What happens when a young brain is traumatized? How does terror, abuse, or disaster affect a child’s mind — and how can that mind recover? Child psychiatrist Dr. Bruce D. Perry has helped children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, murder witnesses, kidnapped teenagers, and victims of family violence.
In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, Dr. Perry tells their stories of trauma and transformation through the lens of science, revealing the brain’s astonishing capacity for healing. Deftly combining unforgettable case histories with his own compassionate, insightful strategies for rehabilitation, Perry explains what exactly happens to the brain when a child is exposed to extreme stress — and reveals the unexpected measures that can be taken to ease a child’s pain and help him grow into a healthy adult.
As a senior fellow at the Child Trauma Academy, Dr. Perry and his clinical group worked with hundreds who endured severe childhood neglect and abuse with incredible resilience and strength. Through the stories of children who recover — physically, mentally, and emotionally — from the most devastating circumstances, Perry shows how simple things like surroundings, affection, language, and touch can deeply impact the developing brain, for better or for worse. In this deeply informed and moving book, Bruce Perry 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.