents an idea of behaviors that they may see. Along with specific recommendations, the book presents brief descriptions of cases to show how the process works. While there are suggestions for a large number of eating problems, there also is a chapter addressing the reasons these suggestions may fail and how to optimize success. The terminology and focus in the professional section is understandably more advanced, but the layout continues to make it easy to reference. There are recommendations for medical studies, as well as a guide to conducting assessment interviews. Goals and target behaviors are identified, along with routines and reinforcement schedules to shape behavior. The appendix provides handouts and forms to assist clinicians. Moreover, there is a chapter on teaching intervention skills to parents. Although they will not provide a comprehensive review of the research being done in this area, the references and suggested readings are sound.
Assessment: This book has a very clinical and practical focus that can be quickly read, easily understood, and rapidly implemented by parents, caregivers, and professionals alike. For individuals attempting to manage eating problems in children with PDD, the information in this book will save many hours of frustration and distress.