Inside the Book:
The last twenty years have seen a huge increase, not only in children with learning and behavior problems, but in children with bewildering combinations of them. These combinations can defy easy categorization and resist treatment. Figuring these children out can feel like trying to decrypt an especially complex code, without a cypher. Even professionals find it challenging.We have seen family after family exhausted, overwhelmed and confused about how to sort through all the data and figure out how to proceed. There is certainly no shortage of information out there. What seems to be missing is guidance on how to synthesize it to create a larger picture that gives parents a clearly sequenced path forward.
This book presents a new kind of resource for a new kind of need. It includes:
• Extensive checklists to help you see new possibilities and find avenues of support you may not have considered
• Explanation of the hidden factors that may be worsening your child’s learning or behavior problems
• Discussion of the difference between digging deeper for true causes and merely assigning diagnoses to the “tip of the iceberg” symptoms you are seeing
• Descriptions of the major areas of developmental, learning and behavioral challenges, as well as common misdiagnoses.
• Lots of useful ‘news you can use’ about what options are available to you, which practitioners do what, and what questions to ask along the way
• Descriptions of both Western medicine and alternative medicine solutions
• Sequence matters: helpful information on how to prioritize treatments in a complex situation
• Stories of families who have been in the same trenches you have
• Tips on how to work more productively with your child’s school; develop a plan of action that makes sense for your budget, your family’s schedule and your sanity; maintain a healthy connection with your child; and more!
Written by over 20 professionals, Child Decoded is a thorough, must-have resource that any family with struggling children should consult!
Parenting a special needs child ain’t for the faint of
heart. The overwhelm, the frustration, the exhaustion…it’s hard. I know. I’ve
Since my own special needs son has just graduated from
college, I’ve been thinking a lot about our journey with him. I’ve been talking
to him about it, too, and some of his insights surprised me.
I can tell you every therapy we tried, every medical
approach we used, every school support we fought for. Each was crucial. But,
looking back from this vantage point, the little everyday things that saved our
lives are less obvious. Here are three:
It sounds obvious, but I swear, everything got so much easier when I finally
accepted the whole situation. My son was going to have good days and really bad
ones, and would never have a ‘normal’ path, and would often take two steps
forward, three steps back.
And there was absolutely nothing I could do
about that. A bad day was neither a reflection of my parenting nor proof he
wasn’t trying hard enough. It was just
the way we rolled in our world. My job was to find the next steps and to love
the stuffing out of him, and to let go of any attachment to who I wished he
I don’t mean to make this sound easy, by
the way. It was just necessary. I was a much better mother when I wasn’t
railing against reality. And, he now tells me, he felt much safer and more able
to cope when I was calmer about it all.
something your child loves just because he loves it. For my son, that thing
was fencing. It’s an odd sport that he found when he was 10 and still excels
at. After a weeklong summer camp intro, he took to it with an ease and passion
that shocked us.
After a while, I could see what it was really
giving him: a place to let go of all the therapies and pressure. He wasn’t “the
kid being fixed” there. He was just himself, having fun. He really needed somewhere to be that.
up. This insight came from my son, and it completely blew me away. I hugged
him constantly during our toughest
years. Sometimes, it was the only thing I could think of to do. I also told him
what I loved about him, and showed him daily that his creativity and goofy
humor delighted me.
When I asked him recently what he thought his
saving grace was during those difficult years, he gave me the sweetest smile
and said, “I always knew I was loved.”
I focused mostly on finding answers for my son. That was a
given. But when I look back, I think the most important thing I did was actually
to focus on him – who he was
under the struggles, what his world felt like, what he needed in order to keep
going. You wear a lot of hats, as the parent of a special needs child. “Person
who loves you more than anyone else on the planet and won’t let you forget it”
is one hat you never, ever take off.
Meet the Authors:
has been practicing in the fields of mental health and applied physiology for the last 18 years. Ms. Gangwish specializes in a form of acupressure that focuses on neurological integration, called LEAP (Learning Enhancement Acupressure Program). She works with both children and adults who have learning or sensory issues, or mild traumatic head injuries. Her passion for educating caregivers has led her to present at international health conferences, educational programs for school districts, and parent and adoption support organizations, where she emphasizes the importance of exploring underlying causal factors that contribute to learning and sensory issues. Being an adoptive mother herself, Ms. Gangwish is very active in the adoption community. She has written an ongoing column in Adoption Today magazine and founded a non-profit organization that supports adopted children and their families through an integrated team of therapeutic professionals. Ms. Gangwish runs her practice, The Life Enrichment Center, in both Louisville and Denver, Colorado. Kim is also the founder and CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of a biomedical company, Genovus Biotechnologies Inc., which is developing a peripheral neurostimulation device to help people with degenerative neuromuscular diseases. She lives in Louisville with her two sons and many animals. You can read more about her and her work at www.neural-integration.com
Dr. Robin McEvoy is a developmental neuropsychologist practicing in Denver, Colorado. She evaluates and diagnoses a wide range of learning disabilities and learning needs in children, adolescents, and adults. She then works with the family to develop a treatment plan to remediate weaknesses and accentuate strengths. In addition to her private practice, Dr. McEvoy is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Although evaluation is the heart of her work, Dr. McEvoy also loves the educational process – speaking to parents, schools, or other health professionals about learning, development, and parenting in this new age where many learning and developmental challenges are more frequent.
Dr. McEvoy and her daughter, Tessa, have published a children’s book, Buddy: A Story for Dyslexia. This book has a lovely endorsement from Dr. Sally Shaywitz, a leading authority in
Marijke Jones got her BA from Cornell University, and finally settled down in Colorado after living in Japan and traveling throughout Asia and other parts of the world. She has been a copy and developmental editor for over ten years and has worked on a number of manuscripts, McGraw-Hill textbooks, website content, and other miscellaneous projects during that time. She has also published essays, mostly about her experiences raising, homeschooling, and trying to figure out her twice exceptional son. Ms. Jones is passionate about helping families with struggling children find answers and peace of mind. She believes that for each thing a child can’t do, there is something amazing that he can do. A former therapist who specialized in trauma, she also believes that monitoring children’s emotional and mental health is every bit as important as remediating their learning issues. She lives with her incredibly patient husband in Louisville, Colorado, where she enjoys the beautiful Rocky Mountains and all they have to offer. Occasionally, her two adult children come home from college or Europe or wherever they have been having more adventures than she has.
Monday, March 6
Book featured at Yah Gotta Read This
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Book featured at Books, Dreams, Life
Friday, March 10
Interviewed at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic
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Interviewed at As the Page Turns
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Book reviewed at I’m Shelf-ish
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