QUIRKY KIDS: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In—When to Worry and When Not to Worry

Perri Klass, Author, Eileen Costello, Author . Ballantine $23.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-345-45142-2

Boston pediatricians Klass and Costello address a growing parenting issue: when to worry and when not, how far to push for diagnosis and/or treatment when a child's "quirkiness" becomes concerning. Broadly defining "quirky" kids as "the ones who do things differently" (they may exhibit skewed development, temperamental extremes or social difficulties), the authors explore such confounding and complex syndromes as anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder, Tourette's syndrome, oppositional defiance disorder, Asperger's syndrome and other problems. Reassuring but frank, Klass and Costello walk parents through the steps of helping a quirky child, beginning with talking to the child's pediatrician, coping with the parents' sense of loss of a perfect child, getting a diagnosis and negotiating the maze of evaluations and evaluators. Parents of quirky kids share many similar dilemmas, such as whom to tell, how to deal with social and peer issues, or how to handle homework. The authors present a thorough discussion of the many therapies and medical treatments available, but also advise parents to keep their own lives in balance as they search for answers, warning that "making your own single quirky child into your life's mission can be dangerous." The book is a good place for parents of quirky kids to start their research, though some may find the title off-putting and a bit quirky itself. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/27/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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