There is a lot of literature available describing the pathophysiology and causes of balance disorders in adults. However, balance disorders in children are not as well understood and this is reflected in the relative dearth of literature.
The standard reference textbooks gloss over this issue and balance disorders in children is usually a variation on the theme of adult balance disorders without due consideration to the pathophysiology and, more importantly, presentation of balance problems in children.
The book is divided into four sections. The first chapters are on the ‘basics’ of anatomy and physiology with a special emphasis on the maturation of these systems in children. The following chapters deal with the clinical evaluation of children with balance dysfunction. The accompanying DVD demonstrates the actual technique which is very useful.
The next few chapters deal with the range of paediatric vestibular disorders. I found the chapters on ‘Neurodegenerative disorders’ and ‘Inborn errors of metabolism’ particularly useful. The text concludes with a review of the treatment and possible advances. This last chapter is quite brief but reflects the paucity of research in this area.
The text is referred to as a ‘Manual’ and this accurately reflects what it sets out to do. There is an emphasis on the practical aspects of evaluating a child with balance problems. This book is the obvious distillate of the years of experience of the multi-authors. I am impressed with their first edition and I am happy to recommend it to clinicians and audiologists involved in the care of this patient population. The price of $130 is relatively steep for the individual budget but I strongly endorse the maxim “you need to speculate your money to accumulate knowledge”.