What traumatized children can teach us about loss, love, and healing.
What happens when a young child is traumatized? How does terror affect a child's mind---and how can that mind recover? Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has treated children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, witnesses to their own parents' murders, children raised in closets and cages, the Branch Davidian children, and victims of family violence. In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, he tells their stories of trauma and transformation. Dr. Perry clearly explains what happens to the brain when children are exposed to extreme stress. He reveals his innovative methods for helping to ease their pain, allowing them to become healthy adults. This deeply informed and moving book dramatically demonstrates that only when we understand the science of the mind can we hope to heal the spirit of even the most wounded child.
©2007 Bruce Duncan Perry and Maia Szalavitz (P)2011 Tantor
"Readable, informative about the workings of language, memory, trust, and choice, and ultimately optimistic---while critical of a society that exudes violence and ignores prevention---this book demands and deserves attention from parents, educators, policymakers, courts, and therapists. Highly recommended." (Library Journal Starred Review)
As a sixth grade teacher, I have had (over many years) a few children with whom I simply could not connect. These children have usually had some kind of traumatic back-story. Either they had been in an orphanage where they were given food and kept clean, but did not receive love, or they had come from a family with dysfunction written all over it.
It is so clear to me, after reading this book, that these children were all suffering from early childhood deficiencies in love and attention. This book will change the way I attend to children who present with the same behaviors in the future. I honestly feel that this book (and the information in it) has changed my life.
The narrator does an excellent job. The writing, which is written as case studies so the listener cares about the child and his/her family, is very clear, easy to understand, and very enjoyable. I listened to the whole book in about 4-5 days, then I reread it again, in case I missed anything. ( I hope that doesn't cost any more!)
If you deal with children as a parent, a relative, a caregiver, a teacher, or a therapist, I think you will inhale this book and never let it out. It was absolutely wonderful.
I am a therapist working with children and adolescents who have been exposed to trauma, loss and neglect. This is one of the best books to explain how these pervasive conditions affect children. I recommend this book to parents, students and pretty much anyone who will listen to me. Bruce Perry and the Child Trauma Academy are doing some amazing work on the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics. Many times I see children presenting to therapists with behavior issues and instead of looking for a trauma history and working on the real issues, therapists try to treat the symptoms (behavior) and labels the children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. This continues the message to the child that he/she is is "bad" and the symptoms increase instead of decrease.
This book consists of stories of incredible abuse and victimization of children interspersed with Dr. Perry's insights into what children need to feel loved and treasured while they grow up. The situations of the children are heart-breaking, but Dr. Perry humanizes what can be. His descriptions of the therapy he has provided are vivid and interesting; it made me wish all hurt children could see him. He reads the book very well. I gained a lot of insight, and I read the paper and watch the news differently since I have listened to this book. I don't want to make it seem dry in any way--I was sorry when it ended.
Seeking the Truth
This brilliantly written audiobook focuses not on how to get your child into the right preschool or whether that three-hour dance lesson each week is enough to get your child onto Broadway; rather, this audiobook basically concentrates on how to keep from raising a sociopath. The authors present heartrending examples of emotionally traumatized children whom they've helped counsel over their long years of child psychiatric practice, then explain in layman's terms how a child's brain works and how the child can be remolded, if caught early enough, to heal and function well in society, maybe even happily. While this is more of a textbook than easy-listening material, the journey into the child's brain and how it works is fascinating, and the overall theme of the book -- about a human's critical need for "lasting, caring connections to others" -- is thought-provoking long after the audiobook has ended.
"The Boy who was Raised as a Dog" should be required reading for all high school and college students -- and for all those parents and parents-to-be who think they know all about how to raise a successful child.
Life's good when I am listening to a great book.
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.
Towards the beginning of the book I thought the book was too technical. It sounded like it was for students of psychology. However I am glad I didn't quit listening. As you progress through the book the stories refer back to that technical information and really helps you understand how the brain works.
This is not a book of stories like "Chicken Soupmfor the Soul". This actually tells you about the affects of childhood trauma on the brain. It was not what I expected, but it was very interesting. I would recommend.
Well-written, enlightening, and revealing look at the way early psychological trauma impacts children. The vignettes make for an easy read, and the explanations offer just the right amount of detail.
I know the title is greatly over-applied to all kinds of books, but this one really is . . . a life-changer, I mean . . . potential "civilization changer" even ! I'm already sympathetic to the lessons recent progress in medical science and psychiatric studies offer, and I lean to supporting social changes that build upon such lessons; even so, this book of clinical case studies educated me better, and opened my eyes, quite a bit more than any reading has in some time. Don't dismiss my comments as meaning that the author preaches or reveals any sort of social agenda--if there is any, it's very subtle. Even so, I find myself wishing that everyone in the country--or world--could read and seriously consider this book's implications. Some deeply serious thought is needed towards recognizing and dealing with social problems. Even if you're not in the mood to think too seriously right now, you'll find that this book is also very entertaining and the more serious issues are very well-explained for laypersons, educators, parents, whomever might read. In the process--whatever you present state of mind--the questions and reconsiderations that rise in your mind will last a long time.
I had this book on my wish list for a long time not sure if I should get it or not. I was afraid that the book would be graphic like "Sybil" or "The Burning Bed". It's not. It's very insightful.
Dr. Perry is very good at explaining the cycle of abuse and neglect. He is vary compassionate about the children's stories At the same time he also shows compassion for the abusers and puts the emphases of child rearing not just on the parents, but the extended family and community.
It takes a community to raise a child.
This nonfiction audiobook is definitely an intriguing listen. The author, a prominent child psychologist, reflects upon his more high profile and memorable cases. Though Perry uses pseudonyms, each case history rings with authenticity, interspersed with the science and theories of the mind. Perry discusses a wide range of disorders and scenarios of the worst types of neglect. Sexual abuse, outright neglect, Munchausen By Proxy, children of the Branch Davidians, orphans from Eastern Europe and even juvenile delinquents all fall into this fascinating book.
The narrator’s voice convincingly sounds like the author. Although, and perhaps this isn’t as apparent if reading it silently, the author’s own hubris begins to slip through as he displays pride in his own genius and revolutionary ideas in treating these troubled children. And though this pride is certainly justifiable in the successes recounted here, it makes the book slightly off-putting at times. And though the book is certainly sad, only focusing on successful cases mitigates the book’s overall depressing nature, though it does cast the author in an occasionally negative light. It’s an interesting listen though.
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