Reviews for "Beyond The Label"

From Library Journal Julianne J. Smith:

Schiltz, Karen L. & others. Beyond the Label: A Guide to Unlocking a Child's Educational Potential . Oxford Univ. 2011. ISBN 9780199747054. 256p. pap. $24.95. CHILD REARING
Pediatric neuropsychologist Schiltz (Semel Inst. for Neuroscience & Behavior, Univ.of California, Los Angeles) has spent over 25 years assessing children with educational difficulties. She and her equally qualified coauthors here give parents advice on evaluating a struggling child, reviewing the warning signs, accommodating young people with special needs, and the steps to take in school and beyond based on educational laws and the right to learn. Whether the issue is attention, executive functioning, or social skills, each chapter begins with a case study illustrating the problem from the child's perspective and the parent's perspective. They present common symptoms of children who warrant further evaluation and empower parents to become their child's advocate. Each chapter ends with a synopsis from both the child's viewpoint and the parent's viewpoint seen in retrospect several years later. VERDICT Like Amy Egan's 2007 Is It a Big Problem or a Little Problem for younger children, this title will be of value to parents and educators alike.

From Aimee's Babies Aimee Ketchum:

In the 10 years I have spent as an education-based occupational therapist, I have gained an incredible amount of empathy for parents and children who suddenly have a “label” attached to their name. Parents are often left reeling with the realization that their child will require ongoing special accommodations to help them to reach their full potential. It can feel overwhelming to step in to the role of advocate, when many are dealing with an intricate system that is not fully understood.

I was recently given the opportunity by Karen Schiltz, PhD to review her book, Beyondthe Label, A Guide to Unlocking a Child's Educational Potential . Dr. Schiltz has a private practice in pediatric neuropsychology and 25 years of experience assessing children with attention, memory, behavioral, and learning difficulties. She co-wrote the book with clinical psychologist, Amy M. Schonfeld, PhD, and Tara A. Niendam, PhD, assistant professor at the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry.

I found Beyond the Label to be a very practical, informative, and thorough guide. The information it contained is applicable to teachers, school administrators, parents, therapists, and anyone who is involved with helping a child with special accommodations be successful in school.

The book is divided into three parts. Part One encompasses the fundamentals of educational law including: What is the IDEIA?, What is an IEP? What is a 504 Plan? Additionally, this section also covers assessments, modifications and accommodations. Finally it introduces the team of professionals who will be involved with the child. I was happy to read that Dr. Schiltz was completely accurate in describing the roll of the occupational therapist!

Part Two explores the process of recognizing, assessing and accommodating the child's challenges, whatever they may be. Dr. Schiltz uses realistic clinical case studies and scenarios from the point of view of the child, the parents and the teacher in some instances to help illustrate potential delays that would affect a child's ability to perform in school.

I was particularly pleased that the time was taken to present entire chapters to each of the following issues: Attention and Concentration, Memory, Executive Functioning, Language, Visual Perceptual Ability, Visual Processing Speed, Achievement, Emotional Functioning and Social Skills. Dr. Schiltz explains how each of these components is integral to learning. She explains what the weaknesses in each area might look like. There is explanation given as to possible causes, how to accommodate and how to treat the child in the school environment and beyond. I particularly appreciated the separation of the chapters on visual perception and visual processing . They are two very different issues, originating from two separate areas of the brain and must be addressed independently. Additionally, each chapter explains the difference between a minor delay and a “big problem” and also provides specific recommended accommodations and test taking strategies, even for SATS and other college level tests. These chapters in particular, will be very helpful to parents and students.

The authors offer extensive discussion of issues such as attention and concentration, memory, executive functioning, language, visual perception and processing, emotional functioning, and social skills. Throughout, they stress that, by focusing on behaviors and not labels, you will be able to better understand the whats, whys, and hows of a child's learning and emotional challenges.

Part Three pulls all the information together, and focuses on the “big picture”. This section refers to each child's unique set of challenges as their “roadmap” and discusses the importance of understanding your child's roadmap, to best facilitate their individual learning needs. As a therapist, I love this. I stress treating the child as a whole. I do not just address fine motor skills, or short term memory. Everything builds on everything else and it is so important to keep the big picture in mind. This section also emphasizes that “knowledge is power!” Indeed it IS. That understanding is the foundation of Aimee's Babies. When parents and caregivers know better, we do better. We need to know our child's individual strengths and weaknesses and inform ourselves on development early, so we can be vigilant and be a proper advocate for our child in every situation.

