Author(s): Ann Douglas
Raising a child or teenager with a psychological condition is a "perfect storm" of stress, sadness, and uncertainty. How can you find the best treatments and help your child overcome emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges--while keeping yourself and your family strong? As a parent, you may feel isolated and alone, but the reality is that a lot of families are in the same boat. Ann Douglas knows firsthand just how daunting it can be. In this compassionate and empowering guide, she combines the vital lessons she has learned with vivid stories from other parents and advice from leading psychologists. Several record-keeping forms can be downloaded and printed for repeated use. The book cuts through the often-confusing clinical jargon and speaks from the heart about what matters most: the well-being of your child.
"A true gift to parents. As a mental health clinician and parent of a child who has struggled mightily over many years with major anxiety, I thought 'Hallelujah' when I finished this book. Finally, a resource that both provides validation for parents in pain and offers concrete, actionable guidance. I wish I'd had this guide when I was in the thick of it, but I am so glad it exists now, and I will recommend it to the parents I work with."--Claire Lerner, LCSW-C, Senior Parenting Strategist, Zero to Three "Ann Douglas offers hope for the many parents who are searching for answers--especially because she's been through it all herself. The book is reassuring that there's light at the end of the tunnel, but also realistic and based on research. It provides the tools you need to make tough decisions and help your child. I love this book!"--Michele Borba, EdD, author of UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World "Raising children is tough enough, but add learning or psychological issues to the mix and no one can really prepare you for the tumultuous experience ahead. Ann Douglas does an extraordinary job of providing much-needed support, guidance, and direction. She takes you on a journey from finding out what's wrong to navigating treatment options and dealing with challenging situations. A true gem for parents!"--Timothy E. Wilens, MD, coauthor of Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids, Fourth Edition "An essential resource. Deeply personal and moving, this book explains the inexplicable and helps you manage your child's mental health challenges, from how to use your 'parent radar' that tells you something is amiss to getting a diagnosis and beyond. The stories of determination in these pages will shore up your courage and feed your resilience."--Susan Newman, PhD, author of Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day "This is the first book that I've read in my long journey of parenting a child with a mental illness that didn't make me feel like I was somehow to blame. Ann Douglas actually made me feel understood and helped to stop the swirling thoughts of 'What do I do now?' In a calm and thoughtful way, she addresses so many things parents have trouble with, including self-care and caring for other children."--Elise W. "This book is like having a best friend who will help you navigate the system. You'll learn what you can do to make a difference and how to know if you are getting the help your child needs. Ann Douglas is compassionate, passionate, and direct."--Karyn D. Hall, PhD, author of The Emotionally Sensitive Person "This is more than a book--it's a life raft for parents whose children struggle with mood disorders or developmental differences. As a parent, I've been there. You feel utterly overwhelmed by information, while at the same time isolated and without direction. Ann Douglas does something remarkable by combining concrete, empathic guidance with the voices of other parents who guide us to find the way forward."--Asha Dornfest, author of Parent Hacks "This book is the GPS for navigating the mental health system for children and youth--period. Parents of the approximately 20% of kids who have a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder won't want to be without it. Douglas charts a course for dealing with stigma and overcoming the shortcomings of the school and medical systems, with insight and understanding."--Mary Gordon, Founder and President, Roots of Empathy "This book fills a void in special-needs parenting resources by focusing on the big picture, and the whole family. The stories of many other parents throughout the book made me feel less alone. Reading this book, it felt like Ann was a good friend helping me through the tough times with my daughter and reassuring me that there's hope for good days ahead."--Ashley G.
Ann Douglas is an award-winning parenting writer and the mother of four children who have struggled with a variety of psychological problems--and are currently thriving. She speaks widely at health, parenting, and education conferences and hosts online conversations about parenting and mental health for a range of organizations. With acclaimed books including The Mother of All Parenting Books and The Mother of All Baby Books, Ann has helped hundreds of thousands of parents navigate the challenges and complexities of raising kids today. She lives with her husband and their youngest child in Peterborough, Ontario.
Introduction I. The Challenge and Your Child 1. Parent Radar 2. Obtaining a Diagnosis 3. Starting Treatment 4. Advocating for Your Child II. You and Your Child 5. Stress Management and Coping Skills 6. Parents Can Make a Difference 7. Calming the Raging Storm III. Your Family 8. Family Matters 9. Lifestyle Matters IV. Your Community 10. Working with Your Childa (TM)s School 11. The Friendship Department 12. Finding Community V. Recovery and Beyond 13. Daring to Dream Again 14. Creating a Better System Epilogue: After the Storm Appendix A: Glossary Appendix B: Resources Appendix C: Directory of Disorders