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When Your Child Has a Disability

Mark L. Batshaw, M.D.

When Your Child Has a Disability
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Reviewer: Allison Martin

If you are the parent of a child who has multiple special needs or are looking for a scholarly and readable introduction to children's disabilities, then When Your Child Has a Disability is a "must read" resource. I especially recommend it to parents of children born premature, as so many of the special needs discussed in this book affect preemies. Parents of adopted children with special needs will find this a valuable resource, as well. Relevant and reliable, it is the most comprehensive overview for parents of children with special needs that has been published to date.

When Your Child Has a Disability covers four major areas - Getting the Diagnosis, Growing Up with a Disability, Developmental Disabilities, and a brief section called What the Future Holds. Each chapter in these sections is authored by an experienced practitioner in the field. They provide an concise overview for each subject, an explanation of the terminology, and a number of practical suggestions for your child. The section on Growing Up with a Disability covers topics vital to parents of children with special needs, such as nutrition and feeding, dental care, and encouraging appropriate behavior. Specific disabilities are covered in the Developmental Disability section, including many disabilities linked to prematurity. Twelve developmental disabilities are addressed - cerebral palsy, hearing loss, autism, mental retardation, visual impairment, communication disorders, learning disorders, down syndrome, genetic syndromes, spina bifida, and epilepsy.

Dr. Mark L. Batshaw, has been a developmental pediatrician for over 25 years, and is an expert in the area of inborn metabolism. In addition to years of experience, he brings impressive credentials to the book, including Chairman of Pediatrics at The George Washington University Schoool of Medicine and Health Sciences, Director of Children's Research Institute, and CAO of Children's National Medical Center.

A well rounded resource like this has been needed for parents for a long time, and Dr. Batshaw has done an remarkable job at fulfilling this need. Crucial topics are covered which are rarely addressed adequately, but are vital to children with special needs - for example, feeding, visual impairment, teeth and dental care. One of the unique features of the book is the references to prematurity risks and adoption scattered throughout the chapters.

For parents of children who have special needs (or are "at risk" for developmental disabilities), When Your Child Has a Disability is invaluable. No other book comes close for educated, practical coverage of developmental disabilities, and accompanying special needs, in children.

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