Disability Studies Quarterly
Fall 2001, Volume 21, No. 4
pages 170-184 <www.dsq-sds.org>
Copyright 2001 by the Society
for Disability Studies

Book, Video, and Film Reviews

Clark, Gary M., Patton, James R., and Moulton, L. Rozelle. Informal Assessments for Transition Planning. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed, 2000, 171 pages, $41.20 softcover.

Reviewed by Mary G. Maciel Klinger, SUNY Empire State College, Corning, NY.

Transition planning is a process to identify and put into action a sound strategy to allow a student to successfully move from school to a variety of postsecondary opportunities. Informal Assessments for Transition Planning is an excellent book to assist in this planning process. The authors begin by discussing three important elements that are needed for success: comprehensive development of a plan that includes the assessment of individual needs; the implementation of the plan; and ongoing coordination among all the providers. The purpose of this book is to provide a comprehensive reference for practitioners who wish to have a variety of tools and techniques to do this work effectively.

This book can be used as a stand-alone or in conjunction with Clark and Patton's Transition Planning Inventory (Austin, TX: Pro-Ed, 1997). After a solid introduction loaded with information, the authors offer a variety of informal assessment

instruments as well as directions and options on their use. Included also is a comprehensive inventory of knowledge and skills, and instruments to assess employment, further education/training, daily living, leisure activities, community participation, health, self-determination, communication, and interpersonal relationships. The book concludes with a case study illustrating the process of using the instruments successfully.

Informal Assessments for Transition Planning is an extremely useful resource for anyone involved in transition planning. The variety of ideas and techniques available in this book are abundant and practical.

DePoy, Elizabeth, and Gitlin, Laura N. Introduction to Research: Understanding and Applying Multiple Strategies (2nd Edition). St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 1998, 352 pages, $36.95 softcover.

Reviewed by Marcia J. Scherer, Ph.D., M.P.H., Author, Living in the State of Stuck: How Assistive Technology Impacts the Lives of People with Disabilities (grounded theory method).

This is a book for us. Both authors are health and human service professionals who actually do research with individuals with disabilities and many of the examples used throughout the book are ones that we can grasp and relate to quite easily. Additionally, the last chapter (Chapter 22) is devoted to the authors' own stories from the research field.

This book gives equal weight to the value of quantitative and qualitative/naturalistic approaches. In general, however, the book's organization is typical of texts in research methods. The twenty-two chapters are divided into four parts. Part I consists of two chapters introducing the research process. The six chapters in Part II are quite theory-rich and address research traditions, topic identification, reviewing the literature, design selection, and research question formulation. Part III has chapters devoted to experimental designs, naturalistic inquiry, and case study designs. The last section, Part IV, has three chapters on boundary setting, two on collecting/gathering information, and one each on reliability/validity, data analysis, and reporting research results.

The chapter that stands out as being particularly well done is the one on naturalistic inquiry. Here, the authors make understandable and clear distinctions among participatory action research, critical theory, phenomenology, heuristic research, life history, and grounded theory. These terms are familiar to us in Disability Studies, and they are methods we frequently employ, but we are not always clear about what distinguishes one from the others. No longer do we need to have any confusion.

I highly recommend this book as a methods text for students in Disability Studies. I would have students read Chapter 22 (the authors' own research experiences) first before beginning with the introductory chapters. If you have already committed to using another text, I would make sure that students have access to the chapter on naturalistic inquiry (Chapter 10). They will thank you for it.

Dickson, Donald T. HIV, AIDS, and the Law: Legal Issues for Social Work Practice and Policy. New York, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 2001, 198 pages, $49.95 hardcover, $24.95 softcover.

Reviewed by Charles Goldman, a Washington, DC, attorney and mediator who has been involved with disability issues for many years.

This book is a winner! If you are involved with disability issues, whether or not your focus is HIV/AIDS, you should know about this mini-treatise. It is a comprehensive treatment of a sensitive subject.

The author reviews AIDS not only in the confined world of the Americans with Disabilities Act and anti-discrimination laws, but also in realistic settings such as insurance, social worker ethics, and criminal justice (including correctional institutions). The legal analyses are generally quite good, but the author does not make clear that, while the federal government vacillated in the 1980s as to whether or not AIDS was a disability (then a "handicap") under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, many states, such as the District of Columbia and Maryland, had no such problem when interpreting state anti-discrimination laws.

