8 Keys to Raising the Quirky Child

How to Help a Kid Who Doesn't (Quite) Fit In

8 Keys to Mental Health


Mark Bowers (Author)


Tips and strategies for parents of kids who are “different” than all the rest.

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 facilitate their social functioning in the world.

It will calm the hearts and minds of parents who worry that their child doesn’t fit in and offer hope to parents who need strategies to support their quirky child’s overall development.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • July 2015
  • ISBN 978-0-393-70920-9
  • 6.1 × 9.2 in / 320 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“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

“With his wealth of knowledge and experience from his years as a pediatric psychologist, Bowers offers a confident, parent-friendly approach to appreciating a child’s unique traits — and working with them rather than against them. . . . Each key had a lot to offer both parents and educators. The straightforward, visually organized structure of the book made it easy to follow. And Bowers provides an abundance of resources, as well as convenient take-home points at the end of each key, which may be helpful to the frazzled parent seeking guidance at the end of a long day.” — PsychCentral

“[D]eeply 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.” — Publishers Weekly

“[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

“This book offers tips for therapists who work with children and is also useful for parents of ‘quirky’ children. I recommend it.” — The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter

8 Keys to Raising the Quirky Child . . . provides tips and strategies for parents of kids who are different, and who thus experience problems fitting in and making friends. The difference may lie in personality, behaviors, interests and hobbies, or how they play: they’re not on the autism spectrum but neither are they part of the norm. . . . [A] lovely survey parents will find unique and filled with practical ideas.” — Midwest Book Review

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