Concord Special Education Parent Advisory Committee

(Concord SPED PAC)

Member Recommend Books

Welcome to Concord SPED PAC 29 Bookstore

Selected books of interest, recommended by Special Educational parents.

(The Concord SEPAC no long receives 15% of the selling price of each book you buy from our page.  Amazon has ended this program.  We used to use this program to help fund this website.  We thank you for your support.)

Page Index

Click on the disablity you are interested in,
 and it will take you to that place on the page.
ADD/ADHD Books for Parents (3 books)
Anxiety Disorder (1 book)
Asperger Syndrome (2 books)
Bipolar (1 book)
Dyslexia (2 books)
Dyspraxia (2 books)
LD/ADHD books for kids (1 book)
Nonverbal Learning Disorders (2 books)
Sensory Integration (3 books)
Tourette's Syndrome (1 book)

For recommend books on Advocacy, Parenting Difficult & Defiant Children,
Learning issues, Executive Function (3 books) or Reading Issues, click on the topic, to take you to a our other webpages.

In Association with

ADD/ADHD Books for Parents

Driven to Distraction : Recognizing and Coping With Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood
by Edward M. Hallowell, John J. Ratey (1995) 
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Driven to Distraction
319 pages
Reprint edition 
Simon &
Procrastination. Disorganization. Distractibility. Millions of adults have  long considered these the hallmarks of a lack of self-discipline.  But for many, these and other problems in school, at work and in social  relationships are actually symptoms of an inborn neurological problem:   Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).   Through vivid stories of their patients' experiences, Drs. Hallowell and  Ratey now offer a comprehensive overview of one of the most controversial psychiatric diagnoses of our day. They show the varied forms ADD takes -- and the transforming impact of precise diagnosis and  treatment. And, as successful professionals who are both living with ADD, they extend a message of hope and compassion to all listeners struggling with ADD in their own lives or in the lives of loved ones.
Many of our parents recommend this book as the first book to read, if you are are wondering what is going on with their child.
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Taking Charge of Adhd :
The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents
by Russell A. Barkley (1995) 
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Taking Charge of ADHD
294 pages 
Guilford Press 
An outstanding resource for parents and teachers.  In this book, Dr. Barkley and his colleagues have integrated their great compassion for families with the scientific authority for which they are known.  Dr. Barkley guides parents in examining their foundational beliefs about parenthood, the nature of ADHD, and the principles and priorities that guide their actions. When he issues challenges, they are accompanied by advice and tools. For example, when emphasizing the importance of scientifically-validated information, he provides an abundance of clearly presented research findings and their applications in children's lives. Long-recognized as an outstanding parent educator from the podium, in his book, Dr. Barkley encourages, exhorts, and inspires parents to meet the challenges of raising children with ADHD.
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Understanding Girls with AD/HD
by Kathleen G. Nadeau, Ph.D, Ellen B. Littman, Ph.D, Patricia O. Quinn, M.D. (2000)

Understanding Girls with AD/HD
291 pages
Advantage Books

This book is will increase awareness of girls with AD/HD, many of whom continue to remain unidentified.  It targets each developmental and educational stage, form toddler years through adolescence, from preschool through high school, describing typical behaviors, age appropriate treatment interventions, and offering an age related screening checklist for each stage, to help parents and professionals better identify girls who are at risk.  The authors' professional perspectives on girls is strengthened by recollections of women with ADD,, not diagnosed until adulthood, who vividly describe their girlhood struggles, being misunderstood, and feeling blamed for their difficulties.
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Anxiety Disorder
Worry : Hope and Help for a Common Condition
by Edward M. Hallowell (1998) 
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331 pages
Ballantine Books
Worry is a human "skill." And it comes in different forms. Some kinds indicate diagnosable conditions, such as depression, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  Others, such as shyness, are built in from birth, and some seem plain old existential--stemming from broken trust or loss of faith. But worry is uniquely human.  Illustrating his theories with the personal stories of and dialogues with clients, Hallowell provides a full picture of the ordinary yet chronic worry-problems. Thus, each presenting problem is dramatically rendered, and the ensuing therapies practically understood. Hallowell emphasizes the physical, not the psychological aspect of worrying, which helps stop the cycle of self-blame many worriers are prone to. When worry is no longer identified as a lack of moral courage, for example, but a natural phenomenon, it can begin to be managed.
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Asperger Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome : A Guide for Parents and Professionals 
by Tony Attwood, Lorna Wing (1998)
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Asperger's Syndrome
223 pages 
Jessica Kingsley Pub 
For those of you dealing with high function autism.  Would you like to read a book that address the social issues plus lots more. This is comes highly recommended for parents and teachers (no scientific jargon).  This book is a wonderful starting place for parents with AS kids and the professionals who work with these kids.  Attwood is very positive about the outlook for these special children but he lays out in detail the many problems and pitfalls that parents can expect to encounter along the way. 

