Childhood Disorders

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12 and HoldingA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Lethal InheritanceA Mother's Courage: Talking Back to AutismA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Special EducationA Toss Of The DiceA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainABC of Eating DisordersADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeADHD Grown UpADHD in the Schools: Assessment and Intervention StrategiesADHD NationAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAlpha GirlsAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAsperger Syndrome and Your ChildAsperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and IdentityAsperger's and GirlsAssessment of Childhood DisordersAttention Deficit DisorderAttention-Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderAutism - The Eighth Colour of the RainbowAutism and MeAutism's False ProphetsAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBeen There, Done That? DO THIS!Before I DieBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBipolar ChildrenBipolar Disorder in Childhood and Early AdolescenceBipolar DisordersBipolar KidsBlackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive DevelopmentBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoy AloneBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingBullying PreventionBut I Love HimCan't Eat, Won't EatCaring for a Child with AutismCatalystChild and Adolescent PsychiatryChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChild and Adolescent PsychopathologyChild NeuropsychologyChild Well-BeingChildren and SexualityChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsChildren, Sexuality and SexualizationChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneCommunication Issues In Autism And Asperger SyndromeConcepts of NormalityConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinConsuming KidsContesting ChildhoodCount Us InCrackedCrossesCutCyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy TeensDamageDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDisconnected KidsDoing SchoolDon't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning!Don't Pick On MeDying to Be ThinEarly Intervention Programs and PoliciesEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismEight Stories UpElijah's CupEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEpilepticEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEvery Girl Tells a StoryExiting NirvanaExploiting ChildhoodEye ContactFacing BipolarFamily HistoryFast GirlsForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillFrictionGirl CultureGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlhoodGirlWiseHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and AdolescentsHandbook of Preschool Mental HealthHealing ADDHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Hyperactive KidsHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHelping Students Overcome Depression and AnxietyHelping Teens Who CutHollow KidsHope's BoyHow Infants Know MindsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHurry Down SunshineI Am Not Joey PigzaIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf Your Adolescent Has an Eating DisorderIn the Company of CraziesIncorporating Social Goals in the ClassroomIntegrated YogaIntrusive ParentingIssues for Families, Schools and CommunitiesJake RileyJoey Pigza Loses ControlJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKim: Empty InsideLearning and Behavior Problems in Asperger SyndromeLearning Disorders and Disorders of the Self in Children and AdolescentsLearning Outside the Lines Let Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLook Me in the EyeLoserLove and SexLove That DogMad at SchoolMaking ADD WorkMaking American BoysManicMastering Anger and AggressionMaverick MindMedicating ChildrenMind FieldsMind to MindMommy I'm Still in HereMore Than a LabelMy Flesh and BloodMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNew Look at ADHD: Inhibition, Time, and Self-ControlNo Child Left DifferentNo Two AlikeNon-Drug Treatments for ADHDNot Much Just Chillin'NurtureShockOdd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the WoodsOvercoming ADHDOvercoming School AnxietyParenting a Child Who Has Intense EmotionsParenting Children With ADHDParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeople with HyperactivityPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPlease Don't Label My ChildPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Problem GirlsPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy with Children and AdolescentsPurgeRaising a Moody ChildRaising BlazeRaising Generation RxRaising Resilient ChildrenReady or Not, Here Life ComesReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRemembering Our ChildhoodResilience in ChildrenRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRitalin NationRunning on RitalinRunning with ScissorsRutter's Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySeeing EzraSex and the American TeenagerSex, Therapy, and KidsSexting and Young PeopleSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShort Term 12Should I Medicate My Child?SmashedSnapshots of AutismSongs Without WordsSophie Spikey Has a Very Big ProblemSpeakStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStraight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for KidsStraight Talk about Psychological Testing for KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrange SonStudent DepressionSuicidal Behavior in Children and AdolescentsSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTemple GrandinThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe Bipolar ChildThe Boy Who Loved Too MuchThe Boy Who Loved WindowsThe Boy Who Was Raised as a DogThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully Action GuideThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Burn JournalsThe Color of AbsenceThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Evolution of ChildhoodThe Explosive ChildThe Eyes of van GoghThe Fasting GirlThe Field of the DogsThe Flight of a DoveThe Hidden Gifts of the Introverted ChildThe Horse BoyThe Identity TrapThe Inner World of a Suicidal YouthThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Kindness of StrangersThe Last Normal ChildThe Little MonsterThe Medicated ChildThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Perversion of YouthThe 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Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhose America?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWill's ChoiceWinnicott On the ChildWorried All the TimeYou Hear MeYoung Minds in Social WorldsYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?