A few minor suggestions that might enhance the next edition of this tome. Since the author points out issues and state law concerns, such as those dealing with confidentiality, it might

be very helpful for him to offer up a model or form for providers to use when seeking to make authorized disclosures. In the area of employment practices, the author missed the opportunity to point out the importance of universal first aid practices (such as masks and gloves) that maintain privacy for ALL people with disabilities (not only persons with AIDS/HIV). Practical hints for employers to use, as well as what not to do in the workplace (good and bad practices) would help.

Finally, I do think that books on disability issues should be sensitive to readers with disabilities. The size of the print in the paperback copy I reviewed seemed to be too small.

Gerber, David A., ed. Disabled Veterans in History. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 2000, 356 pages, $49.50 hardcover.

Reviewed by Susan Prokop, Associate Advocacy Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America.

As the title suggests, this book explores the roles and experiences of and attitudes toward disabled veterans in various nations throughout history. Each chapter is a separate essay written by a different author on topics ranging from social reintegration of war-injured veterans, the evolution of public policies governing their benefits, differences in treatment of veterans in victorious versus defeated countries, to the cultural milieu in which veterans with disabilities are portrayed.

A word of caution to readers is in order. The book features small print, many endnotes, and frequent use of "academic" language. Exploring its commentaries a chapter at a time might make it an easier read.

Particularly interesting to this reviewer was a chapter on the Canadian Paraplegics Association (CPA), which was founded after World War II by a group of Canadian veterans with spinal cord injuries (SCI). Once they had succeeded at their own rehabilitation and return to society, the CPA reached out to the civilian SCI community to promote an inclusive approach to disability policy. CPA leaders used their veteran status to fight for an agenda that would help not only fellow veterans with SCI, but also those in the general population with spinal cord injuries.

The editor notes the more "typical" approach of veterans' groups, such as the "Paralyzed Veterans Association [sic] in the United States, which did not include civilians nor broaden its work to assist civilians with spinal cord injuries" (p. 14-15). PVA's leadership would argue that its mission, in fact, does support policies in areas such as housing, employment, and transportation that enhance independent living for all people with disabilities. Still, PVA's membership, unlike its Canadian counterpart, remains closed to its civilian brothers and sisters.

Several pieces focus on the distinction in benefits, treatment, and societal position between veterans and civilians with disabilities. Compensation and services for veterans with disabilities sustained in far-off battles often receive more public support than similar programs for civilians with disabilities. In the introduction, David Gerber notes that "except perhaps when war touched the home front directly, exacting tremendous sacrifices from civilians, and incentives have been required to achieve solidarity and raise civilian morale, governments have rarely sought to dismantle any of these boundaries" (p. 15). The events of September 11, 2001, may call for further reflection on such policies.

Grbich, Carol. Qualitative Research in Health. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1999, 320 pages, $78.00 hardcover, $25.95 softcover.

Reviewed by Kristine A. Mulhorn, University of Michigan-Flint, Health Care Department, Flint, MI.

Finding a usable research methods textbook for students in health studies is challenging. Grbich has created a reference and a usable text grounded in social sciences and filled with classic references designed precisely for this purpose. The detail, theoretical perspective, and classical references offered by the author make this a superior methods text in the area of health research. A format that includes detailed guides and recommendations is found in most chapters, but it is especially useful in the section on interviewing in which there is an outline of recommended strategies for interviewing persons with disabilities. The notable shortcoming here is that there is no discussion of persons with speech or communication impairments. This is an area that needs to be more widely known among all, but is especially key for persons conducting research on health. Another weakness in the section is the lack of a discussion of the use of proxy measures and the legal issues involved in interviewing persons 18 and under.

The first chapter places qualitative research in health in context by including a discussion of approaches (e.g., paradigmatic and non-paradigmatic), orientations, and history of the qualitative-quantitative debate and the role of newer theories in changing research. The second chapter addresses the question of what it means to apply different sociological theories and criticisms of theories. The works of Mead, Goffman, Weber, and Habermas are highlighted securely seating qualitative research in the history of social research. Grbich also postulates on the methodological implications of poststructuralism and postmodernism. The breadth of the theoretical approaches in this section is impressive.