The book concludes with a beautiful, real-life success story about a young woman named Diane. It truly illustrates that with the proper knowledge, assessment, intervention, and accommodation, success is an attainable and realistic goal! That is what I have dedicated my life to, and I hope others will recognize this possibility as well.

Finally, the book provides appendices of lists for classroom such as test accommodations, assistive technology resources, and websites that provide additional information.

I am often asked to review books or DVD's, and when I am finished, I usually pass it on to someone who might have more use for it, but this book is going on my bookshelf. It is already ear-marked, highlighted and annotated. As I read through it, I thought of several of my past and present students and their families. This book is a fabulous resource for many students, parents, therapists and teachers as it provides everything from basic information to specific treatment techniques. I am pleased to have it as a part of my personal library.

From Amazon:

Steven Lee

Beyond The Label is a book every parent, professional, and psychology student must have at their fingertips. The authors do a phenomenal job demystifying and educating the layman and the professional alike why a child may struggle in school based on a myriad of complex issues. These issues include but are not limited to: attention, concentration, memory, language, speech, executive functioning, and social skills. In addition, the authors explain when, why, and what other professionals (such as psychologists, pediatricians, psychiatrists, educational therapists, speech language pathologists, and occupational therapists) need to be involved. Not only do the authors give a behind the scenes glimpse of what issues the professionals face when ferreting out and resolving problems a child encounters, but also, the authors cite a multiplicity of practical no-nonsense and realistic examples each person involved with the patient, including the mother, the father, and/or the teacher encounters intellectually, behaviorally, and emotionally. The powerful impact of this book first came to light when I began reading the story about Claire. I received a telephone call from a frantic single, yet loving and caring mother, regarding her child. This wonderful mother thought she was all alone in what she was experiencing with her son. She expressed her profound frustration and anger because her son was misbehaving and out of control. She said to me, "What am I doing wrong as a mother? No matter how many times I ask him to do his homework or get up for school he fails to do so. He is such a bright young man and yet is not able to achieve his potential." I asked this dedicated mother if she had a few minutes. She said she did. I then took the time to read her Claire's story. At the conclusion of the story, I heard a huge sigh of relief from the mother on the other end of the phone. The mother thanked me and said this is exactly what she needed to hear. I subsequently, told her, "You should not be thanking me - you should be reading this book." In fact, I gave her my copy!!


Lynne Merrill

As an educational professional who works with children with learning disabilities and students who want to learn how to do better in school, I have given away several copies of this book to parents. Quite clearly, there is not another guidebook like it--this book helps parents, extended family members, and school personnel to understand the children they love, care for, and teach. From different perspectives, real-life problems in education are examined and solutions are presented. For far too long, a diagnosis of a learning disability meant the end of the road for so many dreams. Children have given up on their futures prematurely, leaving themselves and their parents disappointed and confused. Dr. Schiltz helps readers to understand that following the proper guidelines of understanding and pursuing the right steps takes a child beyond the label. Hope is the key to a confidence that can unlock individual potential. Written through her vast experience of more than thirty years in the field of pediatric neuropsychology and with an extremely impressive academic and humanitarian record, Dr. Schiltz has crafted a work of the heart--and therein lies the difference that makes this book such a powerful resource. We all need to move beyond the labels, which are much more destructive than the learning disabilities could ever be. We all need this book.


Daniel Michael Olson

A friend of mine recommended this book to read. I was blown away with the narratives about the case studies in this book. This is a fantastic book to read if you have, or know, a child with learning/social disabilities. This book is not written for academia but rather the general public who are looking to obtain a better understanding for their children. The authors make it simple to understand what stage your child is in of their cognitive development, They provide the tools and resources to help parents get assistance. I have recommended this book to my friends that have kids with similar issues to the ones presented in this book. It has helped provide peace of mind for themselves and their loved ones.