Chapters: Diagnosis, Social Behavior, Language, Interests and Routine,  Motor Clumsiness, Cognition, Sensory Sensitivy, Frequently Asked Questions. 

Look Me in the Eye: My life with Asperger's 
by John Elder Robison (2007)

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304 pages
Publisher: Crown 0307395987

Robison's story is a detailed moving memoir, beginning with his painful childhood, his abusive alcoholic father and his mentally disturbed mother. Robison describes how from nursery school on he could not communicate effectively with others, something his brain is not wired to do, since kids with Asperger's don't recognize common social cues and body language or facial expressions. Failing in junior high, Robison was encouraged by some audiovisual teachers to fix their broken equipment, and he discovered a more comfortable world of machines and circuits, of muted colors, soft light, and mechanical perfection. This led to jobs (and many hilarious events) in worlds where strange behavior is seen as normal: developing intricate rocket-shooting guitars for the rock band Kiss and computerized toys for the Milton Bradley company. Finally, at age 40, while Robison was running a successful business repairing high-end cars, in Springfield Mass. a therapist correctly diagnosed him as having Asperger's. In the end, Robison succeeds in his goal of helping those who are struggling to grow up or live with Asperger's to see how it is not a disease but a way of being that needs no cure except understanding and encouragement from others. (Sept.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Auditory Processing Disorder

Like Sound Through Water: A Mother's Journey Through Auditory Processing Disorder
by Karen J. Foli, (forward by Edward M. Hallowell), (2002)
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book cover for Like Sound Through Water
304 pages 
Atria Books 
This is the story of a mothers struggle (Karen) to get son, (Ben) the help he needed to learn the most basic skill of all: to communicate with the world. She ran the gauntlet of medical disbelievers and pediatric therapists who refused to understand the very new findings of auditory processing disorder. Even her husband, a psychiatrist specializing in children's affictions, had never heard of APD. Despite this, he kept a steadfast faith in his son.

What the clinicians reported to his mother chilled her: Ben's speech and language were delayed by one to two years. Testing results and speech therapists suggested problems that included the words "probably retarded and perhaps autistic." But Karen, trusting her mother's intuition, knew that Ben was intelligent and that he was frustrated by his inability to communicate, so she continued to try to help her son. She discovered that he possessed the hallmarks of auditory processing disorder, the aural equivalent of dyslexia.

Now, after years of intensive treatment for APD, Ben is an academically successful, hardworking little boy with a bright future to look forward to. Like Sound Through Water is a testament to a mother's love and her devotion to her son's care; it is also an instructive journey for those who are discovering the world of APD and a guidebook to negotiating the land mines of its treatment. Above all, it is a beautifully written tale of hope and optimisim.

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When the Brain Can't Hear : Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder
by Teri James Bellis, Ph. D. (2003)
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When the Brain Can't Hear book cover
368 pages 
Atria Books 

This book explains the nature of this condition and provides insightful case studies that illustrate its effect on the lives of its sufferers.

Millions of Americans struggle silently with APD. For many of them, holding a simple conversation can be next to impossible. As sound travels through an imperfect auditory pathway, words become jumbled, distorted, and unintelligible. As Dr. Bellis notes, the most profound impact of this highly specific impediment to auditory comprehension may be on the young. Facing a severely reduced ability to read, spell, comprehend, and communicate, children with APD are subject to anxiety, academic failure, and a damaged sense of self. Often, they are misdiagnosed.

Discussing the latest and most promising clinical advances and treatment options, and providing a host of proven strategies for coping, Dr. Bellis takes much of the mystery out of APD. If you or anyone you know has difficulty comprehending spoken language, or if your child is struggling in school, this important book may have the answers you need.

