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A Mind at a Time Paperback – Jan 9 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (Jan. 9 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743202236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743202237
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Worried about the growing tendency to medicate and attach stigmatizing labels (such as ADD) to problematic learners, Levine, cofounder of the nonprofit institute All Kinds of Minds, offers parents a heartening new model of learning based on his deep respect for the uniqueness of individual minds. Levine's soft-spoken reading style lends to the tapes a personal, compassionate and reassuring tone that would be lost in the written word, gently guiding parents to identify their child's strengths and weaknesses in any of eight neurodevelopmental systems, including attention, motor, memory, language and social thinking. Describing himself as "a pediatrician with a mission," Levine confirms the resiliency of children's minds to overcome dysfunction, bolstering his argument with more than 30 years worth of case studies, stories of his own struggle with fine motor function, plenty of indicative symptoms corresponding to each "system of the mind" and helpful teaching concepts and tips to enhance all learning patterns. Levine's recommendation for listeners to follow up with his book and Web site rings true parents unfamiliar with their child's specific issues may find themselves a bit out of their depth, as the scope of this abridged version is extensive.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Howard Gardner Professor in Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and author of The Disciplined Mind and Frames of Mind A wide-ranging exploration of the myriad ways in which young minds differ, coupled with vivid and useful recommendations about developing those minds to the fullest.

Edward Hallowell, M.D. instructor, Harvard Medical School; director, The Hallowell Center, Sudbury, Massachusetts; author of Driven to Distraction and Human Moments. A Mind at a Time continues Mel Levine's enormously valuable lifework of helping children find success....Brimming with intelligence, humor, wit, and originality...this is a groundbreaking and useful book.

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Inside This Book

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PLANET earth is inhabited by all kinds of people who have all kinds of minds. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Taber on Sept. 22 2003
Format: Paperback
I didn't get what I wanted out of this book because I am not the intended audience--My daughter is only four years old and is ahead of the curve in every subject I test her on. Dr. Levine writes for an audience whose children are mostly in high school even though he will review their histories all the way back to pre-school in many of his case histories. That being said, I found this book rich with real-life case studies of children with learning difficulties. He has examples from the boys and girls that he has personally worked with to illustrate several points that he makes. I find those specific case studies to be the best part of his book. They support some of his theories and assertions. His arguments become weaker when he refers to other people's research--like when he said that research has shown that high school children can learn a second language better than pre-school children and therefore he recommends that children with verbal deficiencies should postpone studying a second language until the 11th grade. This skirts over the differences between pre-school language learning vs. high school language learning and ignores that there is a different kind of language learning going on at age 4 and at age 16. At age four you can't memorize as much information or learn as quickly as can a 16 year old, but the four year old can easily learn native syntax and pronunciation which the 16 year old may never learn. Anyway, this book offers a lot to parents and teachers of high school children who have learning difficulties but perhaps is less relevant for those outside of that audience.
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By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 20 2013
Format: Paperback
Mel Levine puts understanding before action. His goal is to show us the building blocks of children's minds and how learning can be challenging when one or two bricks are out of place. The approach we take to teach each child depends on which bricks these are. We can use this understanding to help children as they are, rather than focusing on a single, idealized model of the learning child.

Early in the book, the author describes eight learning systems we use to deal with the world around us. Each system behaves differently, operates somewhat independently, and has a different neurological basis in the brain. In successive chapters, we review learning systems for attention control, memory, language, spatial ordering, sequential ordering, motor control, higher thinking, and social reasoning. We learn how each system works, cooperates with other systems, and how it typically develops as children mature. The author also highlights common developmental problems and how both children and the adults around them can meet these challenges. Each chapter closes with a "Practical Considerations" section that describes how the learning system affects a child's behavior in everyday situations.

The book's last four chapters explore the broader implications of these eight learning systems. We learn how to recognize specific learning difficulties and bring the right resources--special services, coaching, medication, etc.--to bear based on an individual child's learning profile. Levine also advises parents how to understand their child's profile and balance remediation of weaknesses with encouragement of talents, interests and strengths. He closes with suggestions about the proper role of teachers and schools given the "neurodevelopmental diversity" of their student population.
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Format: Paperback
As a therapist working with adolescents in a psychiatric assessment and treatment center, and as a Fetal Alcohol Consultant in private practice working with families whose children have brain differences, I found this book to be a significant resource in offering another form of "help and hope" to families.
I believe a key to working with children whose brains work differently is to understand that very thing. These children, and all children for that matter, have ways of learning and applying what they've learned that are specific to them only.
Dr. Mel Levine has shared his knowledge in the book, A Mind At A Time, which describes the "tool box" that children use in their learning. There are 8 neurodevelopmental systems that function as tools, and children may have strengths in particular systems. These include: Attention Control System, Memory System, Language System, Spatial Ordering System, Sequential Ordering System, Motor System, Higher Thinking System, and Social Thinking System. The trick is to know which system works best for these children!
This book was brought to my attention by a concerned and desperate parent who discovered it on his quest to help his son...a son struggling to survive in a traditional academic setting with an untraditional style of learning...who was sinking into the trap of being labeled "bad" and a "behavioral problem." This loving father is now working to put Levine's recommendations into action in order to help his son succeed.
Adult understanding, environmental modifications, and developing foundations that build on strengths are keys to working with these special needs children. Dr. Levine's book is a great resource for parents and teachers as they put these keys into place.
Connie Sirnio, MSW
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