From Publishers Weekly
Probst, a clinical social worker and educator, argues that our society has become too quick to diagnose and label children who think or act outside the box as having a psychiatric disorder or disease. Although there are times when a diagnosis and medication are called for, Probst believes that the diagnosis explosion is over the top (adding up the medical statistics, she concludes that 44 percent of all American children are pathologically depressed, anxious, defiant or hyperactive). Probst presents fresh tactics for dealing with difficult children, using temperament as a basis for understanding and intervention. Guiding parents through a temperament questionnaire, she maps 11 core traits, including energy source, attention and sensory sensitivity. She then offers practical strategies and tools parents can use when a child's social or physical environment clashes with his temperament (for instance, a simple timer can help a child who has problems with transitions; discussing a backup plan may help a child who has trouble adapting to unexpected situations.) The author encourages parents to reframe their own thinking and focus on their child's strengths (i.e., a label such as antisocial can be seen as self-sufficient, or hyper as lively). Readers seeking innovative ways to handle a challenging child will be drawn to Probst's bright and benevolent approach. (Aug.)
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"When the Labels Don't Fit
marks the turning of the tide away from calling every difference a disorder. This guide will show you step by step how to stop the madness of labels gone bad. This is an incredible resource, and many families will be healed by it."
—Dr. Lara Honos-Webb author of The Gift of ADHD
"One of the finest and most helpful books we have ever read about helping a child whose behavior is causing concern or conflict. In this wise, humane, and deeply practical book, Barbara Probst leads us beyond the current obsession with labels and syndromes to remind us that the place to begin in helping a struggling child is not by deciding what that child has but discovering who that child is. In clear and concise language she provides an innovative framework for understanding a child's unique temperamental makeup and for distinguishing between individual differences and true disorders, then shares a wealth of practical ways to help children with different makeups and needs. When the Labels Don't Fit
should be required reading for everyone who works with children--teachers, psychologists, clinicians--and the first stop for any parent trying to help a struggling child. We cannot possibly recommend it highly enough."
—Brock Eide, M.D., M.A., and Fernette Eide M.D., authors of The Mislabeled Child
“The parents of challenging children will be grateful for Barbara Probst’s vision and rich store of knowledge. This is an exceptional book, packed with important information that helps make sense of children's widely varying temperaments and developmental pathways. In When the Labels Don’t Fit
, Probst truly cuts a new pathway for parents.”
—Anita Lightburn, Ed.D., Professor Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service
“In an era when children are too quickly labeled and mislabeled, this refreshing book is about understanding, not labeling; about guiding, not blaming; and about nurturing a child. Probst’s approach is proactive and supportive. By considering and respecting the unique ways of your individual child, she helps you focus on working toward positive outcomes rather than punishment and frustration.”
—Tovah Klein, Ph.D. Director, Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and Developmental Advisor to Sesame Street