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  • Help for Billy

  • A Beyond Consequences Approach to Helping Challenging Children in the Classroom
  • By: Heather T. Forbes
  • Narrated by: Heather T. Forbes LCSW
  • Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Help for Billy

By: Heather T. Forbes
Narrated by: Heather T. Forbes LCSW
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Summary

Help for Billy is a pragmatic manual to help guide families and educators who are struggling with traumatized children. Based on the concept of the neuroscience of emotions and behavior, Heather Forbes provides detailed, comprehensive, and logical strategies for teachers and parents.

This easy to listen audiobook, clears the way for a better understanding of the true nature regarding traumatic experiences affecting the brain and learning. It is a must listen for anyone working with a child in the classroom.

©2012 Heather T. Forbes (P)2013 Heather T. Forbes

What listeners say about Help for Billy

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educational, simple and eye opening.

the narrator's choose was calm and clear. information was easy to follow and memorise. there was enough practical examples for the reader to be able to understand the information.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-06-19

Full of Information

Slow read but worth it. Book is full of info and strategies. It provides a new perspective that teachers should consider when working with kids from trauma backgrounds

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-11-21

Outdated Neuroscience and Pseudoscience

As someone with degrees in Biology, Neuroscience, and Education, I’m actually embarrassed to have read this. While some of the interventions suggested are good for one on one implementation with students, they are backed up by some of the worst evidence. The neuroscience and psychology is outdated, the citations are appalling, the figures are very hit or miss (I have the physical book from my school), and the author actually includes pseudoscience. If she’s going to write a book based on brain science, she should try reading a scientific paper first. If your admin is trying to make you read this, I would gently suggest Transforming the Difficult Child (2016), by Howard Glasser instead. He’s an actual psychotherapist with reputable work.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stacey L. Jackson
  • 07-05-19

Very Needed to Understand & Help Troubled Kids

This book has so many practical tips to help every educator better understand and support the kids who come to us everyday feeling helplessly and hopelessly dysregulated.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nicole Bullington
  • 05-06-18

Great book for professional development

Great book for teacher learning. We used in our mentoring program with staff. Would use again!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sherrie L. Shaver
  • 10-06-22

Mixed emotions after reading this book

While I believe this author and book have lots of great, research- based ideas on how to help students affected by traumatic events I cannot think of a practical way to implement all of her suggestions. Oftentimes while reading I felt like I was being given a very long list of do's and don't without realistic solutions for implementation. If I had just a couple of Billy's in my class I could do what she suggested. This past year in my class of 24, I had almost 10 who would definitely fall under the heading of traumatized-- everything from parent abandonment to abuse to drugs, etc. I would need a second adult in the room a large portion of the time to successfully carry out her plan. In the final chapter she lists all the ways that parents and teachers should communicate to help 'Billy'. Unformatted a large portion of my students have experienced trauma from their parents so a lot of work had to go into teaching mom/ dad/ the care giver before you can even start to put even the simplest helps into place. My district is currently implementing Classroom 180 (her next book) so I wanted to see what this one had to say. I do truly see the value in a lot of what she said; I just can't imagine how to practically implement it with our current evil system.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mikes
  • 19-01-23

Heavy on superlatives, light on data

When a book proclaims that it should be a must read in all schools, it really should be better put together than this.

Much of the book is making sweeping statements that aren't backed by a statistic, percentage, or helpful research. Instead it zooms into the realm of always, never, every, all, etc when it should be measured, conditioned, and qualified. Like where it says, "Because to Billy, any change equals disaster" and "Billy can't distinguish between good transitions and bad and so all are bad." Surely not ANY change or transition. What type of trauma? What type of changes? What percentage of students? What type of conditions?

In this unqualified unspecified manner, educators can easily pass up a measured response, and become the proverbial helicopter parents that are on way too high alert.

The biggest danger I see in this over compensation is that, packaged as helping and loving Billy, there is a Trojan horse that leads to enabling these students to traumatize and bully other students. Experiencing trauma shouldn't excuse Billy becoming a bully.

The book also seems to glorify teachers bearing the brunt of these students' anger and frustration. While love and compassion should be the first tools in a teachers toolbox, it should not come at the expense of what are acceptable behavior expectations, or a teacher's ability to enforce said rules. These rules are for EVERYONE'S benefit, and for the safety of staff and students in every situation. A teacher does no one a favor by being a punching bag. We need to be examples for students. I don't think students need to take abuse. Neither should teachers. No abuse should be given or taken by any party ever.

At one point, she says it's all about the students. I disagree. I think every single person at school should be valued. Students should be taught to value every person in the building.

Students expect us to protect them, and in the data I have collected, which shows it is their number one concern in the classroom and school, for it to be quiet, respectful, civil, and not chaotic, I consider their number one request as a mandate. I enforce rules to keep kids safe.

This book seems to allow Billy to traumatize and bully others. That doesn't help Billy or anyone else. Yes to love, yes to compassion, but also yes to enforcing rules meant for the safety and well being of everyone. Billy especially needs this kind of structure if it doesn't exist elsewhere.

There are good things that can be gleaned from this book I suppose, but read with caution.

A good educator should have as many tools in their toolbox that fit into a loving and ethical system. We should not be trying to go "beyond consequences". There's no such thing. Everything in the world carries consequences. It's important to show students these important life facts.

As far as reaching Billies, I would say yes to spending more time, effort, energy, care, money, resources, etc on students who have experienced trauma and need help. We should teach them meta cognitive skills, have classes that actually spend time on social emotional learning, rather than being an after thought and pushed aside for the "important" curriculum. We should give them our wrapped attention.

But none of that should not at all be at the expense of the safety and well being of and students or staff.

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  • Beth Ann Jackman
  • 14-03-20

excellent read for teachers and parents

As a teacher it opened my eyes to what my students might be going through and ways I can help them.

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  • Kristen2817
  • 27-02-20

Great intent. Poor delivery.

Struggled to finish. The point of the book is there, but the approach to sharing the info misses the mark.

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  • Carrie Owen
  • 05-02-20

Don’t recommend as audio book...

If you are reading this book as a professional book study the audio is a bit hard to follow. The chapters don’t line up with the chapters listed. I was trying to read a chapter at a time and I couldn’t find the stop and start. It made it hard for me to be prepared for the next meeting.

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  • Kristin S.
  • 05-01-19

Great informational read

A very good boom with lots of great information. Every teacher or peraon who works with children should read this!