CONNECTING WITH KIDS THROUGH STORIES
Denise Lacher and colleagues, Jessica Kingsley
ISBN: 184310797X, £12.95
STAR RATING: 4/5
Many adopted children have experienced early trauma and loss which
affects their attachment patterns and causes long-term difficulties
with behaviour and relationships, writes Clea
So Lacher and colleagues’ positive approach to working and living
with damaged children is welcome.
They identify the meanings of children’s behaviour in the context
of the child’s inner working model of relationships. For instance,
the child who steals may have learned that he cannot trust adults
to meet his needs.
The therapy involves parents using this understanding to tell daily
stories, which reflect the child’s experiences and model more
positive and loving futures.
A story about a baby elephant which survives a famine alone by
stealing food but then meets a big elephant who teaches her to
share is maybe a better than a more direct approach, but the child
will relate to the hero’s feelings and want to emulate her eventual
It is a simple and child-friendly approach which builds on parents’
strengths without placing impossibly high demands on them.
Therapy is not reserved for experts; parents just need ordinary
skills, albeit with extra thought and imagination. Apart from the
gratingly American tone, the book should inspire and empower
Clea Barry is an adoption social worker in London
PROFESSIONALISM, PARTNERSHIP AND JOINED-UP THINKING
Nick Frost, Research in Practice
ISBN 0904984045, £10
STAR RATING: 2/5
Normally a fan of Research in Practice reviews and Nick Frost’s
writing, I was doubly disappointed by this review of front-line
working with children and families, writes Lynn
It claims to focus on the shape and outcomes of “what happens on a
day-to-day basis when professionals work together” with children
and families. Yet the first two chapters of the four dragged me
screaming into the “conceptual undergrowth” of joint-working and
Wenger’s theories on “communities of practice”, rather than
offering me valuable insights of good practice models.
Frost’s review does highlight the paucity of research on the
outcomes for service users, but otherwise it tells us little more
than we already know about “joined-up working” – it is difficult,
complex and we have to develop new and better ways of doing it.
More emphasis on positive examples and experiences of partnership
working would have been helpful – especially for those who have
already been propelled into joint- or multi-agency working without
the training, support and reflection the review advocates.
Lynn Baxter is a senior lecturer in health and social care,
University of Greenwich
SUCCEEDING WITH AUTISM: HEAR MY VOICE
Judith H Cohen, Jessica Kingsley
ISBN 1843107934, £12.95
STAR RATING: 3/5
“I can live with the fact that Michael may never want to have
anything to do with me for the rest of his life, because I know
that what I had to do was necessary to get him where he is today.”
This poignant testimony from Michael’s mother Shari reveals the
profundity of her wisdom and love, as well as the enormous personal
cost of her struggle to raise her autistic son, writes
Now 24, Michael teaches high school maths in New York. Yet 20 years
ago, when he was diagnosed, he presented the typical features of
Judith Cohen, Michael’s college professor, makes clear that the
major credit for this remarkable transition goes to Shari.
Yet she also bore the brunt of Michael’s aggressive and violent
outbursts – which continued through his college years – and she
remains the target of his resentment over her decision to have
another child (and over her subsequent divorce). But the “author’s
reflections” – appended to each chapter of Michael’s life – add
little to a very human story.
Michael Fitzpatrick is a GP and has an autistic
THE SIMPLICITY OF DEMENTIA: A GUIDE FOR FAMILY AND CARERS
Huub Buijssen, Jessica Kingsley
ISBN: 1843103214, £13.95
STAR RATING: 4/5
When the father of Huub Buijssen – a clinical psychologist and
psychogerontologist – exhibited signs of dementia, the family
looked to the author of this work for answers, writes
He admits freely that his knowledge and understanding at that time
was insufficient to deal with their expectations.
Now, writing with non-professionals in mind, he provides
information and guidance to enable readers to understand more and
Summaries at the end of most chapters are admirably simple, and a
helpful reminder of the insights provided in the text, though I
wondered why this structure was not consistent.
Tips on responding to aggression are concise and practical, as are
those on dealing with suspicion and nocturnal restlessness. The
focus is on trying to prevent situations occurring, and relatives
and care staff will find plenty here to help.
In little more than 12 pages he addresses “the hidden victims” –
the family, and provides another checklist, which concludes with:
“Read these tips regularly…choose one….and make a serious
attempt to apply it.” Sound advice from a sound book.
Les Bright is an independent consultant and professional
adviser to the Relatives and Residents Association
UNDERSTANDING SUPPORT SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING
Alice Bradley, Bild
ISBN: 1904082947, £20
STAR RATING: 3/5
Where support services for people with learning difficulties are
now and the direction in which they should be heading are covered
with authority in this book, writes Matt
Areas including advocacy, person-centred planning and approaches,
service development and networking, are all detailed. In line with
the current learning routes, such as the learning disability
framework, this book is aimed at senior practitioners and students.
The book uses a range of approaches, from reading text to looking
at media coverage and developing analytical skills through a number
of activities. This encourages readers’ practical application and
There is a concerted effort to make the information accessible and
clear. However, I found myself struggling with the small print and
lack of imagery.
Yet, with the author’s extensive knowledge and experience, the
material will make the reader reflect on their own practice.
Matt Dore works with people who have learning