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Back to Normal: Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior Is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder Hardcover – September 17, 2013


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Back to Normal: Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior Is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder + Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, Ocd, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (September 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807073342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807073346
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Back to Normal is outstanding. Careful, measured, wise, compassionate, and powerful. Finally, someone is suggesting that lots of awkward, angry, tuned out, defiant kids are not suffering from mental illness but rather, are coming to terms with the human condition. And they shouldn't be medicated for it.”
—Peg Tyre, author of The Trouble with Boys

"A valuable guide for parents and educators that includes tips on choosing a therapist and parenting strategies.”
Kirkus Reviews

“This is an exceptionally original and useful book.  It offers fresh perspectives on a wide range of childhood behaviors that are of concern to today's parents, educators, and mental health professionals.  Addressing labels ranging from ADHD and autism to bipolar disorders, Gnaulati challenges the widespread rush to see pathology and medicate; he suggests, instead, how various behaviors may actually be expressions of normal development. With a rare combination of creative insight and common sense, Gnaulati helps us appreciate children as they grow and cope with the stresses of modern life.”
—William Crain, author of Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our Achievement-Oriented Society

Back to Normal provides a compelling, insightful, and timely explanation of the multiple forces that lead to over-diagnosis and misdiagnosis of our children. It offers parents a much-needed guide to help distinguish behaviors that truly warrant medical intervention from those that may stem from other issues and require different approaches. Well done, Dr. Gnaulati!”
—Diane M. Kennedy & Rebecca S. Banks, authors of Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD and Autism  

“Dr. Gnaulati suffers from an acute case of common sense. His work with thousands of children and adolescents and his scrupulous reviews of the literature lead him to question the fashionable rush to pathologize young people, to misdiagnose them, and to medicate them unnecessarily. He casts a bright light on psychiatric mispractice and reminds us of how common sense psychotherapy that attends to feelings arising in the contexts of family and school can restore the dignity of the child, alleviate anxiety, and modulate the dangerous tendency of adults to misunderstand,  scapegoat, and rush to judgment. This is a brilliantly incisive reexamination of treatment practices by a ferociously humane practitioner.”
—John M. Broughton, Associate Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University

“This compelling, readable book examines disordered behavior in the context of the insane policies and expectations imposed on today’s children. Dr. Gnaulati describes in heart-rending detail how pressure to perform and conform in kindergarten is literally driving normal young children—especially boys—to frustration and distraction, making them hate school, and leading to a plague of misdiagnosis and unnecessary medication. Every parent and grandparent of a child labeled ADHD, bipolar, or on the autism spectrum should read this humane, common-sense guide.”
 —Edward Miller, founding partner of the Alliance for Childhood and co-author of Crisis in the Kindergarten
 
“This book is a welcome antidote to an alarming trend.” —Publishers Weekly

“Highly recommended for parents, caregivers, educators, physicians, and specialists working with children of all ages.” —Library Journal

“Dr. Enrico Gnaulati has written the book of the hour, an extraordinarily well-researched explication of our rush to pathologize normal behavior in children and an impassioned plea to reflect very carefully before placing our youngsters under diagnostic categories that hinder their growth and leave them believing they suffer from 'brain diseases.'” —Huffington Post

About the Author

Enrico Gnaulati is a clinical psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience providing psychotherapy to children and families. A sought-after public speaker, Gnaulati has published a host of child development and children's mental health articles in professional journals and magazines such as Life Learning, Journal of Psychology, and the Los Angeles Psychologist. He regularly presents to parents groups and teachers, and he has been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times and by best-selling author Wendy Mogel in her book The Blessing of a B Minus. He lives in Pasadena, California.

More About the Author

Enrico Gnaulati is a clinical psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience providing psychotherapy to children and families. A sought-after public speaker, Gnaulati has published a host of child development and children's mental health articles in professional journals and magazines such as Life Learning, Journal of Psychology, and the Los Angeles Psychologist and is also the author of Back to Normal: Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior Is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (Beacon Press, Sept. 2013). He regularly presents to parents groups and teachers, and he has been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times and by best-selling author Wendy Mogel in her book The Blessing of a B Minus. He lives in Pasadena, California.

