Quirky Kids by Perri Klass
Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In- When to Worry and When Not to Worry

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Synopsis

The toddler whose tantrums scare all the other kids on the playground . . . The three-year-old who ignores all his toys but seems passionately attached to the vacuum cleaner . . . The fourth-grade girl who never gets invited to a birthday party because classmates think she’s “weird” . . . The geek who is terrific at math, but is failing every other subject. Quirky children are different from other kids in ways that they–and their parents and teachers–have a hard time understanding or explaining. Straddling the line between eccentric and developmentally impaired, quirky children present challenges that standard parenting books fail to address. Now, in Quirky Kids, nationally known writer/pediatrician Perri Klass and her colleague Eileen Costello, a seasoned pediatrician with a special interest in child development, finally provide the expert guidance and in-depth research that families with quirky children so desperately need.

A generation ago, such children were called odd ducks or worse. But nowadays, they are often assigned medical, psychiatric, or neurological diagnoses. The diagnoses often overlap or shift, but the labels can be frightening. Klass and Costello illuminate the confusing list of terms applied to quirky children these days–nonverbal learning disability, sensory integration disorder, obsessive-compulsive behavior, autistic spectrum disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, Asperger’s syndrome–and explain how to assess what exactly each diagnosis means and how to use it to help a child most effectively.

Quirky Kids takes you through the stages of a child’s life, helping to smooth the way at home, at school, even on the playground. How do you make it through mealtime, when emotions often erupt? How do you help the child’s siblings understand what’s going on? Is it better to “mainstream” the child or seek a special education program? How can you make a school more welcoming and flexible for a quirky child? How do you help your child deal with social exclusion, name-calling, and bullying?

Choosing the right therapy for quirky children is especially difficult, because their problems fall outside traditional medical categories. Coping strategies might include martial arts or horseback riding, or speech and occupational therapies. Klass and Costello cover all the options, as well as offer a thorough consideration of the available medications, how they work, and whether medication is the best choice for your child.

Drs. Klass and Costello firmly believe that the ideal way to help our quirky kids is to understand and embrace the qualities that make them exceptionally interesting and lovable. Written with upbeat clarity and informed insight, their book is a comprehensive guide to loving, living with, and enjoying these wonderful if challenging children.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Perri Klass

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Perri Klass is a practicing pediatrician, an acclaimed author of fiction & nonfiction, & a prizewinning journalist. She has won five O. Henry Awards for her short stories, including three of the stories in "Love & Modern Medicine". Her fiction includes two novels, "Recombinations & Other Women's Children", & a collection of short stories, "I Am Having an Adventure". She has also written two collections of essays about medicine, "A Not Entirely Benign Procedure: Four Years as a Medical Student" & "Baby Doctor: A Pediatrician's Training". Her columns & articles have appeared in the "New York Times Magazine", the "Washington Post", the "Boston Globe", "Discover", & "Parenting". She recently won a James Beard Foundation Award for an article in "Gourmet", "The Lunch Box as Battlefield." Both Klass's fiction & her journalism have dealt with issues of medicine & society. In her medical career she practices pediatrics at Dorchester House, a neighborhood health center in Boston, & is medical director of the national literacy program Reach Out & Read, dedicated to making books & literacy promotion part of pediatric primary care. Klass lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Larry Wolff, a professor of history at Boston College, & their children.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Ballantine Books. 402 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Quirky Kids

Publishers Weekly

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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

Oct 27 2003 | Read Full Review of Quirky Kids: Understanding an...

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