Friday, August 31, 2001

Book 'em

I'm generally a sucker for parenting books. But the ones I'm drawn to are the ones for parenting kids with special needs, books with names like "The Challenging Child" or "The Explosive Child" or "The Out-of-Sync Child" or "Raising Your Spirited Child." With one child who is significantly learning and language delayed but very well-behaved, and one child who has FAS/E, I don't have much of a need for the general, run-of-the-mill books on raising your boring, normal child. I need the heavy artillery.

Every so often, though, I like to see how the other half lives, and so I check out the bestsellers of the week in Parenting & Family on . I was going to share the results of that search today, but frankly, the first four books on this week's tally were pregnancy books, and a majority of the rest are about obsessing over your perfect infant, and who needs that? So I decided to go back over to my half, and see what parents who read books about special needs are reading. A nice, familiar chart, that.

Here, then, for your browsing pleasure, are the Top 10 special-needs-parenting bestsellers on this week, with our comments and/or theirs. Note that, if pregnancy and infancy are the current obsessions among the non-special-needs set, ADHD remains the book-topic of choice for challenged parents, occupying half the spots. Read on:

1. The Out-Of-Sync Child : Recognizing and Coping With Sensory Integration Dysfunction by Carol Stock Kranowitz.
The perfect, reader-friendly introduction to sensory integration. I'd tell you to go buy it now, but you probably have it already.

2. Sign With Your Baby Complete Learning Kit (Book, Training Video & Quick Reference Guide combination) by Joseph Garcia.
"Shows how simple gestures can communicate ideas."

3. Maybe You Know My Teen : A Parent's Guide to Helping Your Adolescent With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Mary Fowler.
By the author of "Maybe You Know My Kid."

4. The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.
Excellent, excellent book! It's one of the ones I keep close at hand. Useful for any kids who have trouble dealing with frustration and change, whether they explode as a result or not.

5. When Love is Not Enough : A Guide to Parenting Children with RAD - Reactive Attachment Disorder by Nancy L. Thomas.
Required reading on RAD.

6. Attention Deficit Disorder : A Different Perception by Thom Hartmann.
"ADDers aren't abnormal, they are uniquely gifted individuals in their own right."

7. Taking Charge of ADHD, Revised Edition by Russell A. Barkley.
I'd probably rather read this than "Taking Charge of Your Fertility," No. 2 on the general parenting best-seller chart. Perhaps ADHD will take orders better.

8. Without Ritalin by Samuel A. Berne.
"Safe and effective holistic treatments proven successful for more than 3,000 patients." (Is that a lot?)

9. Eating an Artichoke : A Mother's Perspective on Asperger Syndrome by Echo R. Fling.
"Author is president of ASPEN of America, Inc. (Asperger Syndrome Education Network.)"

10. Women With Attention Deficit Disorder : Embracing Disorganization at Home and in the Workplace by Sari Solden.
I don't know that I have ADD, but I'll embrace disorganization wherever I can find it.

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