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Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Your Child's Learning Problems Hardcover – April 13, 2010
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The book struck me as a mixture of soft science, personal experience, annecdotes, speculation, "expert opinion", and name dropping. I suspect that, to a large extent, this reflects the state the art.(The discussion of diagnostic classification clearly reveals a field of investigation that is groping for clarity.) However, the book is further burdened with a writing style that is disorganized. For example, if there was some logic to the use of rubrics, italics, and other editorial devices, it escaped me. The author frequently refers the reader to her other books, a habit that struck me as evasive and self-serving. I also found it strange that a book so clearly aimed at parents of children with learning difficulties would include advice about prenatal prevention. I could understand a discussion about prenatal causes of learning problems since this might provide some insight into the origins of the problem confronting the reader. However, I doubt that the typical reader appreciates the rambling digression into prevention of the learning problems at a time when he or she is trying to cope with an existing one.
I suspect that the author is a marvelous and caring clinician, but I do not find her science or her writing rigorous.
Instead, Healy views children as whole beings who are a product of both nature and nurture. She explains that trouble in school can stem from a variety of sources, which may be inherited, or may be caused and/or aggravated by a too-stressed, too-busy, too-distracted, too-unstructured 21st century lifestyle. In other words, little Billy may have inherited a tendency toward distractibility from his father, but his parents can still guide him toward intellectual and academic success through solid, common-sense parenting techniques such as seriously restricting video games and enforcing consistent bedtimes. Different Learners lays out very clearly, and with plenty of supporting scientific evidence, a host of similarly effective techniques.
I highly recommend this book for all parents interested in helping their children achieve balanced, intellectually and emotionally satisfying lives throughout and beyond their school years.
It's sobering to think that a child born in the United States has a 30 percent chance of being diagnosed with some type of learning problem. That about 2.5 million children take prescription drugs for attention and hyperactivity. That there are seven million children currently enrolled in special education with autism on the rise by 800% over the last decade. Beginning by describing the extent of the challenges, Dr. Healy shows us that there truly exists today a new epidemic of learning problems affecting children from across all levels of the socioeconomic spectrum. In her typical no-nonsense prose, the reader clearly understands the most current research, often through vivid examples from parents and succinct quotes from compelling experts.
The book considers different categories of learning disorders and/or learning differences with a review of the research on a variety of successful treatments. Healy then turns to the "heart" of the book--discussing how genetics and the environment interact to impact brain development. She emphasizes that a difference often doesn't mean a disability. Instead, Healy demonstrates the role of the environment in shaping a child's brain and simultaneously his/her learning skills. We emphasize the home environment as an important factor at the Parent Coaching Institute, ([...]) as anyone who has been coached by a PCI Certified Parent Coach® knows.Read more ›
Healy provides case studies, cites scientific research and gives "laundry lists" related to each topic that are helpful summaries of each key part of the book. One piece of information/wisdom that got me thinking about our son is that some experts suggest that any child with attention disorders should undergo a sleep study. This is something I'm going to follow-up on with our son who is a noisy sleeper and a seemingly very deep sleeper - but I have to wonder if he's getting the right amount of REM sleep that would maximize his capacity to pay attention and be "plugged in" during the day.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I finally found a book that helped me decode the secret brain of my 7 yr old. he has struggle din school and I felt frustrated and he did as well. Read morePublished 2 months ago by nicole S lemonninjamom
A little deep reading for a 'non educator', very enlightening.Published 19 months ago by Lamonia Kohler
I rarely write reviews, but I feel so strongly about this book I wanted to take a moment and write one. This book is AMAZING! Read morePublished on December 9, 2012 by Jennifer Hruby
I appreciate that this book is easy to read, written for parents who are not educators or medical professionals. Read morePublished on October 4, 2012 by SMH
Written with wit and wisdom, Dr. Healy says it like it is - candidly!
Raising children is the most challenging and rewarding "profession" there is. Read more
Extremely informative and makes sense! I appreciate her advice on not rushing to medicate our children like so many others in the mental health field. Highly recommend.Published on September 14, 2010 by bonita
Jane Healy's latest book is a comprehensive resource for both parents and educators who want to gain an overview of leaning differences and what to do about them. Read morePublished on September 11, 2010 by weberwrites (Consignment)