The text also includes the basic design issues that must be covered in any research methods course: objectivity, reliability, and validity. These topics are the main topics in the third chapter. The chapter provides a historical perspective by paraphrasing Habermas and Weber in its contrast of bias and

objectivity. This chapter is limited by a severely underdeveloped discussion of literature reviews. Other sections complete the book with a discussion of field-based methods, action-based methods, data analysis, and presentation of data, all of which contribute to a fine text that may be used in a graduate-level course for future social scientists or as an ideal reference for their instructors.

Hart, Kylo-Patrick R. The AIDS Movie: Representing a Pandemic in Film and Television. New York, NY: The Haworth Press, 2000, 134 pages, $39.95 hardcover, $17.95 softcover.

Reviewed by Beth Haller, Towson University.

Those who study media know of their power - to frame, to represent, and to shape understanding about a variety of disability-related topics. Kylo-Patrick Hart's book reiterates this succinctly by focusing on one high-profile disability, HIV/AIDS. His goal is to analyze the presentation of AIDS in narrative films during the first 20 years of the pandemic. His reason for the study is clear: "The treatment of AIDS in news accounts, documentaries, television programs, movies, and other mass media offerings over the past two decades has undeniably shaped the way the American public thinks about and responds, socially and politically, to the pandemic" (p. 8).

His analysis is grounded in social constructionism and the book provides an excellent literature review on the topic. He is trying to discern how movies sway American ideology about the pandemic. Hart is exactly on target with his study when he says AIDS "representation is a form of social action involving the production of meanings that ultimately have real effects" (p. 13). This is what many of us who study media representations of disability have been saying for a while - that media images have real consequences in the lives of people with disabilities and, subsequently, on government policies directed at them.

What he finds in his analysis of 32 AIDS-related films are several ideological themes each of which he breaks into a chapter. Expectedly, the overarching theme he delineates in the films is "otherness." He delves into that theme in three more specific chapters on: the "us" (innocent victims) vs. "them" (guilty ones) message; the gay man as "sacrificial other" theme; and the deviant-filled city vs. pure, moral country dwellers representation.

The book makes a clear and significant statement about the media's role in casting a whole country's outlook on the AIDS pandemic. Its conciseness makes it helpful as well; at 120 pages, it is just the right book to use as an additional text in a Disability Studies course that deals with media images.

Lemke, Jay L. Textual Politics: Discourse and Social Dynamics. Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis Inc., 1995, 206 pages, $23.00 softcover.

Reviewed by Patrick J. Devlieger, the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Textual Politics is a complex book about the way we produce meanings in the social world through language and its products, namely texts and discourses. This production of meaning is always social and political. The book is supported through a build up of contemporary theory, practical examples, and last, but not least, a critical look at the way the book itself is analyzed as an example of the author's involvement with the dynamics of discourse. Doing that, Lemke does not seem to leave any stone unturned. Although this is not a book about disability, this is a book that Disability Studies scholars can find of interest because of the theoretical complexity in dealing with the dynamics of text, power, and politics, and the methodological refinement in the analysis of particular texts.

The strength of this book is that it offers a disciplined effort to integrate critical and post-modern thought. Central here is the production of texts, from utterances to discourses. Discourses are linked to dynamic communities and positions within systems, but also to heteroglossia (i.e., socially defined discourse types in a community), dialogue, and intertextuality, and, from there, to discourse formations, registers, social semiotics, the discourse habitus.

Chapter 2 introduces these concepts with clarity, drawing upon such theorists as Bakhtin, Halliday and Bernstein, Foucault, and Bourdieu. Chapter 3 is the most didactic and, perhaps also, the most interesting for Disability Studies scholars. It provides a concrete example of the way meaning and conflict is found in texts. The examples show clearly how homosexuality/gay rights are politically constituted. Disability Studies scholars will see that the dimensions of meaning-making can be applied equally to disability. The following chapters extend the argument with issues dealing with the political uses of discourses and the constitution of the subject and with ecology and change.

