In a tone at once comic, gothic, and deceptively pastoral, the stories in this collection continue the tradition of Hawthorne, Poe, and James—Americans pursuing a dialectic with Europe—but in a late 20th century context. Constance Pierce's character's, with their fetishes for food and property, hide their eyes with daydreams, hallucinations, and enormous feats of rationale in their longing to return to the happy normal state they tell themselves they once enjoys but which likely never existed at all. Subtly questioning their characters' illusions and nostalgia, these stories, set in such territory as World War II Germany, the French countryside, and Long Island Sound, address the often nebulous relationships between private and public life, old and new ideas, fantasy and reality.
Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior Is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Author: Enrico Gnaulati, PhD
Publisher: Beacon Press
A veteran clinical psychologist exposes why doctors, teachers, and parents incorrectly diagnose healthy American children with serious psychiatric conditions. In recent years there has been an alarming rise in the number of American children and youth assigned a mental health diagnosis. Current data from the Centers for Disease Control reveal a 41 percent increase in rates of ADHD diagnoses over the past decade and a forty-fold spike in bipolar disorder diagnoses. Similarly, diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, once considered, has increased by 78 percent since 2002. Dr. Enrico Gnaulati, a clinical psychologist specializing in childhood and adolescent therapy and assessment, has witnessed firsthand the push to diagnose these disorders in youngsters. Drawing both on his own clinical experience and on cutting-edge research, with Back to Normal he has written the definitive account of why our kids are being dramatically overdiagnosed—and how parents and professionals can distinguish between true psychiatric disorders and normal childhood reactions to stressful life situations. Gnaulati begins with the complex web of factors that have led to our current crisis. These include questionable education and training practices that cloud mental health professionals’ ability to distinguish normal from abnormal behavior in children, monetary incentives favoring prescriptions, check-list diagnosing, and high-stakes testing in schools. We’ve also developed an increasingly casual attitude about labeling kids and putting them on psychiatric drugs. So how do we differentiate between a child with, say, Asperger’s syndrome and a child who is simply introverted, brainy, and single-minded? As Gnaulati notes, many of the symptoms associated with these disorders are similar to everyday childhood behaviors. In the second half of the book Gnaulati tells detailed stories of wrongly diagnosed kids, providing parents and others with information about the developmental, temperamental, and environmentally driven symptoms that to a casual or untrained eye can mimic a psychiatric disorder. These stories also reveal how nonmedical interventions, whether in the therapist’s office or through changes made at home, can help children. Back to Normal reminds us of the normalcy of children’s seemingly abnormal behavior. It will give parents of struggling children hope, perspective, and direction. And it will make everyone who deals with children question the changes in our society that have contributed to the astonishing increase in childhood psychiatric diagnoses.
Sixth-grader Vannie Taylor's mom has just died. Her father, completely lost without his wife, brings Vannie and her younger brother to live in a dismal cottage on the estate where he manages craft fairs, dinners, and other events. When strange events start happening around the estate, Vannie decides to investigate, and soon discovers a ghost who wants her to help him make amends for something in his past. Vannie's life is starting to get back to normal, but in a way she's never imagined. Recommended for grades 6-8.
Joseph "Joey" Choi has been to hell and back. A war veteran, he was in a bad place for a long time until his brother Derrick got him the help he needed. Joey figures the least he can do is learn how to do things on his own, for a change. His first step is to apply for a job at a farm. Barrimore "Bear" Lancett, the farm’s foreman, is larger than life and seriously hot. And God, those dimples! Both Bear and Joey a "moment," but Joey immediately pushes the wayward, intimate thoughts aside, convinced he's not relationship material, much less with his boss. That doesn’t stop Bear from trying, but he has to convince Joey to take a chance on them, and maybe find his new normal.
Life is looking up for Xavier. Things are good with Jennie, his baseball coach believes in him, he's earned the role of closer, and his dad's coming home after serving ten years. But making up for lost time with his dad doesn't go as Xavier had hoped. It seems his dad's always angry with him. Or drinking. Or out. Or lecturing Xavier on what it means to be a man. When the tension at home builds, Xavier's own hot temper flares, threatening to send him down the same path as his father. Xavier is determined to make a different life. Can he figure out how to control his actions to keep his baseball dreams alive?
The Program That Helps Kids and Teens Say "No Way" -- and Parents Say "Way to Go"
Author: John S. March
Publisher: Guilford Press
No one wants to get rid of obsessive-compulsive disorder more than someone who has it. That's why Talking Back to OCD puts kids and teens in charge. Dr. John March's eight-step program has already helped thousands of young people show the disorder that it doesn't call the shots--they do. This uniquely designed volume is really two books in one. Each chapter begins with a section that helps kids and teens zero in on specific problems and develop skills they can use to tune out obsessions and resist compulsions. The pages that follow show parents how to be supportive without getting in the way. The next time OCD butts in, your family will be prepared to boss back--and show an unwelcome visitor to the door. Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Self-Help Book of Merit
"The Coon Dog Chronicles" are a varied assortment of events and experiences that have marked some sort of strange turning point in my life. Why these particular stories I haven't a clue. A brown paper bag, a three-legged horse that refused to give up, three wild dogs that only wanted a friend. A brief talk with the wind. An old cowboy's last rodeo. The heart wrenching account of a friend's tribute to a dying daddy. It has occurred to me that these and other similar events have formed the substance of what I perceive to be my soul. Hopefully you will enjoy an identify with some of these. Possibly they will remind you of events in your life. And you will realize that such is the stuff of which we are made. Pieces of my heart have been lost along the way. For those I will continue to search. Adios Rj