In the prologue to Jennifer Haigh’s third novel, a discreetly messed-up family gathers at its ancestral Cape Cod beach house to engage in the usual one-upmanship of summer vacation. The year is 1976, and it will be the last ordinary year for the McKotches. It has suddenly become impossible not to notice that their 12-year-old daughter, Gwen, is unusually small. Gwen turns out to have Turner syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality that will keep her tiny her whole life.
And there you have it: the condition that gives “The Condition” its name. In a lesser novel Gwen’s problem would be the main event. The whole book would revolve around her, with her parents’ and siblings’ lives overshadowed by this one heartbreaking problem. It would become the McKotches’ tragic family secret and consign Ms. Haigh to the far too large crowd of tragic-family-secret writers.
Although there is much, much more to “The Condition,” this book’s pivotal moments involve the McKotch reaction to an unexpected change that befalls the adult Gwen. At this point of apparent crisis, each character is newly revealed in some way. In light of how perfectly Ms. Haigh has already drawn them, this is a remarkable accomplishment. Only at the very end of “The Condition,” when Ms. Haigh imagines resolving everyone’s problems while also bringing 9/11 gratuitously into the mix, does her book sound any false notes at all.
(New York Times, 21 July 2008)
In this section of the website, it is our intention to provide a suggested reading list of books that have been recommended by parents and others connected with Turner Syndrome.
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Big Things in Little Packages
My Growing Up with Turner Syndrome
Shirley Vallee Hitter
A personal account of growing up with Turner Syndrome.
Helping the Child Who Doesn't Fit in
Stephen Nowicki, Marshall P. Duke
Remember the kids who just didn't fit in? Maybe they stood too close, or talked too loud. Whatever the reason, we called them hurtful names, and they never understood why. Now, clinical psychologists Duke and Nowicki call these children "dyssemic," and offer some ideas of how to help them.
Dyssemic children cannot readily comprehend nonverbal messages, much as dyslexics do not correctly process the written word. Yet nonverbal communication plays a vital role in our communication with others, and children who misunderstand or misuse it may face painful social rejection. In HELPING THE CHILD WHO DOESN'T FIT IN, Duke and Nowicki show parents and teachers how to assess the extent of a child's problem, as well as how to help the dyssemic child.
Clinical psychologists Nowicki and Duke show parents and teachers how to simply assess the extent of a child's dyssemia, provide exercises for correcting their problems, and offer guidance for seeking professional assistance.
When You Worry About the Child You Love: Emotional and Learning Problems in Children
There are a ton of books that offer child-rearing advice, and only a few less that describe research on childhood emotional and learning problems; this is one of the few books that combines the two. Edward Hallowell brings readers into his consultation rooms to meet his clients--and the descriptions and dialogue are effective in bringing the situations to life. When You Worry About the Child You Love will help you understand why your child is unhappy or underachieving, will help you help your child to manage her emotions, and perhaps most important, will help parents do what they can and stop blaming themselves.
The co-author of the bestselling Driven to Distraction broadens his scope with this practical, accessible guide to coping with a wide range of behavioral problems in children from birth to age eighteen. "Soothing reassurance with powerful information to worried parents who are seeking answers."--Harvey Parker,Ph.D., author of The ADD Hyperactivity Book for Parents, Teachers, and Kids.
Learning Disabilities A to Z
Corinne Smith, Lisa W. Strick, Corine Smith
"This book is about helping youngsters with learning disabilities hold onto their dreams. It is also about helping their mothers and fathers negotiate the maze of challenges that so often leaves parents and students alike feeling overwhelmed and helpless."
Writing with warmth and compassion Corinne Smith and Lisa Strick explain the causes, identification, and treatment of learning disabilities and present a wealth of practical strategies for helping youngsters become successful both in and out of the classroom:
- Recognizing a learning problem that won't be "outgrown"
- Designing an effective educational program that targets a student's strengths (not one that focuses only on weaknesses)
- Negotiating effectively for what your child needs at school
- Avoiding dead-end practices that rob students of motivation and self-esteem
- Managing problem behaviors at home
- Planning ahead for college and career
Enriched throughout with personal stories, case histories, and tips from parents who have "been there," Learning Disabilities: A to Z is an easy-to-use, up-to-the-minute resource for parents and professionals who work with children and adolescents.
From one of the country's leading experts in the field and a mother who struggled to help her own learning-disabled child comes a comprehensive reference on the causes, identification, and treatment of a wide variety of learning disabilities.
Nonverbal Learning Disabilities : The Syndrome and the Model
Byron P. Rourke
Reviews the elements and dynamics of the nonverbal learning disability (NLD) syndrome and of the NLD model. Includes ramifications in the applied aspects of the neuropsychology of learning disabilities and in the general field of child clinical neuropsychology.