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Medical Care for Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Marino, Ronald V. DO, MPH

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: August 2007 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 351
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181468c45
Book Review

Winthrop University Hospital; Mineola, NY

Medical Care for Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Second Edition, by I. Leslie Rubin MD and Allen C. Crocker MD, Baltimore, MD

Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2006, 752 pp., $125.00, hardcover.

The 2nd edition of Medical Care for Children and Adults With Developmental Disabilities represents a significant effort to provide a broad authoritative overview of the issues surrounding caring for individuals with disabilities. It has been 17 years since the 1st edition was published and this completely revised and updated volume is long overdue. Aside from the chief editors, the contributors are substantially different. Also new is the type set and tables, which are much easier to read. As expected, the sections on genetics and metabolic disorders have been completely revised and updated.

This work is still edited by two well-known leaders in the field with contributions from more than eighty authors, representing the various disciplines involved in caring for individuals with disabilities. There are thirty-six chapters, some of which are subdivided among various authors in this momentous work, thus each chapter or section is short. While brief, the chapters are substantive and extremely well referenced. Despite multiple contributors, the text flows freely and smoothly. The reader will find something about almost everything having to do with caring for the disabled in this book. An impressive amount of information is clearly condensed into the numerous tables found throughout the text. Most chapters also present cases, which compliment the more formal didactic medical writing and bring it to life.

The book is divided into three sections. Section One, Programs of Care, provides historical and social context for care delivery. Section Two, Clinical Care, constitutes the bulk of the volume. This section is where most of the “medical” information is provided. Separate chapters are devoted to each of the most common specific syndromes. The chapter on spina bifida is particularly well written. Each organ based specialty is given a separate chapter to present general information about the issues relevant to disabled individuals within that specialty. Section Two also presents a good overview of developmental therapies such as OT, PT, speech and assistive technologies. It is of note that this book considers care of the disabled individual across the life span. Thus chapters on women's health, menopause and geriatrics are included. Some of the illustrative cases are of adults. The final section, Values and Quality of Care, places the previous chapters into a current social context. CAM Therapies are discussed here along with prevention, ethics, cost and abuse. The final chapter, International Experiences and Health Care, discusses international adoption and consultations.

This work is very holistic, embracing the biopsychosocial nature of developmental practice. It presents cutting edge information about subjects as diverse as genetics and molecular biology, to the consideration of ethical, social and economic issues, so important in caring for this group of patients and their families. While complete, I wish the authors had included a chapter specifically devoted to psychopharmacology for the disabled patient, as well as a chapter on psychometrics/neuropsychology. These two areas seem fundamental and worthy of inclusion in such a state of the art treatise.

This volume is an excellent reference addition to a practitioner's library and I think would be particularly well suited as a foundations text for a course on developmental disabilities. The editors and contributors continue to define the field.

Ronald V. Marino, DO, MPH

Winthrop University Hospital

Mineola, NY

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.