Disabled Children and the Law – Research and Good Practice

By Janet Read and Luke Clements.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

£17.95 (paperback) ISBN 1 85302 793 6

This is a first-rate book which sets out to review the main
statutes, guidance, research and good practice that relate to
disabled children.

Among the book’s achievements is its accessibility.

The authors reject a potentially dull law-by-law analysis,
choosing instead to look at the range of issues that face a family
and disabled child or young person over a life-course. There are
chapters on early years, school years, becoming an adult, and one
on disabled children who live away from home.

The book sets out its stall at the outset with its commitment to
a social model of analysis, recognising the need for an equalities
perspective and, refreshingly, talking about the law as a dynamic
and human construct.

Helpful appendices take parents through how to ask for services,
complain and assert legal rights, even providing clear templates of
letters that parents could use themselves.

One of the problems with this kind of book is that it could
rapidly become out of date as new government initiatives relating
to disabled children appear, so I hope the authors have the
capacity to produce further editions.

This should be essential reading for people who work with
disabled children and their families, social policy and law
students, as well as an invaluable source of information for
families and disabled young people.

David Abbott is a researcher at the Norah Fry Research

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