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Astute, non-adversarial guidance on securing services for children--in the courts, the schools, a hospital emergency room, even a psychiatrist's office. Gottesman, a psychiatrist himself, has assembled sensitive and sensible strategies for parents to use in working with professionals to meet their children's physical, legal, educational, and psychollogical needs. His basic themes are the child's right to be treated with dignity and the parents' right to select the persons who affect their children's development. With those precepts in mind, he provides checklists for evaluating pediatricians, dentists, lawyers, teachers, and therapists. Most importantly, there are detailed descriptions of what to expect in a variety of situations--from hospital stays, to courtroom appearances, to initial visits with a therapist--along with useful on-the-spot suggestions (take notes to help you remember what the professionals say, ask for clarification whenever you're not sure what's meant); and, finally, specific phrases to use, and models of letters to write, to get the best possible services. Other beneficial inclusions are pointers to help parents anticipate and ease problem situations for a child (e.g., ask the orthodontia in advance how uncomfortable the child will be); explanations of the different kinds of therapists (social workers, child psychologists, child psychiatrists); ""action words"" that can spur people to respond (""second opinion,"" ""my child's lawyer"") and action plans for handling specific problems (whether a school conflict or a sudden trip to the emergency room). The discussion of parents' rights to educational records makes sense of complicated government regulations; treatment of the ""Test Results Conference"" is inadequate, however, as regards the rights of children with physical, emotional, or learning problems. This lapse aside, a fine resource--well-suited to help parents meet difficult situations calmly and effectively.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1982
Publisher: Appleton-Century/Prentice-Hall