8 Keys to Raising the Quirky Child: How to Help a Kid Who Doesn’t (Quite) Fit In, by pediatric psychologist Dr. Mark Bowers, defines quirky markers and offers strategies for parents to understand their children’s brains and behaviors; to know what is developmentally appropriate, and what isn’t; to understand how to reach their kids; and to help facilitate their social functioning in the world.
A quirky child experiences difficulty fitting in and connecting with others usually due to an interpersonal style or behavior that stands out from the other kids. Maybe they are obsessed with a topic of interest or spend excessive hours a day reading, playing video games, or playing with just one toy. These kids are not so far afield as to fall on the autism spectrum, but they are unique, and their behaviors are not addressed in typical parenting books.
This book defines quirky markers and offers strategies for parents to understand their children’s brains and behaviors; to know what is developmentally appropriate, and what isn’t; to understand how to reach their kids; and to help improve their social functioning and connect with others.
8 Keys calms the hearts and minds of parents who worry that their child doesn’t fit in and offers hope to parents who need strategies to support their quirky child’s overall development.
In a highly regarded starred review, Publishers Weekly called the book “deeply insightful and refreshingly practical. . . . Frustrated parents who believe their child is well-described by the ‘quirky’ profile will find Bowers’ attitude supportive, his psychological explanations of their child’s motivations satisfying, and his specific strategies for helping these kids accept breadth of experience and build social competency usable and encouraging.”
“There is no black and white dividing line between geeks, nerds, and the quirky, and mild autism or Asperger’s. A few autistic traits can provide advantages–too many, a handicap. Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and many famous musicians, if they were born today, might well receive an ‘autism’ label in today’s school system. Some kids are just quirky, and 8 Keys to Raising the Quirky Child will help those children succeed.” (Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain and Thinking in Pictures).
“[B]ecause of the Parenting Press focus on problem-solving books, and because of the staff’s personal experience with quirky kids, we find this one of the most valuable books we’ve read in the last few years. . . . [E]xtremely informative material. . . . Highly recommended!” (Parenting Press Newsletter).
Dr. Mark Bowers is a Pediatric Psychologist and Clinical Director of the Brighton Center for Pediatric Neurodevelopment. He has worked with children, adolescents, and families for over 15 years. He specializes in neurodevelopmental diagnoses (i.e., Autism Spectrum, Asperger’s, ADHD, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Learning Difficulties) and teaching ‘quirky’ kids social skills. He is active in special education and advocacy. Dr. Bowers was named a “Mom Approved” Top Doctor. He developed a mobile app to help children improve their social skills that has been downloaded in over 40 countries and is being used in elementary schools, high schools, and colleges across the United States.