The book is also convincing in confronting the more ethical issues surrounding the production of discourses in our society. It does so in suggesting a critical praxis and its application in education, literacy, and politics. Critical praxis "assumes that we are part of the problem, that even our most basic beliefs and values should be suspect. Critical praxis should lead to changes in these beliefs and values as well as to changes in our actions" (p. 131). Critical praxis tends, however, to be more of a post-modern, scholarly, and inward-looking effort than a call for direct action.

Textual Politics is a book for scholars who wish to expand their theoretical and analytical toolboxes when it comes to analyzing disability texts and discourses.

Michaels, Craig A. Transition to Employment. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed, 1998, 67 pages, $12.80 softcover.

Reviewed by Beth Omansky Gordon, The George Washington University.

In the preface of this school-to-work manual for professionals working with disabled students, Michaels describes the "challenges" of special educators "to prepare our students to challenge society's expectations and assumptions about people with disabilities, and to develop the requisite skills within our students to back up their challenge and to empower them to participate fully in the world of work" (p. ix).

While Michaels advocates for new models of service provision to help break the cycle of economic oppression of disabled people, his practice strategies consistently rely on individual functional assessment tools to measure employability and job success. The book contains numerous worksheets, graphics of models, and functional assessment tools all focused on the student's ability to accept, adjust, adapt, and acquire skills. To assess service outcomes, Michaels relies on two models of "quality of life," a notion often refuted by Disability Studies scholars as being ableist, since such attributes are most often created and judged by nondisabled service professionals.

Michaels' "person-centered approach" to service provision, e.g., building on students' dreams and ambitions instead of on "deficits," and on shared decision-making rather than on arbitrary professional goal setting, runs amok when applied to practice. His team-building approach places the student in the center of family, school, agency, and community with all having equal say about the students' future. Michaels writes, "By involving these community representatives, the balance of power is shifted from professionals in control to shared power and decision making among all involved stakeholders" (p. 14). While this may be so, I fear that, with so many voices in the chorus, a student, especially a disabled minor, might not be heard. The goals, while commendable, tend to be unrealistic. Michaels writes, "From this giftedness perspective it is clear that disability becomes another diversity issue, and from the community point of view (as with other diversity issues) the community becomes richer through fully embracing the diversity of its members" (p. 14).

The language used in this manual is problematic in that it represents medical model thinking. For example, in his discussion of career decision-making models the author uses the word "normal" to describe the process for nondisabled students, and he writes more about "acceptance" and "support" than about "opportunity." Michaels' eight-step program for career building is named "PATH" which stands for "Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope." Spare me!

Like many disability service providers, Michaels appears to be grappling with how to translate social model theories into best practice. At least, he is on the right "PATH."

Shoenbrodt, Lisa, ed. Children with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Parents' Guide. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House, 2001, 494 pages, $17.95 softcover.

Reviewed by Timothy Lillie, Ph.D., The University of Akron, Akron, OH.

Woodbine House is active in publishing parent-friendly guides for mothers and fathers who suddenly find themselves in a very different place regarding their children than they had intended. What this book does is provide parents with the kind of clear, simple (but not simplistic) information they need -likely the only kind they will be able to absorb when dealing with a child who is typically-developing one moment and, often, very different after the traumatic brain injury. Parents need to have this kind of information in order to make sense of what is -to them - the senseless.

I recommend this book because its perspective on disability is a good one. The message that is sent is that having a disability means things might not happen the way we once hoped, but life does go on and it can be good. The professionals who have contributed to this book show a decent respect for parents -they do not talk down to them or sugarcoat or hide the problems parents will experience. Particularly gratifying to me and (I think) to parents of children with disabilities is a pronounced absence of the old-fashioned pity and charity approach. Children are not seen as tragically blighted or as having a disability they must "overcome," but as people who will develop in unique ways after a traumatic brain injury. This book would be an excellent item for parent groups to have on hand; it should also be readily available at children's hospitals.

Shorter, Edward. The Kennedy Family and the Story of Mental Retardation. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2000, 263 pages, $74.50 hardcover, $22.95 softcover.

Reviewed by Martha L. Rose, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO.

Edward Shorter uses personal records of the Kennedy family and other, official documents to trace the philanthropy concerning mental retardation during the last decades of the

Twentieth Century in the U.S. The book consists of eight chapters and a postscript and it includes eight pages of black and white photographs of such subjects as Eunice Kennedy Shriver making welcoming remarks at the Special Olympics which she created.