Photographer Copyright Credit Name: Kat Ward, 2013

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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While we still don't know what's "wrong" with our son, I am still very glad to have read this book.
The Travelin' Hrncirs
This book is highly recommended for all stakeholders in the educational arena, as well as any parent who thinks they may have a child with special needs.
Steve
I found that both the technical, referenced information and the case studies were engaging and well written.
Stuart Shipko

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Simon Oliver on September 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Back to Normal by Enrico Gnaulati should be required reading, not just for parents dealing with an ADHD, Bipolar or Autism but for all parents, educators and really anyone who deals with children on a professional basis.

At a time, when as Gnaulati points out, ADHD diagnoses are more common than the cold and we're suffering from an epidemic of over-prescribing of medication not recommended for or in some cases even tested on children, he offers a well reasoned and balanced approach, based on his own extensive experience, not just explaining his points, but offering solutions.

As a father of two young sons who deals with his fair share of "boy" energy on a daily basis, I found "Back to Normal" not just honest, refreshing, and insightful but also something you rarely find in a book on this subject - reassuring.

All in all a fascinating book, and one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. JEFFREY MCMAHON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having twin 3-year-olds, one diagnosed with high-functioning autism, I read Guaulati's book with great interest, taking care not to be too eager to believe all his explanations for why we overdiagnose children with ADHD, bipolar disorder, and autism. After all, I don't want to be in denial. Nor do I want experts like Gaunati to use their experience to give parents false hope.

Back to Normal is not, thankfully, a book for enabling those parents who want to be in denial about their children's conditions. Rather, Gnaulati uses his experience to responsibly and convincingly show how other factors can cause us to exaggerate or misdiagnose our children's problems. He writes there is a "tendency in our society to medicalize children's behavior and to categorize . . . reactions to stressful life situations as proof positive of a psychiatric diagnosis." His book aims to counteract that tendency.

Our society's misdiagnosis of behavior, Gnaulati argues, is the result of many factors, which he analyzes with great clarity and illustration. These factors include wanting our children to fit a perfect template of emotional growth and when there's a lag, we're to quick to pin a pathology to the problem; the overuse of mental health jargon in our everyday conversations; the profit incentive of pharmaceutical companies to oversell; how doctors and therapists are primed to think in terms of disease rather than use commonsense; rigid, oppressive teaching "solutions" that actually make the child more anxious; the use of special ed as a smokescreen for remedial education; sleep deprivation and its effect on children's moods; our society's obsession with mass media, the Internet, and smartphones, which all glorify a bipolar mentality that we too often unwittingly emulate.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have been reading important, well-researched information for many years on the extensive examination of overdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of mental health issues on our children in this country, which has increased to a remarkable statistic over the last 20 years. The reason for my interest on this subject matter involves my clinical experience as a health professional for 30 years, combined with 35 years of caring for my special-needs child with multiple-disabilities, both mental and physical since childhood. As a sub-Nurse working in the largest school district in the state of New York, combined with working for special-needs children and caring for my own child for 35 years, I have researched several helpful books and guides on essential healthcare information on mental heath issues, and treatment. Enrico Gnaulati has delivered one of the most helpful guides I have read up-to-date. The author chronicles a powerful common-sense guide on the overdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of ADHD, autism, and bipolar. When working in the schools, I began to become extremely concerned on the increasing mental health disorders of our children in this country with a rapid rate of diagnosis, researching questions and answers to the current issues, for elementary and high school students. The author chronicles important information through years of clinical experience as he highlights common sense psychotheraphy, and childhood behavior mistaken for ADHD. This guide is a valuable resource for all medical professionals, as well as teachers, and parents. Enrico Gnaulati discusses the difference between psychiatric disorders, versus behavioral disorders that stem from social issues. The author explains the differences as he portrays individual cases that were examined carefully, and many misdiagnosed.Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Janet Sue Chunn LCSW on September 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Back to Normal is the book that I have been waiting for, both as a mother of a son, and as a social worker with over 20 years of experience in the field. Dr. Gnaulati writes in such a readable ways about kids who are caught in adverse life events resulting in them temporarily acting crazy, as distinct form kids who are truly suffering from real diagnosable conditions. His narrative approach, backed up by research, clarified so much for me and should be a practical resource for parents, educators, and mental health professionals. This book has made me more thoughtful and open-minded about thinking about children's problems and how sometimes the even the craziest of behavior can be understood and worked with, rather than viewed as evidence of a disordered brain in need of medication.
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