Bringing Up a Challenging Child at Home: When Love is Not Enough

    By Jane Gregory.

    Jessica Kingsley Publishers

    £12.95

    ISBN: 1 85302 874 6

    Chrissy is a child who has epilepsy, learning difficulties, and
    severe challenging behaviour. In this personal account of Chrissy’s
    life her mother highlights serious shortfalls in health and social
    care provision for children with challenging behaviour.

    Chrissy’s identity is not disguised. Her school is identified
    and members of her family are named. Social workers, psychologists
    and doctors do need to hear from the frontline about the anger and
    frustration which parents feel – but how far did Chrissy consent to
    these details of her behaviour being exposed? She is now a 17 year
    old with the right to privacy. Can she have any dignity left after
    this?

    The book catalogues the faults and failures of services.
    Frustration and disappointment abound. Doctors fail to give
    diagnoses, social workers disappoint, teachers and psychologists do
    their best.

    Interwoven through all the professional shortfalls there is a
    family breaking down. Chrissy’s parents’ marriage falls apart. Her
    siblings suffer neglect. Despite the best medical advice her
    epileptic seizures fail to respond to medication. Chrissy’s
    self-mutilation cannot be brought under control. But somewhere
    along the line we lose sight of Chrissy. What does her challenging
    behaviour mean for her?

    Let us hope that she will in the end find appropriate treatment
    and support to enable her to enjoy some stability – and privacy –
    in her life.

    Oliver Russell is a psychiatrist and was, until
    recently, director of the Norah Fry Research Centre, University of
    Bristol.

     

     

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