Interview with Book Editors Paul McCabe and Steven Shaw

National Association of School Psychologists. Communique, December 2010 | Go to article overview

Interview with Book Editors Paul McCabe and Steven Shaw


Editors Note: The following is an interview with Paul McCabe, PhD, and Steven Shaw, PhD, NCSP, editors of the new three-volume pediatrie school psychology series on current topics and interventions for educators. The three volumes - Genetic and Acquired Disorders, Pediatrie Disorders, and Psychiatric Disorders, were published j ointly by NASP and Corwin Press in 2010.

COMMUNIQUÉ: What exactly do these books cover?

Drs. McCabe and Shaw: The books cover information about medical issues that educators need to know in order to develop effective educational programming. We developed three books to cover the most important topics in pediatrie psychology across three broad areas: pediatrie disorders, genetic and acquired disorders, and psychiatric disorders. The books are not comprehensive; rather, they were written to provide depth of coverage of topics that we believed were important for practitioners. We covered the topics that influence the lives of many children, are frequently in thenews, andprovide special challenges to educators. We included several topics on medical issues that are controversial as well. We know that teachers and school psychologists are often asked difficult and charged questions about the side effects of vaccinations, the genetics of autism, the effectiveness of dietary modifications to treat autism, medications for psychiatric issues, Lyme disease, and issues concerning bipolar disorder. Each controversial topic was given a scholarly and critical treatment based on the current state of the scientific literature.

Each chapter has a glossary, detailed literature review, case study illustration, reproducible handouts for parents and teachers, suggested educational interventions, and discussion questions.

COMMUNIQUÉ: What is pediatrie school psychology?

Drs. McCabe and Shaw: Pediatrie school psychology is a subspecialization that involves educational and behavioral interventions for children experiencing chronic and acute medical problems, and educational and behavioral interventions focused on preventing medical issues (e.g., obesity, accidents, and violence prevention). Also, many of the mental health issues that school psychologists address involve medical treatments. Therefore, knowledge of medication effects and side effects is required to address issues implicated in ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, and a host of other mental health problems and developmental disabilities. Having a basic knowledge of medical issues and approaches is now a requirement for school psychologists to provide comprehensive services in school settings.

COMMUNIQUÉ: Why do we need abook on this topic?

Drs. McCabe and Shaw: School psychologists and educators are medical service providers in most schools. However, psychologists and educators rarely receive training in addressing the educational and psychological needs of children with medical conditions. There is a need for a practical and scholarly resource to support educators as they provide services to children with medical issues.

The first source that many parents utilize when their children develop a medical issue is an Internet search engine. Such searches yield hundreds of links. Among the types of links that parents can choose are blogs and reader streams describing first-person experiences, commercial links selling products, individuals with agendas, Wikipedia, university sites, parent and professional organizations, and many other formats. Some of these sites are credible and authoritative, some are biased, and others promote quackery and fraud. We quickly realized there was a need to provide an easy-to-access resource that reviews the scientific research in a professional, scholarly, and unbiased manner and provides detailed, realistic interventions for teachers, parents, and other educators.

There are other books on medical issues for psychologists that are very good. Yet, most are encyclopedic volumes that provide a brief description of issues on every medical condition. …

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