Elizabeth Anderson

As a pediatric occupational therapist working in the school setting, I found Beyond the Label to be a very practical, informative, and thorough guide. The information it contained is applicable to teachers, school administrators, parents, therapists, and anyone who is involved with helping a child with special accommodations be successful in school. This book is going on my bookshelf. It is already ear-marked, highlighted and annotated. . This book is a fabulous resource for many students, parents, therapists and teachers as it provides everything from basic information to specific treatment techniques. I am pleased to have it as a part of my personal library.


Stephen Mardell

Beyond The Label is an invaluable resource for parents, educators, and anyone working with school aged children and teens. In my work with children, teens, and families, I see firsthand how difficult it can be to hear that your child has a learning struggle. Parents often find themselves with more questions than answers especially after meeting with well intentioned school staff concerned about that child's ability to learn and "access the curriculum". Beyond The Label provides answers as well as thoughtful explanations about learning, behavioral, and social challenges that may inhibit or prevent school related success. The books structure is linear and well conceived so that parents can learn more about their child's: academic rights to receive an education that meets their needs even with the presence of a learning disability; the kind of professional or assessment your child may need based on the presenting problems; help parents and school staff explore accommodations or remedial services that will foster a successful learning experience; and provide specific interventions so that parents and teachers can meet the needs of that child in and out of school. Beyond The Label has become a prominent resource in my practice and will continue to be a "must read" for parents that have a child with learning difficulties.


Marilyn Johnson

Karen Schiltz, Ph.D. has written a book that I wish were around years ago when I was raising my own children. Now, as I have been involved in the rearing of my grandchildren, I find "Beyond the Label" to be a great handbook for an aging grandparent like myself. It is clear, concise, and to the point. The book is set up in a way that it's very easy to locate and read about a solution to a specific problem. I will definitely keep my copy nearby and refer to it when I, or others around me, have questions that deserve educated answers.


Robin Shaham

"Beyond the Label: A Guide to Unlocking a Child's Educational Potential" is an excellent resource for all parents who are faced with the challenges of helping their children who are struggling in school and life. Dr. Schiltz shares real life stories of children and the path their parents take to find answers to their questions and concerns, highlighting the support and services they obtain to help them reach their educational potential. She provides a road map to help guide a parent to understand their child's problem and how it can be best addressed to yield a successful outcome. Regardless of what stage of the process you are in, this book will inspire you to keep searching for solutions and lead you in a positive direction with practical and tangible suggestions. Beyond the Label is a terrific resource for professionals to share with their clients and help them in their journey. This powerful book is a must read so we can all begin to think beyond the label!


Julie A. Montgomery

In "Beyond the Label: A Guide to Unlocking a Child's Educational Potential", Dr. Schiltz provides clear direction, useful tools, and sound recommendations. She intermingles real life accounts of the educational struggles and successes of parents and students with her own skills and experiences, to give parents and others working with children an individualized road map to unlock and optimize educational possibilities.


Professional Reviews :


Patricia Gross, Ph.D. Board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology, W.G. hefner VA medical Center, Salibury, NC.

Forget the ABCs-Beyond the Label is Google for any parent seeking educational help for a child. Educators, pediatricians, and other professionals will appreciate the grounding in federal law related to education for children wirh disabilities.


Mary Moebius, MD. Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry, General and Child Psychiatry, Assistant professor UCLA, Private Practice, Tarzana, CA.

Beyond the Label should be the Bible for parents and those who work with our most vulnerable children. This will certainly helpmany through the quagmire of a system that can prevent children from accessing educational opportunities seemingly unreachable. I will have it on my shelf for easy access and will recommend it to parents and colleauges as well.


Roger Light Ph.D., Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology, Private Practice,Manhatten Beach, CA

The authors have included specific and useful recommendations of potential accommodations that may assist a child in reaching their potential, as well as providing direction, sound advice, and an extensive set of resources that are likely to circumvent potential obstacles for a wide variety of childen. This book provides "roadmaps" for parents to develop a practical plan to allow their child to suceed in the educational setting and in life.


Robert M. Bilder, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, UCLA, Chielf of Medical Psychology-Neuropsychology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

This volume offers an essential trove of information for parents and others who care for children with learning problems. Dr. Schiltz provides clear insights into often opaque labels and acronyms that are rapidly hurled at will help assure that children get the help they need to achieve their goals. brava!