I listened to this book over two days, and at the end of it I felt pretty depressed. The many stories of neglect, abuse and trauma were overwhelming, but I could not stop listening, and alternately felt anger, disbelief, sadness and hope.
The brain science, I admit, went over my head in several places, but the ultimate message of the book (that relationships are the agents of change) rang true. The final hour or so is a plea for stronger communities, better support for families and education about children and their development, cooperation over competition, and a parenting style that allows kids to take risks, make decisions and experience the world.
The authors' theory that solid relationships can go a long way to preventing problems, or fixing them once they've happened, makes a lot of sense to me. And I appreciate that while medications are sometimes necessary for these kids, they are by no means the most important part of their therapy. The authors also reject the notion that we are all slaves to our genes and that these kids turned out the way they did because they were programmed to do so. I feel there is some hope in these messages.
Big fan of listening to books of all shapes and sizes. Primarily: sci fi, fantasy, nonfiction in human services, buddhism, and classics.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to ever. It is an essential read/listenfor anyone interested in Trauma Informed Care, youth work, foster care, etc.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
I enjoyed this book immensely. I spent nearly 20 years working for Child Protective Services and saw so many children who appeared to be beyond help. I am talking about the seriously disturbed children who reside in group homes, as they can not be safely maintained in foster care. I have also done alot of reading about the problems adopted children with unknown backgrounds present. Bruce Perry's case histories and his brain development theories certainly offer hope that there may be a way of helping these children function in the real world.
Each child he wrote about was at the extreme end of the spectrum of neglect/abuse and with most of these, he did make progress. He clearly explained how the abuse or neglect affected the brain and the techniques that might be used to treat the "brain deficiencies" and therefore, the children themselves.
Perry treats and writes about a variety of children that have suffered circumstances that are hard to even imagine. They are fascinating stories, sometimes hard to comprehend or believe. I think perhaps that this book should be mandatory reading for anyone who is prepared to adopt a child, particularly from foster care or from overseas. It offers a great deal of promise for those that either unwittingly or knowingly, adopt a damaged child. Even if you are not adopting, I think this is a fascinating subject.
In addition, the book was very well-narrated. I highly recommend it.
I will hear this author speak in person at the local university in a couple of months. I have heard so much about Dr. Bruce Perry over the years. I wanted to read one of his books in preparation for his visit. I am so glad I did! Although colleagues suggest that this one is the harshest in terms of the stories of abused children, it wasn't any worse than what I've seen in real life in my profession of 30 years, sadly. I got great hope from the book as I heard about lives recovered, although not every story ended happily.
The story that triggered the title of the book is a compelling one. This was not a case of purposeful neglect, but in the end the damage could have been the same as if it was inflicted from malice. Discovering how it came to be that this boy was raised as a dog opened my heart and mind to imagining what can happen without close family nearby to step in after the loss of a parent.
In every anecdote, my favorite was the moment of discovery of what happened, and the care with which the therapist helped others understand the impact on the young brain, how growth was stunted and how it needed to be handled to get it growing again--or at least adapting enough to become functional.
The danger of making this into a movie or TV show is that children's lives would be exploited. I would like to see it made into a PBS Special.
I learned a great deal from this book. Even if a child has not been traumatized, there are developmental milestones that need to be attended to. I'm very glad I read it and highly recommend it. I look forward to Dr. Perry's visit.
I am reading books to help me become a better husband, father, educator, and person. I need info that will help me support myself and others
Unbelievable and heart wrenching stories laced with solutions and hope. It will bring tears to your eyes, not only because of the neglect that some of these children endured, but also because of the certainty that there are so many more dealing with the same neglect without any type of support system, and who attend schools that expect hard work and commitment without providing any regular and ongoing socio-emotional support. The last chapter sounded like an endorsement for Bernie Sanders, and I loved it. I will be re-reading this book several times, and it has also motivated me to look for a PhD program in Child Psychology.
This book is a must read for anyone who works with children......and anyone who suffered trauma as a child. Dr. Perry is incredibly insightful, honest and humble in sharing what it took him a career to learn. I hope everyone in the mental health fields and their supporting agencies heed his teachings.
I read this to improve my understanding of trauma in working in my profession. What I got was much, much more! I was able to better understand the effects of my own childhood trauma on my brain, helping me to access more self compassion.
Danny was able to transmit the emotion relayed in this book beautifully. I actually thought the author had read it (until I checked about 3/4 of the way through listening) because the performance and relating of the stories was so spot on.
The author was able to weave his humanity into the stories of working with severe cases of abuse, going beyond the 'professional' expectations and even risk his career to do what he knew in his heart was right.
Grab this book, it just may change your life or the life of someone you love!
The narrator, and the interesting content of the stories. The stories, while full of interest due to tragedy and horror, do not feel exploitative.
The narrator's warmth was very good and brought a lot to the stories. His calming narration made the sadness of the stories more palatable and compelling, and emphasized the positive outcomes and potential of the helpful information contained within them.
Some of the stories were very saddening, and I came close to tearing up a couple of times as anyone could hearing of a child's tragic abuse or misfortune. But there was always an important and often uplifting lesson to be gleaned from every situation, even the particularly sad ones.
I am a mental health professional, and I found this book extremely informative and insightful. My practice will be improved after listening to this book.
The narrator is somewhat annoying in his pronunciation of some words. For example, he pronounces it ptSd, and adHd.
Heart wrenching and genius wrapped up into one. It has given me priceless insight and perspective into my own personal trauma, as well as in parenting my kiddos as both mom and foster mom, and in treating adolescents I work with at an in-patient psych unit at a state hospital. Incredibly important information. If only the whole world could experience this book.