Shorter breaks new ground in interweaving the Kennedy records with the phenomenon of mental retardation, and his use of the primary material - records that have been mostly off-limits to scholars - is impressive. Disappointingly, Shorter does not build much on the foundation of Disability Studies scholars and he writes from the point of view of mainstream assumptions about mental retardation. A historian of medicine, Shorter recognizes that "the history of mental retardation (MR) is massively important, and almost nobody knows anything about it" (page ix). But while he lists the key works on the history of mental retardation in the U.S., such as Steven Noll's Feeble-Minded in

Our Midst (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1995) and James Trent's Inventing the Feeble Mind (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995), he does not draw on them.

Curiously, when discussing the horrors of institutionalization of people with mental retardation in the chapter entitled "Useless People," Trent and Noll are mentioned only once and in a note that merely states the existence of their work. Instead, Shorter relies heavily on sources such as the writings of Pearl Buck and Peter Tyor's 1972 Ph.D. dissertation. Even more curiously, in light of Trent's immaculate and detailed work on institutions, Shorter's source for the description of an institution for the mentally retarded is a 1972 report by Geraldo Rivera.

The Kennedy Family and the Story of Mental Retardation is good scholarship, but the narrowness of the study limits its use in the Disability Studies curriculum. As Bogdan and Taylor, Noll, Sarason and Doris, Trent, and others have pointed out, mental retardation is not an observable reality, but a cultural construction. More attention to such key issues in Disability Studies scholarship would have helped.

Tymchuk, Alexander J., Lakin, K. Charlie, and Luckasson, Ruth, eds. The Forgotten Generation: The Status and Challenges of Adults with Mild Cognitive Limitations. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 2001, 415 pages, $32.95 softcover.

Reviewed by Marjorie F. Olney, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Forgotten Generation is the result of the efforts of a national working group summit co-sponsored by the President's Committee on Mental Retardation and the Social Security Administration. This edited book provides a comprehensive overview of the myriad issues confronting adults who are considered to have mild cognitive disabilities.

Both within and outside of the disability field, there has been a tacit assumption that, upon exiting school, the "six hour retarded child" magically and seamlessly disappears into the fabric of community life maintaining his/her job and raising his/her family with minimal support from others. While it is demonstrably true that individuals with mild cognitive limitations do disappear, the economic, personal, legal, and social hardships they endure provide strong evidence that such individuals are not fully included. This text amply demonstrates that, due to economic hardships and lack of adequate supports, people with mild cognitive limitations have many unmet needs.

The book is divided into six parts. The first section imparts key concepts and definitions. Each of the five parts that remains explores a major life issue: employment, housing and community living, health, family and spirituality, and citizenship and civil rights. Although the issues are explored with candor, sensitivity to the concerns and sensibilities of persons with cognitive impairments is evident throughout.

The text is comprehensive with one exception. While it is apparent that women's concerns are substantial in terms of lower pay, greater burden in parenting, higher school drop out rate, and domestic violence, the concerns of women are not addressed directly. Instead, issues of women with mild cognitive impairments are discussed under the broader topic "family life."

The Forgotten Generation is a sobering examination of the impacts of social programs and policies on individuals. Each chapter provides specific recommendations for social change and/or policy development to improve the situation of citizens with mild cognitive impairments. The book provides an important contribution to the literature. It should prove to be an indispensable resource for researchers and policy-makers.

Vogt, W. Paul. Dictionary of Statistics & Methodology: A Nontechnical Guide for the Social Sciences (2nd Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1999, 334 pages, $56.00 hardcover, $21.95, softcover.

Reviewed by Corinne Kirchner, American Foundation for the Blind.

Preparing to review Vogt's useful reference work, I was challenged by DSQ's Review Editor's guideline: If a book "does not deal specifically with disability or chronic illness [as this one clearly does not] focus . . . on [its] implications . . . for the field of Disability Studies." Initially, I saw only a general, quite unedifying linkage, to wit: Disability Studies scholars can benefit from a resource that concisely fills the inevitable blanks in our knowledge of technical language and tools of social research. But that is almost like recommending that they should own Webster's Dictionary (or Random House's, or whatever brand).

