From his childhood in Waco, Texas, where he took expert care of nine small cousins while the adults ate Sunday lunch, to Princeton and an offer from Broadway, to medical and psychoanalytic training, to the exquisite observations into newborn behavior that led babies to be seen in an entirely new light, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton's life has been one of innovation and caring. Known internationally for the Touchpoints theory of regression and growth in infants and young children, Brazelton is also credited for bringing the insights of child development into pediatrics, and for his powerful advocacy in Congress.
In Learning to Listen, fans of Brazelton and professionals in his field can follow both the roots of a brilliant career and the evolution of child-rearing into the twenty-first century.
Influential pediatrician Brazelton (To Listen to a Child) shares his personal history and professional insights in this engaging memoir. Born in Waco, Tex., in l9l8, Brazelton had an affinity for little ones from early on: he cared for nine cousins at the age of 10 while the grownups prepared dinner, and as a teen mended the broken leg of a chicken with a Popsicle stick. Intrigued by family relationships, he pondered his jealousy of his younger brother, and was concerned about his father's emotional distance (the senior Brazelton, who owned a lumber company, died at 49). Brazelton takes us through his early years of study, his interest in combining the fields of pediatrics and psychiatry, and his development of the NBAS (Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, now the "gold standard of infant assessment"), noting the many changes that have transpired since he first began practicing. He was among the first to question medicating mothers during childbirth, and significantly influenced the natural childbirth movement. Although many may know Brazelton from his books and TV show (What Every Baby Knows), here, he also chronicles his years of researching infants and families in such places as Kenya, Greece, Mexico, Guatemala, and Japan, with characteristic warmth and humor.