This book review hints at what I’ve been up to during that time…and why I now offer parent coaching, too
Elaine Taylor-Klaus’s new book (published Sept 2020), The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids, had me at the Table of Contents: I love the real quotes from thousands of parents that anchor the chapter titles. It instantly reassures the reader that this book is the right place to find seasoned advice from someone who has lived through raising complicated kiddos and guided many others through the same territory.
As the parent of a complex kiddo (3 diagnoses and counting), I’ve read many parenting books and returned most of them to the library as useless or even counterproductive. Elaine’s book makes it into my permanent collection–actually into a special spot on my ready reference shelf–on account of its compassionate tone, targeted advice, and all-around helpfulness.
Every page is infused with heart and grounded in the exhausting realities of parenting complex kids. It’s both hopeful and pragmatic. It provides a flexible framework that in my opinion helps to organize everything about adapting to the kid you have and helping that kid meet their full potential. It’s not one-size-fits-all: it’s about how to iteratively tailor your parenting or teaching practices to your own different kiddo(s).
As a long-time client and Sanity School (r) Licensed Trainer, I welcome this book as a summary of and improved iteration of Elaine’s parent training classes. I learned new things from this book that I found immediately helpful. This book is thoroughly grounded in good science (I know, because I read a lot of research-level literature), yet scientific apparatus, footnotes, and expert name dropping are largely absent. It avoids distracting the reader from what’s important.
Overall, The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids is clear, thorough, well-written, and attractively designed. In my opinion, it should be handed out to every parent receiving an ADHD or autism spectrum diagnosis for their child.