The cover. Check this out. The kid is smiling! Compare and contrast to the disturbed child on the cover of Out of Sync Child. The tone of the book is similarly upbeat, imploring the reader to focus not just on impairment but also on positive attributes.
Of the books I've read, The Mislabeled Child is the best explication of what I call the A Little Bit Autistic-sphere because it describes the relevant disorders and their component parts comparatively, and it does so in a parent-friendly manner. So while many books separately explore autism, sensory processing disorder and language disorders, this book pulls it all together and then some (ADHD), compares and contrasts the disorders to each other, and peppers in the neurology for credibility and good measure. Also, it explores what I refer to as the lesser-includeds: visual processing impairment, central auditory processing disorder, working memory impairment and dysgraphia.
Next, a note about the authors, Brock Eide, M.D., M.A., and Fernette Eide, M.D. Brock Eide's medical specialty, in the formal educational sense, appears to be internal medicine, while Fernette Eide is a neurologist. Together, they run the Eide Neurolearning Clinic, specializing in neurologically based approaches to learning. They host this blog.
And here they are, on tv, plugging their book:
Last, a note about the title, "The Mislabeled Child." See, the book is not about unlabeling, or losing the label. Labels are useful, the Eides argue. Rather, it's about re-labeling in the broadest sense. They cite as an example of mislabeling a dyslexic child whom the educational system "labeled" lazy, careless and slow.
The "neurolearning" lens is pervasive throughout the book and shapes how the Eides define autism, and the other conditions they explore. In an earlier post, I explored the fundamental question: what is autism? Under the Eide/neurolearning paradigm, autism appears to be defined in large part by its neurological indications and the child's learning strengths and weaknesses. Behaviors are taken into account, but are not dispositive in and of themselves. In a recent blog post, they write:
Historically, autism was first recognized as an entity by a psychiatrist, but as it becomes even more clear that the behavioral label subsumes many different neurological conditions, it's time for business-as-usual to come to an end.
In the coming weeks, I'll explore the chapters on sensory processing disorder, autism and ADHD.