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Bipolar Child  

The Bipolar Child : The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood's Most Misunderstood Disorder
by Demitri F. Papolos MD, Janice Papolos, & Demitri Papolos (2002)
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The Bipolar Child
398 pages 
The Bipolar disorder--manic depression--was once thought to be rare in children. Now researchers are discovering that not only can bipolar disorder begin very early in life, but also that it is much more common than ever imagined. Yet the illness is often misdiagnosed or overlooked. Why?
Bipolar disorder manifests itself differently in children than in adults, and in children there is an overlap of symptoms with other childhood psychiatric disorders. As a result, these kids may be given any number of psychiatric labels: ADHD, Depressed, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD).  Too often they are treated with stimulants or antidepressants medications that can actually worsen the bipolar condition.
The Bipolar Child demystifies this disorder of childhood. Drawing upon recent advances in the fields of neuroscience and genetics, the Papoloses convey what is known and not known about the illness.  They comprehensively detail the diagnosis, tell how to find good treatment and medications, and advise parents about ways to advocate effectively for their children at school. Included in these pages is the first Individual Education Plan--IEP--ever published for a bipolar child. The book also offers critical information about the stages of adolescence, hospitalization, the world of insurance, and the psychological impact the illness has on the child.
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Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Overcoming Reading Problems at Any Level
by Sally Shaywitz (2003) 
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to order 
Overcoming Dyslexia book cover
432 pages
1st edition 
Sally Shaywitz, M.D., is a neuroscientist, a professor of pediatrics at Yale, and co-director of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning and Attention.  She is one of the world’s leading experts on reading and dyslexia, the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and practical book yet to help us understand, identify, and overcome the reading problems that plague American children today. For the one in every five children who has dyslexia and the millions of others who struggle to read at their own grade levels—and for their parents, teachers, and tutors—this book can make a difference.
Drawing on recent scientific breakthroughs—many of them in her own laboratory - Dr. Shaywitz demystifies the subject of reading difficulties and explains how a child can be helped to become a good reader. She discusses early diagnosis in young children as well as the diagnosing of older children, young adults, and adults. Dr. Shaywitz explains why some bright adults can read only very slowly, and what they can do about it. Her book makes clear how the latest research, including new brain imaging studies, is uncovering the mechanisms underlying dyslexia and has led to effective treatments for each age group.
Dr. Shaywitz instructs parents in what they can do year-by-year, grade-by-grade, step-by-step for a dyslexic child. She lays out a home program for enhanced reading; guides parents in choosing the best school for their child and in working with teachers; and suggests ways of raising and preserving the child’s self-esteem. She provides exercises, teaching aids, information on computer programs, and many other invaluable resources.
In addition, her book corrects such popular (and harmful) myths as the belief that dyslexia is primarily a male problem, that children with dyslexia see words backward, that dyslexia is linked to intelligence. She shows us how, although dyslexia cannot be outgrown, its effects can, with careful planning and hard work, be overcome.
Dr. Shaywitz lifts the barrier of ignorance surrounding dyslexia and replaces it with the comfort of knowledge. Here is a trusted source to which you can turn for information, advice, guidance, and explanation. In sum, here is cutting-edge research translated into an easy-to-follow plan of action offering help—and hope—to all who have reading problems, and their families. 
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Dyslexia : Theory & Practice of Remedial Instruction 
by Diana Brewster Clark, Joanna Kellogg Uhry (1995)
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to order
2nd edition 
York Press 
The book starts with a brief but well written description of dyslexia and a discussion of the basics of various methods for dealing with it. Although not comprehensive, these sections of the book provide a clear overview that will equip the reader well for reading more technical, jargon filled publications on the subject. The most valuable part of the book is Part III: Reading Programs for Individuals with Dyslexia. Here, there are descriptions of eleven different programs, from the most aggressively  Orton-Gillingham (e.g. Slingerland, Alphabetic Phonics) to whole-language (Reading Recovery). The descriptions cover: What the teacher does; How the teacher is trained; What research there is on the effectiveness of the methods. This is an excellent first book for just starting to learn about dyslexia, and a good one to return to from time  to time to put the fads and enthusiasms of the moment into perspective.   Reviewed by Stowe Davison.
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Developmental Dyspraxia - Identification and Intervention:
A Manual for Parents and Professionals 
by Madeleine Portwood, John O'Neil (1999)
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Developmental Dyspraxia
212 pages 
2nd edition 
David Fulton Pub 
This book give parents, teachers and health professionals the confidence to diagnose and assess dyspraxia.  Most importantly, it offers them an intervention programmer which will significantly improve the cognitive functioning of the Dyspraxia child or teenager.  Updated in light of the author's new and extensive research, the book provides the reader with background  information on the neurological basis of the condition; strategies for identification, diagnosis and assessment; proven programs of  intervention which can be monitored by anyone closely involved with the child; strategies to improve curricular attainments; remediation activities to develop perceptual and motor skills; programs to develop self-esteem; and information about where to find help. 
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The Neuropsychology of Written Language Disorders: Diagnosis and Intervention [Paperback]
Steven G. Feifer, Philip A. De Fina (2002)

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200 pages 
2nd edition 
School Neuropsych Pr Inc.  

