Edited by David May.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN 1 85302 863 0
This book considers the lives of people with learning
difficulties as a series of transitions, each chapter contributing
to a different aspect of change along the lifecourse. There are
chapters on early childhood years, through adolescence, marriage
and parenthood to retirement and old age.
This lifecourse perspective highlights the distance that people
with learning difficulties have yet to travel towards the
realisation of a “normal life”. This is defined for most people by
the experiences of starting school, getting a job, leaving home,
marrying, having children and retiring from work.
Such transitions are, arguably, less clear-cut and it is time
for a more creative approach. For example, I would have liked to
see consideration of issues such as rewarding daytime activities
rather than only paid employment, and developing sexuality and the
maintenance and disintegration of relationships instead of the
focus on marriage.
Nevertheless, the book does make a useful contribution to
literature of learning difficulties. It draws together a range of
issues concerning transition and change in the lifecourse and
provides an accessible overview of recent research in this field.
It would therefore be of general interest, as an introductory text,
to those working with people with learning difficulties in a
variety of health, social and community settings.
Pauline Heslop is a research associate, Norah Fry
Research Centre, University of Bristol.