Understanding Controversial Therapies for Children with Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Other Learning Disabilities.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: Kelly, Greg
Pub Date: 07/01/2011
Publication: Name: British Journal of Occupational Therapy Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists Ltd. Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 College of Occupational Therapists Ltd. ISSN: 0308-0226
Issue: Date: July, 2011 Source Volume: 74 Source Issue: 7
Topic: NamedWork: Understanding Controversial Therapies for Children with Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Other Learning Disabilities (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Kurtz, Lisa A.
Accession Number: 262495840
Full Text: UNDERSTANDING CONTROVERSIAL THERAPIES FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM, ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER, AND OTHER LEARNING DISABILITIES. Lisa A Kurtz. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008. 12.99 [pounds sterling]. 208 pp. ISBN 978-1-84310-864-1

Written by a paediatric occupational therapist, this book provides a 'representative but not comprehensive' overview of a range of complementary and alternative therapies and is aimed at parents and professionals working with children who have, as the title states, autism, attention deficit disorder, and other learning disabilities. For each therapy there is a detailed description, associated professionals, and the rationale behind the therapy.

Although written by an American, the recommended resources and contacts include some based in the United Kingdom. For example, I was surprised, but pleased, to see that Primary Movement(R)--'a unique movement program based on the premise that some children with dyslexia or other learning differences have failed to proceed through normal stages of motor development, and that this contributes to problems with learning to read' (p101)--was featured as this was developed by Dr Martin McPhillips, a research psychologist at Queen's University in my native city, Belfast. On the other hand, I was equally surprised to find that the section on Sensory Integration Therapy listed the British Association of Occupational Therapists as the UK contact rather than, for example, Sensory Integration Network for UK and Ireland. While the College of Occupational Therapists does provide a briefing that aims to clarify how sensory integration relates to occupational therapy practice, it refers to Sensory Integration Network for UK and Ireland for a definition.

What this book does not provide, however, is any critique of the therapies presented and it does not 'endorse or condemn' any of them. I know from my own research that many of the therapies described have no scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. So, while it might be useful as a source of reference to borrow from a library, I would not recommend buying a copy.

Dr Greg Kelly, Reader in Teaching and Learning, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Northern Ireland.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.