This workbook discusses both language-based and nonlanguage-based written language disorders from a brain-based education model of learning. It is intended for school psychologists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, special educators and school administrators. Some of the key chapters include:

  • Shortcomings of Intelligence Tests
  • Subtypes of Dysgraphia
  • Working Memory and Written Language
  • Executive Functioning and Written Language
  • The 90 Minute Dysgraphia Evaluation
  • Remediation Strategies for Dysgraphia
It is crucial for all educators to have a working knowledge of the neural processes involved in the highest level of human communication; namely written production. Unfortunately, writing skills among students have shown little improvement over the past two decades, and with the advent of modern technology, the need for exacting paper and pencil composition has been trivialized. Part of the difficulty is the notion of one size fits all which often preys upon the American education system, leading to a homogeneous classroom model for all children and producing similar instructional strategies. The primary objectives of this workbook are to:
  1. Discuss the fallacies inherent upon relying solely on intelligence tests to diagnose written language disorders in children.
  2. Utilize cutting edge research from the neurosciences to understand the various brain mechanisms involved with both language and nonlanguage types of written disorders in children.
  3. Introduce the 90 minute dysgraphia evaluation as a more viable means to both diagnose and remediate written language disorders in children.
  4. Discuss the various subtypes of written language disorders from a brain-based educational model of learning, and tie in appropriate educational strategies for each subtype.
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Learning Outside the Lines : Two Ivy League Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD Give You the Tools for Academic Success and Educational Revolution
by Jonathan Mooney, David Cole (2000) 
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Learning Outside the Lines
286 pages
Simon &
This book is a practical guide to help kids jump through the necessary hoops to achieve whatever larger, postschool goals they may have. While much of the material is written for kids who've received the label LD or ADHD, many of the suggestions can be just as helpful for those who've been labeled "gifted," or any other student who feels frustrated with the daily routine of standard education. 
The introduction (personal histories of the authors) is great reading for parents of LD or ADHD kids, and much of it has a humorous tone that makes it equally appropriate (and approachable) for discouraged adolescents. From the terror of weekly spelling tests to the few inspiring teachers and tutors the two encountered, the tales are equal parts entertaining, poignant, and encouraging to others who may well be experiencing quite similar events. There's little discussion of what methods are right or wrong--ultimately, both authors take a fundamentally pragmatic view, and it's "right" if it worked. A steady focus on study skills fills the majority of the book, and Mooney and Cole take what are generally pretty familiar stands on note-taking and test preparation and break them down into easily digestible concepts. With different methods for different types of learners (visual thinkers are encouraged to use maps and brightly colored markers), students will find plenty of help in creating notebooks, focusing their attention, and even appropriate ways of conducting the infamous all-nighter. Including information on how to recover lost class notebooks, how to make the most of a syllabus, and "The Seven Habits of Highly Disorganized People," Learning Outside the Lines provides students with plenty of tools to further each reader's personal idea of success. --Jill Lightner 
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Nonverbal Learning Disorders
Nonverbal Learning Disabilities at Home : A Parents Guide
by Pamela Tanguay, Byron P., Frsc Rourke (2001)
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Nonverbal Learning Disabilities at Home
272 pages 
Jessica Kingsley

This book explores the variety of daily life problems children with NLD may face, and provides practical strategies for parents to help them cope and grow, from preschool age through their challenging adolescent years. The author, herself the parent of a child with NLD, provides solutions to the everyday challenges of the disorder, from early warning signs and self-care issues to social skills and personal safety.  User-friendly and highly practical, this book is an essential guide for parents in understanding and living with NLD, and professionals working with these very special children. 
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The Source for Nonverbal Learning Disorder
by Sue Thompson (1997) 
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The Source for Nonverbal Learning Disorder
182 pages 
Spiral edition

If not available
LinguieSystem, Inc. 
3100 4th Avenue 
East Monline, IL  61244 

If you've heard the phrase "Non-verbal learning disability" and aren't sure what it means or whether it applies to your child, or what to do about it, do check this book out. An excellent resource for parents, teachers, and anyone else who works with any children with NLD.

There is a  list of common characteristics of NLD.  Lots of stories about NLD children.  There is an easy to read Developmental Profiles list by age range.  A chart comparing PDD, Asperger's, NLD, etc.  Lots of very helpful information.  Not sure if you have a student or child with nonverbal learning disorder (NLD)?  See if this description sounds familiar: ignores verbal cues such as facial expressions, is clumsy for no apparent reason, makes inappropriate social remarks, has difficulty with visual-spatial-organizational tasks. This resource provides you with useful checklists, anecdotes, and methods for dealing with this little understood disorder through the lifespan.


