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 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.
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.
This book was much, much better than I had anticipated. I learned a lot, was reminded of a lot, and look forward to reading more research on the topic of effective therapies for trauma victims.
I enjoy literary fiction with character depth and psychological exploration. I am in my 50s, work in psychology, and love the outdoors.
I finally listened to "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog...". I suppose I am not your average reviewer since I have worked with traumatized children for many years but I thought perhaps I would get some new insights or learn some new techniques. If the reader does not understand how trauma affects children's behaviors, this is an important book teaching the reader using case studies of Dr. Perry's experience as a psychiatrist. Because I have seen much of the same types of problems with children and how trauma affects their development in a myriad of ways, this book brought up some frustration for me. In my experience, it is a rare psychiatrist who has the resources to travel and work with children using a team of highly trained professionals who seem to have limitless resources. More often, children are treated in clinics where the treating psychiatrist does not have the time to work with the treatment team and where resources are sparse. I felt that Dr. Perry exaggerated his successes and failed to let the reader know that often it takes more years than the family or the clinician has available to help a traumatized child and, sometimes, the child cannot work on the trauma until he/she is an adult and has the strength and desire to make changes and work through trauma. In conclusion, this book does teach about trauma and affect as well as treatment but it also does not present the very real possibility that some children do not recover no matter how hard the professionals and the family try.
Fantastic read! Every parent should have to read this...if only to reiterate the importance of attachment and emotional growth.
"It's been agony, but I couldn't have done it any other way." - Quentin Crisp
The stories of the children were my favorite part of the book. I wondered sometimes if they weren't a bit oversimplified, but in general I think the point comes across. The cases included are naturally very dramatic and often rather sensational. I'd be interested to read about cases involving less sensational trauma. The more I think of it, I guess my favorite aspect of the book is the way it gets the message across that early experiences of violence and neglect profoundly shape the way we develop, neurobiologically, socially, emotionally, and psychology. From everything I've read, experiences of neglect and chronic insecurity are much more damaging than most people might imagine.
I would imagine that most people I know might enjoy this book. He doesn't do the greatest job of tying these stories together, but the actually case vignettes are very engaging.
The narrator did a decent job, but his delivery was a bit too folksy for my tastes. I might also say that this book, as you might expect, would be likely to trigger some negative memories and such from one's old childhood, but that there is a tone of optimism and warmth that makes reading about these difficult cases less difficult than one might imagine.