But help was at hand. I have been tackling the monumental new tome, Handbook of Disability Studies (Albrecht, Gary L., Seelman, Katherine D., and Bury, Michael, eds. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2001) and realized that several of its chapters might lead nontechnical readers, and some technical ones as well, to seek Vogt's volume which not only defines statistical and methodological terms, but gives helpful examples of how they are applied.

So, as a (decidedly non-scientific) experiment to test the relevance of Vogt's book to Disability Studies, I skimmed three of the Handbook's early chapters (those by Fujiura and Rutkwski-Kmitta, Altman, and Brown) and easily harvested more than 20 terms that I guessed would perplex some readers. I wondered, "Would methodologically-challenged (said with tongue in cheek!) readers of the Handbook find applicable explanations in Vogt's dictionary?"

The results were promising. All but four of the test terms are addressed; certainly, some omissions are forgivable. For example, "epidemiology" is not in Vogt's compilation, but "demography" is (p.78), (so is "epistemology" [p. 97], which is not in my test chapters, but does appear later in the Handbook.) I was surprised that "prevalence" and "incidence" are not explained in Vogt, but more surprised - and gratified - that "participatory action research" is there in slightly different form ("participatory research" [p. 208] with a cross-reference to "action research" [p. 4]).

In spite of Vogt's book featuring the term "statistics" in its title, and giving much space to describing statistical procedures, it does address qualitative approaches which are so important in Disability Studies. Vogt argues that the distinction between qualitative and quantitative methods is often overdrawn since good research of each type has elements of the other. (Vogt's occasional statements of opinion are refreshing in a book billed as a dictionary.) Nevertheless, while "positivism" (p. 217) is defined, referring to both laudatory and invidious perceptions of that approach to knowledge, there is no entry for "constructivism." ("Construct" is defined [p.53], however, from a quantitative research point-of-view.)

The book's utility rests heavily on extensive cross-referencing even though it is not completely consistent in doing so. This reviewer succumbed to the appeal of entering at one definition and following cross-references until dead-ending, learning things along the way, but, mainly, just being intrigued. That addiction, of course, is a danger/delight with any dictionary.

Space limits prevent sharing more "findings" from my pursuit of the relevance of Vogt's book to Disability Studies. Bottom line: Readers of the Handbook, a major compilation of disability scholarship, can benefit from the topics covered by Vogt. By extension, Vogt's Dictionary can help readers work their way through journal articles in this field. Indeed, since diversity of methods is a distinctive feature of Disability Studies, a resource like Vogt's contribution is especially appreciated, even if it does not fully encompass the range of methodological terms that we, like more established fields, not only use, but generate.

Webb, Kristine Wiest. Transition to Postsecondary Education: Strategies for Students with Disabilities. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed, 2000, 83 pages, $9.00 softcover.

Reviewed by Debra Swoboda, New York University, New York, NY.

Despite the fact that an increasing number of students with disabilities are pursuing a college education, many students leave high school without employment or further educational plans. Transition to Postsecondary Education outlines the factors shaping successful transition to college by students with disabilities and provides useful thought exercises for students to utilize in the decision-making process.

The author points out that while the factors shaping the college selection process are not that different for students with disabilities than for students in the general population, "the planning process . . . is a transition cornerstone for college-bound students with disabilities" (p. 4). Formal transition planning is not only a legal mandate for most students with disabilities, it also increases the likelihood of postsecondary enrollment.

The text presents a model titled OPEN, or Opportunities in Postsecondary Education Through Networking, to assist students, parents, and school personnel to engage in the planning process. Various time lines, questionnaires, activities, and portfolio suggestions are offered as a road map for actualizing the model. The majority of text information is presented in a workbook format with exercises that address transition issues such as career interest clarification, understanding postsecondary institution options, decision-making time lines, differences among disability services programs, student/college goodness of fit, and the college application process.

The text is an extremely useful hands-on guide for students with disabilities and their parents for navigating the college transition process. High school teachers and guidance counselors should also consider adopting the text as a useful and inexpensive transition tool.

Young, J. Gerald, and Ferrari, Pierre, eds. Designing Mental Health Services and Systems for Children and Adolescents: A Shrewd Investment. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner/Mazel, 1998, 500 pages, $59.95 hardcover.

