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 Philosophy of AutismThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Ride TogetherThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Science of ADHDThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Survival Guide for Kids With LD*The Unhappy ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouThings Tom LikesThrough the Glass WallThumbsuckerTotally WiredTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreating ADHD and Comorbid DisordersTreatment of Childhood DisordersTwistedUnder the Wolf, Under the DogUnhappy TeenagersUnstrange MindsWastedWe've Got IssuesWeather Reports from the Autism FrontWhat about the KidsWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Works for Whom?What Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? 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?

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March 2004
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The Unhappy ChildReview - The Unhappy Child
What Every Parent Needs to Know
by Kenneth N. Condrell
Prometheus Books, 2006
Review by Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H.
Aug 14th 2007 (Volume 11, Issue 33)

The Unhappy Child is a vastly illumining guidebook targeted particularly to parents of unhappy children.  The author, Kenneth N. Condrell, is a child psychologist with several decades of private practice experience.  Condrell's overarching purpose in writing the book is to show parents how to discover the source of their child's unhappiness problem, and to elucidate an expansive multitude of practical strategies intended to help parents help an unhappy child regain happiness.  In determined pursuit of this cardinal goal, Condrell assiduously builds the textual edifice with bricks made of straw derived from the anecdotal matter of Condrell's extensive professional experiences.  In crafting the text, Condrell adroitly employs a plain English approach apt for lay readers.  The edifying result of Condrell's intellectual toil is a book constructed well to helpfully explain what parents need to know about some of the possible causes of unhappiness in children, and, also, how parents in numerous practical ways may be able to respond effectually to a child's unhappiness problem.

   The book's respective chapters are structured in a quite distinctive manner.  Characteristically, Condrell commences a particular chapter's discourse with a pithy "introduction", engagingly identifying the core subject embodying that chapter.  Following the exordium is a structural feature ("the problem") revealingly etching the lineaments of the problem tied knottily to a chapter's core subject, with regard particularly to the causing of unhappiness in children. 

   Further structural integrity is imparted to a chapter by a component ("the children speak"), importantly allowing the venting of the often powerful animating force flowing from real life.  In absorbing and sobering fashion, Condrell recounts numerous fragments of actual comments made by children, and sometimes others, germane to a chapter's substantive focus.  The artful sewing of real life comments into the text's fabric contributes to its instructiveness and adds considerably to its engrossing appeal.

   The mainstay philosophical premise coursing through the arteries and veins of the textual body is that the parents of an unhappy child have major responsibility to ascertain the cause of their child's unhappiness, and, also, to "solve" that problem.  There is a structural element ("solutions") tied tightly to that premise.  In a chapter's solutions part, Condrell typically proposes a profusion of parent directed, practical suggestions, implanted deeply in the professional soil of his clinical experiences.

   As a chapter ends, there is, additionally, a very brief "summary" (of its contents) as well as a chapter ending "resources" section, identifying a goodly number of books (and sometimes web sites) pertinent to its substantive emphasis.  This last section may gladden readers in search of a conduit leading to further study.

   The book's distinctive structural arrangement frames discussion of an eclectic array of subjects bound commonly to the problem of unhappiness in children.  Among the specific subjects eyed perspicaciously through the discerning psychological lens of Condrell are:  mismanaged divorces, parental depression, children who are "slow learners", children being rejected or else being treated cruelly by their peers, quarreling between parents, parental favoritism, permissive parenting, stepfamilies, sibling abuse, and angry parents.  Expertly deploying the immense intellectual firepower of his massive professional experience, and showing very considerable erudition regarding real life psychological truths, Condrell shines luminous light on how these subjects are joined to the problem of unhappiness in children.  Shifting directions, Condrell, in the concluding chapter, discourses thoughtfully on what makes a child happy.  In that vein, Condrell compares and contrasts happy versus not happy families, and identifies an abundance of parenting guidelines possibly conducive to effective parenting.

   Despite its notable excellence, this impressive book is not impervious to criticism.  Some may react cautiously to Condrell's unyielding grip of the cornerstone philosophic premise charging parents with major responsibility for remedying a child's unhappiness problem.  Valid concern may be expressed that the parent directed, practical suggestions offered by Condrell may unwittingly be misunderstood and misapplied by readers formally unschooled in the science of psychological related evaluation and treatment, and unskilled in the demanding art of adept, real life application of Condrell's "solutions".  In consonance with such concerns, some may opine that it is wiser for parents to promptly seek expert professional counsel, rather than endeavoring to independently evaluate and treat an unhappiness problem affecting their child.  For academically moored critics, it may further be disconcerting that the copious recommendations made by Condrell are anecdotally based in substantial part on Condrell's particular professional experiences.  Academic leaning critics may be more at ease with recommendations fleshed out rigorously in the challenging medium of academic peer review.

   At least in a generalized way, however, the rich wealth of information presented by Condrell should be highly informative to parents, with regard especially to enhancing understanding of unhappiness in children.  The pensive musings of Condrell may further be of instructive interest to persons with a professional interest in the problem of unhappiness in children, including:  child psychologists, family therapists, psychiatrists, social workers, family medicine doctors, and pediatricians.


© 2007 Leo Uzych


Leo Uzych (based in Wallingford, PA) earned a law degree, from Temple University; and a master of public health degree, from Columbia University.  His area of special professional interest is healthcare.


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