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Sensory Integration

Sensory Integration and the Child: 25th Anniversary Edition
by Jean Ayres (2005)

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211 pages 
Edition 1  
Western Psychological Services


This classic handbook, from the originator of sensory integration theory, is now available in an updated, parent-friendly edition. Retaining all the features that made the original edition so popular with both parents and professionals, "Sensory Integration and the Child". With a new foreward by Dr. Florence Clark and commentaries by recognized experts in sensory integration, this volume explains sensory integrative dysfunction, how to recognize it, and what to do about it. Helpful tips, checklists, question-and-answer sections, and parent resources make the new edition more informative and useful. Indispensible reading for parents, this book is also an excellent way to improve communication between therapist, parents and teachers. The original edition was the first book to explicate sensory integrative dysfunction, and this edition offers new insights and helpful updates in an easy-to-use format. Dr. A. Jean Ayres began to develop sensory integration theory, as well as the evaluation procedures and intervention strategies that were associated with this framework, in the 1950s. When the book "Sensory Integration and Child" was first published in the late 1970s, many aspects of her work were becoming more widely known. Although she was a dedicated researcher and educator, Dr. Ayres was foremost a therapist who worked tirelessly to help the children and families who to her therapy clinic. Over and over again, she listened to the frustration parents expressed at not understanding their children's behavior, often followed by relief at having those problems named and explained, and hope when a plan for intervention was offered. Dr. Ayres wrote this book in order to bring a similar sense of relief and hope to families beyond those who were able to come to her clinic. Because she recognized that parents commonly went first to doctors, therapists, and teachers for help with the developmental or educational concerns they had about their children, she also wrote this book to help those professionals assist families as well.
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The Out-Of-Sync Child:
Recognizing and Coping With Sensory Integration Dysfunction 
by Carol Stock Kranowitz, Larry B. Silver (1998)
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The Out-Of-Sync Child
322 pages 
Edition 1 
"Difficult", "Picky", "Oversensitive", "Clumsy", "Unpredictable", "Inattentive".   Children who have been labeled with words like these may actually be suffering from Sensory Integration Disorder a very common, but frequently misdiagnosed, condition that can manifest itself in excessively high or low activity levels, problems with motor coordination, over sensitivity or under sensitivity to sensations and movements, and other  symptoms. This guide, written by an expert in the field, explains how SI Dysfunction can be confused with ADD, learning disabilities, and other problems, tells how parents can recognize the problem and offers a  drug free treatment approach for children who need help. 

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Sense Abilities: Understanding Sensory Integration
by Maryann Colby Trott, M.A. with Marci K. Laurel, M.A. CCC-SLP, Susan L, Windeck, M.S. OTR/L (1993)

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69 pages
Edition 1 
The Psychological Corporation

This book introduces some of the difficulties our child may encounter, examines specific types of problems related to the disorder, and offers ways to help remediate those problems.  A great reference book to have especially after an OT evaluation.  The Appendix has a 7 pages list of  'Suggestions for teachers".


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Tourette's Syndrome

Tourette's Syndrome: Finding Answers and Getting Help (Patient-Centered Guides)
by Mitzi Waltz (2001)
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 Syndrome book cover
416 pages 
Edition 1 
Patient Center Guides
Tourette's syndrome is a neurological disorder usually diagnosed in childhood. It is characterized by tics: physical jerks and involuntary vocalizations. Some people with Tourette's also have other disorders, particularly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Tourette's syndrome can be a minor challenge or a truly devastating disability. People with Tourette's often experience anxiety, embarrassment, sometimes even harassment. Their symptoms can prevent them from having a normal childhood, building good relationships, achieving their best in school, or finding menaingful employment. The effects of this disruption can be painful and lifelong. The good news is that Tourette's is very treatable and sometimes subsides with age. With prompt, consistent intervention, most people with Tourette's can wrest back control of their lives. Tourette's Syndrome helps you:
Secure an accurate and complete diagnosis
Live with Tourette's in the family: using effective parenting techniques, building support systems
Understand medical interventions
Obtain appropriate medical care from an existing health plan
Deal with Tourette's in the community and workplace
Navigate the education system
Find resources
Author Mitzi Waltz, an advocate for people with neurological challenges, has included the stories of dozens of people living with Tourette's and parents of children and teens with Tourette's.

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One of our original webpages, September 10, 2002, by Melody Orfei
Webpage last modified on December 28, 2011 - V15, by Melody Orfei