Reviewed by Richard K. Scotch, School of Social Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas.

This volume is the product of an international conference of prominent child psychiatrists and other mental health professionals concerned with the design of mental health service systems for children and youth. It features thirty-five short chapters by conference participants who represented behavioral health disciplines such as pediatric psychiatry, social work, and psychology, and who worked in diverse societies including the

United States, several nations in Western and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

The special strength of this volume is its broad focus. As well as its international and interdisciplinary nature, the selections not only address treatment issues for mental disorders among children and adolescents, but also epidemiological patterns and public policies such as how services are financed. Many of the selections report on empirical studies, including clinical research and quantitative studies, while others provide a conceptual basis for understanding the distinctive mental health issues involving children and youth.

The book's major limitation also stems from this breadth. Each of the pieces included is rather short and many are so schematic that they do not cover their topic in a satisfying

manner. For example, some of the empirical work do not provide enough context for the reader to understand its significance beyond the population being studied. While more explicitly integrating such a disparate collection would be a daunting task, it would constitute a major contribution beyond the sum of the volume's many parts. Another limitation for readers who are not mental health professionals is that many of the selections commonly employ technical terms, both from behavioral health and from research design, that may render them inaccessible.

The collection does include some recurrent themes, however. One major finding involving nations with both advanced and developing economies is that many children and adolescents with potentially serious psychiatric diagnoses have not been identified and/or are not receiving appropriate services. Many authors conclude that broader outreach and public awareness campaigns are badly needed.

A second common theme found in chapters addressing the United States and other nations in which managed care is becoming the primary mode for organizing and financing services is that treatment decisions are too often made to reduce costs without sufficient attention to their therapeutic consequences. While most authors concede the realities of limited resources, many argue that more and better data on outcomes of various treatment strategies would allow far more appropriate guidelines to be developed. A final related theme is that significant research advances have occurred in recent years, but that much more work is needed.

This volume falls short of being a handbook that systematically covers what is known about child and adolescent mental health. Nevertheless, it is a diverse and very informative collection, the pieces of which complement each other well. The book would be of interest to practitioners in the field, advocates, scholars, students, and anyone concerned with children's mental health.

Books for Kids

Zimmett, Debbie, and Fremaux, Charlotte Murray. Eddie Enough! Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House, 2001, 44 pages, $14.95 hardcover.

Reviewed by Peggy Quinn, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, and Clair Daly, 2nd Grade, Bramlett Elementary, Longview, TX.

The book's back cover states, "For children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) and their parents, friends and teachers, Eddie Enough rings true." That description seems quite accurate.

This small book recounts the experiences of a third grade boy who moves too fast, talks too much, and gets himself into so much trouble that his teacher finally exclaims, "Eddie, enough!" The comment immediately becomes a nickname chanted by his classmates, "Eddie Enough thinks he's tough."

The story is told by Eddie. He notes that his grandmother tells him he was born running and his mom says he even listens fast. On one fateful day he spills orange juice on his dad's suit, arrives at school late for his spelling test, spills a jar of sea monkeys, and then releases the class rat to clean up the mess. That was all before lunch. The next step was a trip to the principal's office.

To Eddie's good fortune, the principal had similar experiences as a child. After a parent/teacher conference, Eddie was sent for a comprehensive physical exam culminating in a diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. A prescription for "special medicine" and regular sessions with the school counselor helped Eddie to calm down, pay attention, and succeed in school.

The book is short with nicely drawn illustrations that enhance the narrative. The story is certainly understandable for elementary school-aged children. The reading level was comfortable for Clair, who is seven. Eddie's description of his actions is straightforward. He seems as surprised as his family and classmates that he can get into so much trouble while doing what would seem to be ordinary activities. The book successfully meets its purpose of "normalizing" Eddie's situation and making it more understandable.

This book could be used to help children with AD/HD, their classmates, and their families to understand what these children experience. This may be a book that professionals will want to have in their toolkit. For some kids and families, the information and presentation will be just right.

