Children with Disabilities, Fifth Edition,M. Batshaw, Baltimore, Maryland, Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co., Inc., 2002, hard cover, 912 pp, $69.95.
Children with Disabilities, Fifth Edition was written to serve as an educational tool for students, a resourceful text for various pediatric disciplines, and an informational guide for families. The text provides comprehensive, up-to-date information presented in a concise and clearly organized fashion. With over 70 contributors from a broad range of educational backgrounds and professional experiences, the book includes 38 chapters that are divided into four sections: As Life Begins, The Developing Child, Developmental Disabilities, and finally Interventions, Families and Outcomes. Additionally, the text contains four appendices: a Glossary, Syndromes and Inborn Errors of Metabolism, Commonly Used Medications, and Resources for Children with Disabilities.
Each chapter begins with learning objectives to assist the reader in organizing the content as well as directing attention to the most significant highlights of the chapter. Clearly constructed illustrations and tables are utilized to further enhance the educational usefulness of the text. Many chapters peak the reader's interest by introducing case study examples, and then relating these real-life experiences to conditions and issues addressed within the chapter. Key terms are presented in boldface and further detailed in the Glossary. Each chapter is brought to a conclusion with an abstract summarizing the overall content and a list of valuable references consisting of relevant research and useful resources.
The first section, entitled As Life Begins, consists of six chapters. The authors begin by introducing the cellular processes of mitosis, meiosis, gene transcription and translation, genetic disorders that can result from errors within these processes, and the genetic assessments, screening evaluations, and diagnostic testing available to identify these risks. The third chapter provides a brief description of the fertilization and implantation processes as well as the various stages of prenatal development and discusses both genetic and environmental influences that can adversely affect the developing organism. The next two chapters take the reader through the processes of labor, delivery and the first weeks of life as well as the complications that can affect the newborn if these stages of transition are not successful. The sixth chapter focuses its attention on premature and small-for-dates infants including incidence, causes, and complications of disorders and benefits of modified NICU settings and early intervention programs.
Section two, entitled The Developing Child, contains eight chapters. The chapters describe the effects of various conditions such as in utero exposure to substances, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The basic components of nutrition, their essential roles in growth and development, nutritional disorders and developmental disabilities in which proper nutrition can become an issue are discussed in Chapter 9. The authors of Chapters 10 and 11 focus on vision/hearing impairments as well as the development of speech and language. Communication disorders, appropriate treatment, and augmentative/alternative communication systems are also described. The final chapters elaborate the development and components of the central/peripheral nervous systems and the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems that when diseased can greatly affect a child's functional capacity.
Section three, Developmental Disabilities, consists of 12 chapters each detailing a specific diagnosis. All major disorders are thoroughly covered.
The final section, Interventions, Families, and Outcomes, also includes 12 chapters. Information presented consists of the service delivery system, behavior management, assistive technology, ethical dilemmas, and transition from a pediatric to an adult health care system.
This text is an excellent resource for all professionals working with children. It serves as an exceptional teaching tool for professional students pursuing a career in which they will be caring for children with disabilities. The text provides a link to a Course Companion Web Site featuring supplemental materials including key terms, PowerPoint slides, study questions, exercises and other links and reference readings, which is also valuable for instructors and students alike. Although some detailed information supplied by the authors may be geared toward pediatric professionals, the book remains appropriate for families as an outstanding reference and guide. I highly recommend this book and believe that it should be readily accessible in the clinic.