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

Author:Perri Klass
Reading Level (Conceptual):For grown-ups
Reading Level (Vocabulary):For grown-ups
Year of publication:2003

reviewed by An Asperger's Parent

This is a book for parents of kids who have, or resemble those who have, any of several closely related, and confusingly similar, challenges: Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disability - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Nonverbal Learning Disorder, Sensory Integration Dysfunction. But it's about the kids, not the disorders.

This is NOT the book to provide an in-depth understanding of any one of these diagnostic categories. For that purpose, a book more focused on whichever condition you're concerned about will probably serve you better. For example, my own favorite scholarly resource on Asperger's Syndrome is Asperger Syndrome (Guilford Press, 2000), a collection of articles edited by Drs. Klin, Volkmar and Sparrow of Yale.

What Quirky Kids does, and from my perspective does better than any other publication I'm seen, is to serve as a wise, perceptive and sympathetic counselor and friend for parents of kids who are in this spectrum. It speaks respectfully and helpfully about the whole range of real-world issues, including schools, helpful and non-so-helpful friends, maintaining your own mental health, balancing the needs of multiple kids when one or more has exceptional needs, genuinely appreciating your kid's strengths and quirks, understanding the aches and long-term worries.

Where so many of the books I've read and helping professionals with whom we've consulted, seem to illustrate the parable of the six blind men describing the elephant, Drs. Klass and Costello, the authors of "Quirky Kids," seem to see, and appreciate, the whole beast. I'm REALLY glad I found this book, and I warmly recommend it to parents for whom these issues are relevant.

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