Thursday, February 28, 2013

Help for Billy

Help for Billy
by Heather Forbes

If you regularly interact with a child who has problems coping with consequences, and you are at your wit's end trying to "get them to behave" or "just do their homework", this is the book for you.

The premise of Beyond Consequences is that there are some children who, for various reasons, do not have the coping mechanisms in place to handle adversity. This might be because of adoption, early trauma, long term illness, autism, or a host of other things.

This unfortunately means that when they are presented with a problem, they do not respond to "traditional" methods of "If you don't do this, then x will happen." In fact, traditional methods of consequences and behavioral modification will actually often make the problem worse.

Forbes introduces the idea that working with these children on a logical level will not work because they are farther away, in a primitive "fight or flight" mode almost all of the time. Her strategies focus on how to help these children calm down and learn how to feel safe in stressful situations, with a long term goal of them being able to learn the strategies and be more regulated on their own.

I picked up this book on a friend's recommendation. She has a child who was constantly in trouble at school and could not handle regular life the way a child her age should be able to. Thankfully my friend found this resource and after 8 months has been able to change her daughter's entire life.

This book is highly recommended for:

Parents, teachers, or close family friends of children who are not coping well with normal life adversities because of earlier life "traumas". I will be recommending this to anyone and everyone.

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