Friday, June 6, 2008

Book of the Week: For Adults Eyes Only

Usually my book recommendations are for children under the age of then, but this is a book I would reserve for adult eyes only.

I recommend to anyone who works with children in any format, The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog: And Other Stories From A Child Psychiatrist's Notebook by Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz. I first picked up this book at a lecture of Bruce D. Perry's where he spoke on the effects of neglect on a child's brain, affect, and future. I was convinced. While reading his book I learned more about neurosequential therapy, effects of stress on the body, and essentially why children are the way they are. I cried when I read about a boy who had been raised in a cage. I cried when I read about a family of children raised in a religious cult. I cried a lot while I read this book, but I also learned a lot. Neglect in the first few years of life, whether accidental or not, has a profound effect on children as does abuse.

Bruce D. Perry and most of the "characters" in this book are therapists, doctors, and families. Where are all the teachers? I was certified a few months ago in child abuse awareness, I will soon be a mandated reporter. In all of these stories I wonder, wasn't it obvious? But it isn't always obvious. A child with a dark past might portray themselves as a "bad seed" when in fact they are not bad at all, just hurt and broken. I take this book as not only an interesting read but a lesson for my future.

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