Book review of Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Autism Spectrum, Tourette’s, Anxiety, and More!
By Martin L Kutscher MD with contributions from Tony Atwood PhD and Robert R. Wolff MD. (JKP Books)
Whilst the title of this book doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, the content is extremely useful to anyone who has a child diagnosed with more than one issue. As stated in the introduction to this book, ‘we need one book that covers multiple problems in a single place, because that’s the way so many kids come: multiple issues in a single child.’ My son has more letters after his name than a PhD student and I have shelves at home laden with books dealing with each individual diagnosis. Whilst helpful, this can also be time consuming and expensive to keep up with. I found this book a very useful ‘one stop shop’ for getting to grips with the fundamental issues that can come from having multiple diagnoses. I have recommended it to other family members to read so they can gain more understanding of our son. One book is an easier proposition for friends and relatives to absorb than multiple, individual ones.
There are certain common themes that run through the different issues and some can, as stated in the first chapter, ‘also exacerbate each other’ or ‘similarly, the problems can imitate each other’. What this book does, is enable you to choose what you want to concentrate on. The first two chapters are tagged ‘read this chapter’ and set out the ‘general principles’ all families will go through for diagnosis and treatment. After reading these, the reader can choose the relevant chapters that deal with the issues pertinent to their child and they don’t have to wade through the other topics if they don’t feel it is necessary. I found this book incredibly useful and, because it uses humour and doesn’t try to baffle the reader with in depth waffle, it is easy to read. The main aim seems to be to provide concise, definitive advice that, if followed, can make life with a child ‘in the syndrome mix’ a happier, more understanding one. There is a further reading section at the end of the book and the author acknowledges that more in depth reading is useful, but as an overall insight into the general problems faced by parents with ‘kids in the syndrome mix’ this is an excellent first point of call. I know I will be revisiting this book in the future just to refresh my knowledge and to gain reassurance that I am going in the right direction. I could have done with it at the start of my journey, but I am grateful to have it now and would recommend it to anyone dealing with a child who has multiple issues.
Book review of All Birds Have Anxiety
by Kathy Hoopman (JKP Books)
I was already familiar with Kathy Hoopman before receiving this book, having previously read her book All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome. I love the use of photographs of real birds as illustrations to accompany the issue that is being discussed. They give you the opportunity to smile and laugh whilst gaining understanding of an emotion that, by its very nature, is usually distressing and can be difficult to talk about. Coincidentally, I knew a couple of people going through anxiety issues when I was reading the book and they were receptive to the message the book gave and found it easy to read because each page has a fairly succinct message that is emphasised by the photograph. All the photographs are particularly apt and correspond with the advice being given but you don’t have to be a bird lover to enjoy the beautiful pictures and quirky poses. If you are interested in birds, there is a summary of what each of the birds is at the end of the book which I found a nice touch.
I gave this book to three different ages of people and it was appreciated by all of them, although I initially thought it would be more useful to younger readers. As an adult reading it, the advice is easy to understand and apply to yourself. It is also easy to explain to a child and for the child, it draws them in because the pictures are fun and they want to know more about what is happening. An enjoyable book that I would definitely recommend.
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Nicky is a member of her local Parent Carer Forum in Surrey.
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