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Publisher's Summary

What traumatized children can teach us about loss, love, and healing.
What happens when a young child is traumatized? How does terror affect a child's mind---and how can that mind recover? Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has treated children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, witnesses to their own parents' murders, children raised in closets and cages, the Branch Davidian children, and victims of family violence. In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, he tells their stories of trauma and transformation. Dr. Perry clearly explains what happens to the brain when children are exposed to extreme stress. He reveals his innovative methods for helping to ease their pain, allowing them to become healthy adults. This deeply informed and moving book dramatically demonstrates that only when we understand the science of the mind can we hope to heal the spirit of even the most wounded child.
©2007 Bruce Duncan Perry and Maia Szalavitz (P)2011 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Readable, informative about the workings of language, memory, trust, and choice, and ultimately optimistic---while critical of a society that exudes violence and ignores prevention---this book demands and deserves attention from parents, educators, policymakers, courts, and therapists. Highly recommended." ( Library Journal Starred Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Marilyn on 11-05-11

Changed a Sixth-Grade Teacher's Life

As a sixth grade teacher, I have had (over many years) a few children with whom I simply could not connect. These children have usually had some kind of traumatic back-story. Either they had been in an orphanage where they were given food and kept clean, but did not receive love, or they had come from a family with dysfunction written all over it.

It is so clear to me, after reading this book, that these children were all suffering from early childhood deficiencies in love and attention. This book will change the way I attend to children who present with the same behaviors in the future. I honestly feel that this book (and the information in it) has changed my life.

The narrator does an excellent job. The writing, which is written as case studies so the listener cares about the child and his/her family, is very clear, easy to understand, and very enjoyable. I listened to the whole book in about 4-5 days, then I reread it again, in case I missed anything. ( I hope that doesn't cost any more!)

If you deal with children as a parent, a relative, a caregiver, a teacher, or a therapist, I think you will inhale this book and never let it out. It was absolutely wonderful.

Marilyn Johnston
Newburyport, MA

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41 of 42 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Marjorie on 04-07-15

If You Plan to Adopt, You May Need to Read This...

I finally listened to "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog...". I suppose I am not your average reviewer since I have worked with traumatized children for many years but I thought perhaps I would get some new insights or learn some new techniques. If the reader does not understand how trauma affects children's behaviors, this is an important book teaching the reader using case studies of Dr. Perry's experience as a psychiatrist. Because I have seen much of the same types of problems with children and how trauma affects their development in a myriad of ways, this book brought up some frustration for me. In my experience, it is a rare psychiatrist who has the resources to travel and work with children using a team of highly trained professionals who seem to have limitless resources. More often, children are treated in clinics where the treating psychiatrist does not have the time to work with the treatment team and where resources are sparse. I felt that Dr. Perry exaggerated his successes and failed to let the reader know that often it takes more years than the family or the clinician has available to help a traumatized child and, sometimes, the child cannot work on the trauma until he/she is an adult and has the strength and desire to make changes and work through trauma. In conclusion, this book does teach about trauma and affect as well as treatment but it also does not present the very real possibility that some children do not recover no matter how hard the professionals and the family try.

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26 of 27 people found this review helpful

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