Film Clips

Dubo, Elyse (Producer), and Vasic, Boja (Producer/Director). The Other Side of Blue: The Truth About Teenage Depression [video]. Boston, MA: Fanlight Productions (4196 Washington St., Suite 2, Boston, MA 02131, 1-800-937-4113), 2000, 31 minutes, $195.00 purchase, $50/day rental.

Reviewed by Barbara Granger and Paula Phy, Matrix Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA.

In a brief half hour, we are introduced to the teenage world of clinical depression - an experience of hopelessness and without future. Four young people - two young women and two young men, along with helping professionals - tell the story of their experience with clinical depression. Topics covered include the specific facts about clinical depression differentiating traditional teenage experiences from clinical depression, family reactions and interactions, other symptoms of the depression that interfere with daily functioning, the relationships of drug and alcohol use to depression, and the problem of suicide.

The presentation provides facts to counter myths and stereotypes, and specific recommendations for how people might be helpful. However, the primary message is directed toward the person who might have depression. It provides encouragement and hopefulness engendered in reaching out for treatment and recovery supports to help oneself. Each of the four young people has obtained treatment and has moved on to attending college or working.

The only weakness of the video is the limitation of the cultural context. While stating clearly that a mental illness can happen to anyone in any cultural or socioeconomic setting, the stories in the video are of four people who appear to be middle class, urban, and not of any minority status. This video should be considered for direct education to young people (perhaps middle school as well as high school students) and their families. Furthermore, The Other Side of Blue could also be useful as a resource for the education and training of psychiatrists, social workers, guidance counselors, and teachers, as people from each of these professions are interviewed or mentioned and the importance of their roles is discussed or implied throughout the video. This film might also be used as a health promotion tool in school assembly programs and health classes where an individual or his or her friends might encourage discussion about seeking help from professionals.

Welsh, Mathew (Produce r/Director). Breakaway - A Tale of Two Survivors [video]. Boston, MA: Fanlight Productions (4196 Washington Street, Suite 2, Boston, MA 02131. 1-800-937-4113),

2000, 45 minutes, $225.00 purchase, $50.00 rental/day.

Reviewed by Charles D. Palmer, Ph.D., C.R.C., Mississippi State University, MS.

Meet Robert and Doug, both young men recovering from severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). As stated in the film's promotional literature, the story focuses on the conflicted relationship between the two men and the disparate consequences associated with TBI.

The film begins with descriptions of how each of these men was injured. Robert was playing hockey when he sustained a head injury that left him in a coma for two months. Upon reviving, Robert, with the aggressive support of his father, approached his physical therapy with almost compulsive fervor making what is referred to in the film several times as a "miraculous" recovery.

Doug, the survivor of a drunk driving accident, spent six months in a coma. When he recovered consciousness his injury left him unable to talk, walk, or even minimally care for himself. His family, unable to cope with his extreme physical limitations, placed him in a nursing home.

The relationship between the young men develops when Robert begins working as Doug's personal care attendant at the nursing home. Robert approaches the job of assisting Doug with the obsessive zeal that seems to have worked so well for him pushing Doug to set goals (such as walking) that family members and medical professionals view as beyond Doug's abilities. Robert and Doug's relationship develops to a point at which, with Robert's prompting and support, Doug moves out of the nursing home and into a house.

As the story evolves, Doug's family, medical support personnel, and even a friend of Robert's express concern about Robert's aggressiveness with Doug's conditioning and the harm that may result from isolating Doug from his family. For example, Robert was away for a week so he asked a friend to take over assisting Doug while he was gone. Upon Robert's return, the friend questioned the way he "was pushing" Doug. "Is this for Doug or for yourself?"

The ending of this video leaves this viewer with the same unanswered questions that are raised throughout the documentary: what is accomplished by comparing two people as if their similar injuries somehow equate their potential for rehabilitation? Is "being in recovery" a sufficient credential for a person to enable effective change in another individual? What "message" does the documentary seek to convey?

Although this video presents a poignant overview of the lives of two men living and coping with severe traumatic brain injury, the lasting message for this reviewer is that regardless of the ability of medicine to increase the physical survival of individuals who have experienced brain injuries, we still possess only a rudimentary ability to predict the functional capacity of individuals who have experienced TBI. Any attempt to force such a characterization creates more barriers for the individual than it resolves.

Copyright (c) 2001 Various Authors

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

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