Related Topics
Handbook of Preschool Mental HealthReview - Handbook of Preschool Mental Health
Development, Disorders, and Treatment
by Joan L. Luby (Editor)
Guilford, 2006
Review by J.J. Rasimas, M.D., Ph.D. & Lloyd A. Wells, Ph.D., M.D.
Mar 27th 2007 (Volume 11, Issue 13)

The last two decades have seen a geometric increase in the number of compounds available to treat mental illnesses, but not a single one was designed or rigorously tested in the care of children.  Patients and physicians therefore navigate a landscape characterized by both risk and opportunity.  The use of psychotropic medications in the young has grown rapidly, with correspondingly expanding societal concern over its implications.  There is, at the very least, a demand for greater understanding of normal and abnormal processes of child development to guide clinicians in this area.  Joan Luby has edited a compact and accessible text entitled Handbook of Preschool Mental Health: Development, Disorders, and Treatment, that helps to address the need.  For the trainee, it provides a framework; for the advanced clinician, it provokes important questions.

The subtitle of the book outlines its overall organization.  Social, emotional, and cognitive development in the preschool years of a normal child are taken up in the first section.  Illustrative examples and landmark studies are chosen well to highlight what is known and can be observed about the mental lives of children.  The perspective is decidedly Western, with a focus on the development of the self as a process of differentiation guided by interactions with parents and peers.  Development as a trajectory toward the establishment of meaningful relationships and healthy interpersonal systems not emphasized.  While it lies beyond the formal scope of the book, astute readers will benefit from how this survey of normal individuation informs modern psychiatric impressions of parents of child patients and adult patients in addition to the young.

The largest middle section of the book surveys the major categories of mental disorder that become apparent during the preschool period.  The seemingly ubiquitous phenomenon of attention deficit is given first consideration.  The authors point out historical and cultural trends that affect its prevalence and meaning.  Despite the widespread use of stimulants to address symptoms of attentional and behavioral disorders, there is a relative absence of discussion of the neurobiology of ADHD.  The chapter on oppositional defiant disorder is quite good.  It highlights confounding factors in understanding this controversial entity with a careful, thorough discussion of comorbidity.  There is even a well-organized attempt to understand different factors in the etiology of oppositionality.

Anorexia and bulimia nervosa are the conditions that usually come to mind when we speak of eating disorders.  A nice survey chapter in this text serves as a reminder that there are many ways younger children can manifest unhealthy relationships with food.  The PTSD section emphasizes a need to understand what trauma reactions look like in children, and its author suggests a rationale for revised diagnostic criteria and research that might help to advance the clinical science.  The sleep disorders chapter is at least as useful for its review of normal sleep development as it is for its outline of the different pathologies.  Although helpful discussions of the DSM entities, the chapters on attachment disorders and autism were somewhat disappointing.  With a narrowed focus on diagnosable conditions, the question of how attachment problems affect mental health presentations and symptomatology, in general, went unaddressed.  Similarly, autism was discussed from the perspective of the boundaries of diagnostic categories and associated comorbidity, rather than with a focus on autistic phenomena or their etiologies.  The controversial question of psychosis in preschool children is not addressed, and seems worthy of comment in this kind of text.

Conversely, mood disorders are discussed by the book's editor in some detail.  Dr. Luby displays extensive expertise in practical and theoretical understanding of the meaning and development of mood in preschoolers.  She proposes an emotional reactivity model that integrates developmental research and diagnostic principles.  While it may be challenging for her readers to apply her framework to individual clinical situations, the final section of the Handbook on assessment and treatment suggests practical validity to her way of thinking about patients.

Psychological testing receives a fair bit of attention, and the outline of what such assessment can and should provide is informative.  Pharmacotherapeutics are reviewed in good detail with attention to balancing concerns about the developing brain and the benefit of relieving symptoms in states of significant pathology.  Helpful guidelines and illustrative cases make for good chapters on play therapies.  An entire section devoted to early intervention strategies in autism is particularly helpful for providers to appreciate the importance of treatments that are delivered outside the clinic and hospital setting this challenging set of disorders.

We found the Handbook of Preschool Mental Health: Development, Disorders, and Treatment an enjoyable, informative, well-crafted read.  Consistencies of content are difficult to maintain in any edited textbook, but the overall structure of the work succeeds in minimizing problems with conflicting perspectives and organizing principles between and among the different sections.  It comes recommended as a valuable collection of first reference reviews in the care of the mental health of some of our field's youngest patients.


© 2007 J.J. Rasimas and Lloyd A. Wells

J.J. Rasimas, M.D., Ph.D. & Lloyd A. Wells, Ph.D., M.D., Mayo Clinic, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Rochester, MN 


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