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Bright Kids Who Can't Keep Up


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Table of Contents

I. Understanding Processing Speed
1. "If My Kid Is So Smart, Why Is He So Slow?"
2. "My Child Doesn't Seem to Be Able to Keep Up . . . Now What Do I Do?"
3. "So What, Exactly, Is Processing Speed?"
II. Helping Your Child Keep Up in Daily Life
4. Processing Speed in the Family
5. Processing Speed at Home
6. Processing Speed in the Classroom
7. Processing Speed and Social Relationships
8. The Emotional Costs of Slow Processing Speed
III. Staying Informed
9. Pulling It All Together: Formally Assessing Processing Speed

About the Author

Ellen Braaten, PhD, is Director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. The coauthor of Straight Talk about Psychological Testing for Kids, Dr. Braaten lives with her family in Boston. Brian Willoughby, PhD, is a Staff Psychologist at LEAP and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Willoughby specializes in neuropsychological assessments of children and adolescents with learning, developmental, and emotional concerns. He is married and lives in Boston.


"Superb, immensely helpful, authoritative; written with clarity, insight, and pizzazz. Highly recommended."--Edward M. Hallowell, MD, coauthor of Driven to Distraction

"Finally, a book that tackles processing speed head on! After my son was diagnosed with slow processing speed, I began searching for answers. This is the first book that focuses on all the aspects of slow processing speed: home life, school life, and the emotional toll. Just like my son, the children described in this book all want to work hard and do well, but something is blocking them from thriving. The authors guide you to make a consistent, targeted plan to help your child live up to his or her potential. As a teacher, this book is also helping me understand and address learning issues that I often see in the classroom."--Sarah R., parent

"If you picture child development as a marathon, life for kids with processing speed issues is more like a steeplechase, with barriers and obstacles that have enormous implications for learning and social and emotional development. This book offers parents an extraordinary gift of knowledge and wisdom to aid in recognizing, understanding, and addressing the challenges of slow processing speed. Drs. Braaten and Willoughby help you accommodate your child's needs and promote essential skills so he or she can thrive."--Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, MD, Chief of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital; Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

"Drs. Braaten and Willoughby do an exceptional job of deconstructing the complex construct of processing speed. Through examples, articulate explanations of testing results, and clear descriptions of brain processes, this book provides a road map for parents."--Timothy E. Wilens, MD, author of Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids

"Parents in our neurodevelopmental clinic often ask, 'If my kid is so smart, why is he so slow?' Finally, there is a book to help parents understand processing speed and its impact on learning and behavior. Drs. Braaten and Willoughby explain the unique way your child engages with the world and discuss ways to overcome challenges, rather than simply offering labels. I will keep a copy of this book on my desk and add it to the short list of parenting books I unconditionally recommend."--Sam Goldstein, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah School of Medicine; Clinical Director, Neurology, Learning, and Behavior Center, Salt Lake City

"This is an interesting, focused, and well-written book aimed for parents. It is presented in a style that is easily understood, makes its point well, and provides a good deal of helpful and time-proven suggestions. It can be recommended to any parent who has a child with slowed processing speed and, if the information is assimilated and the suggestions followed, there is little doubt that emotional and behavioral improvements will ensue."--Child and Family Behavior Therapy, 8/4/2015

"This is an easy-to-read, informative book....The tone of the book is collaborative....I wish someone had handed me a copy of this book during my first year of teaching....This would be a great resource for any teacher, either to better understand these children or to share knowledge with parents....The book has several user-friendly features, including checklists, sample case studies, clear and simple explanations about working with these kids, and a list of additional resources in the back. Psychologists who evaluate and work with children with learning disabilities might also use the book when interacting with parents. Overall, Braaten and Willoughby take away the scientific, scary-sounding name of this learning disability and replace it with real examples of how these kids experiences the world. They help readers appreciate that these kids are indeed brightand that with some adjustments to their daily routine, they can achieve daily success, too."--PsychCentral, 4/6/2015

"Child psychologists Braaten and Willoughby here offer a first-of-a-kind book on processing speeds in this aptly named title for parents, presenting a new area of cognitive research that is sure to receive more attention in the future....The authors provide checklists and psychological testing profiles to help parents identify specific areas of weaknesses. An encouraging look at a problem to which many parents will relate....The authors do an excellent job of bringing the psychological research into the home. (* starred review)"--Library Journal, 8/1/2014

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