Exceptional Life Journeys

1st Edition

Stories of Childhood Disorder

Print ISBN: 9780323165242
eBook ISBN: 9780123852175
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 27th October 2011
Page Count: 306
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Most students in training to become teachers, psychologists, physicians, and social workers as well as many practicing professionals in these disciplines do not get the opportunity to fully understand and appreciate the circumstances of children ,parents, and teachers who have had to cope and adapt to childhood disorder. Most professionals in the field of childhood disorders are well trained in assessment and treatment methods and are aware of the clinical, theoretical, and empirical foundations of the work they do. In their training, they get some experience in diagnosing the educational, psychological, social, and medical problems of children through their supervised clinical internships. In their training and in their professional practice they get to interview, discuss, consult and collaborate with children and their families regarding developmental issues and treatment plans, however, they rarely get an opportunity to fully realize and understand what it is like to have a disorder and what it is like to be a mother, or father, or teacher of children with disorders.

This book provides an opportunity for students in training and professionals in the field to gain some awareness of the life journeys of some exceptional children, their families and their teachers.

Key Features

  • Focuses on those childhood disorders that are most common or what are sometimes referred to as high incidence disorders such as learning disabilities, autism, behavior disorder, depression, and anxiety
  • Beyond, a clinical, empirical, and theoretical description of childhood disorders or a personal account relative to one particular disorder, this book provides rich narratives of experience from multiple perspectives with respect to numerous childhood disorders
  • Provides readers with insight by sharing examples of personal contexts and situations, significant life issues, challenges and barriers, successes, and recommendations relative to particular circumstances


Undergraduate and graduate students in education, psychology, social work, and medicine and professionals in the field of childhood disorders

Table of Contents

    Introductory Stories

    Part 1: Behavior Disorders

    Attention –Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder


    Personal Stories

    You Can’t Have ADHD – You’re Just like me!"

    Parental Story

    Signs Appear Early in Life and Significant Ones Will Persist

    Professional Stories

    In the Trenches with ADHD

    Attention to a Child’s Strengths: A Lesson in Resiliency

    Identifying the Problems and Working Collaboratively to Make the Best Decisions


    Conduct and Oppositional Defiant Disorders


    Personal Story

    Different Roads with Different Ends

    Parental Story

    A Matter of Soul

    Professional Stories

    Sometimes Persistence and Hope is All We Have

    Seeking to understand before trying to be understood

    Sometimes we Gain more than we think we will in our Work with Children and Youth


    Part 2: Emotional Disorders

    Childhood Anxiety Disorders


    Personal Story

    Managing the Fear

    A Little Bit of History Repeating

    Taming the Worry Beast

    Parental Story

    A Minefield

    Learning to Trust Oneself

    One Minute, One Hour, One Day

    Am I going to have a good day?

    Connecting Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors

    Professional Story

    Strength within Ourselves often comes from the Strength of Others


    Childhood Mood Disorders


    Personal Story

    The Prison of Oneself

    Parental Story

    Staying "In-Touch"

    Professional Stories

    Mad, Bad, or Sad: Learning is a Lifelong Learning

    Meaning is all you Need; Relationship is All you Have


    Part 3: Developmental and Learning Disorders

    Learning Disabilities


    Personal Story</


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© Elsevier 2012
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"Jac Andrews and Peter Istvanffy have given us a real gem. This book, which is very different from any that I’ve read before, speaks to a variety of audiences at a wide number of levels, but it does ‘speak’ to us…we see real people grappling with ‘exceptional life journeys,’ and not simply the ‘diagnoses’ and ‘psychopathologies.’ In our deficit-oriented society, and profession, this is an eye-opener and a breath of fresh air."--Canadian Journal of School Psychology, December 2013
"The rich narratives within the book are crafted through an array of diverse writing styles that speak to the exceptional life journey of each author, keeping readers interested throughout. In terms of utility, this resource is a must-have for practitioners working with clients diagnosed with a childhood disorder. I also see this text as essential for undergraduate and graduate students training for careers in the helping fields, particularly (as the editors suggest) for students studying within the realms of counselling, education, social science, social work, medicine, and related mental-health professions. I would encourage those who are teaching and supervising in such training programs to strongly consider incorporating this text into their program curriculum. In fact, I’ve been recommending it to fellow counsellor educators since the first day I picked it up. It should also be noted that this book can be understood and used by ‘everyday people’ who might be interested in or experiencing the impact of childhood disorder themselves or within their family. For this reason, Exceptional Life Journeys could potentially be a helpful reference resource for clients (situation dependent) and/or their parents. I offer a personal confession in concluding this review—I am typically not a dichotomous thinker; however, when it comes to educational literature, I tend to harshly classify textbooks as either good books or bad books ... and this, in my opinio