By Noelle Blackman.
How many of us have sent a card to a person with a learning difficulty when they have been bereaved? How often have we failed to recognise a change in behaviour as being part of the grieving process? How often have we referred a person with a learning difficulty for bereavement counselling? How often do we see people with learning difficulties at funerals? How often have we changed the subject to avoid talking about the relative of a person with learning difficulties who has died?
I read this book recognising myself, people I have known with learning difficulties and colleagues. It is a much-neglected area and fills a long overdue gap. Blackman’s model for assessing grief responses among people with learning difficulties should be produced in poster form and displayed on the wall of every social work office in the country.
What makes this book stand out is that it recognises loss as being more than just death. The loss of the expected child and the associated grieving process for parents when a baby is born with a learning difficulty is recognised.
The loss of the child she may never have is acknowledged among women with learning difficulties. This is an informative and highly relevant book.
Karen Watchman is director, Down’s Syndrome Scotland.