A Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome – Toward a Brighter Future

By Siegfried M Pueschel.
Paul H Brookes Publishing Co
ISBN 1 55766 452 8

is a disappointing book. Dr Pueschel, a US paediatrician who has made many
important contributions to our understanding of the medical needs of disabled
children, has produced a new edition of his well-established handbook. His
fellow contributors were asked to revise the chapters they wrote for the 1990
edition to provide an up-to-the-minute guide for the parents of children with
Down’s syndrome.

book comprises 22 chapters, eight of which have been written by Dr Pueschel
himself. Although there are some good chapters – for example, on recreation and
on supported employment – many of the contributions failed to inspire me. While
some authors have seized the opportunity to refresh their chapters, many
contributors do not address contemporary issues. Young people with Down’s
syndrome are now fluent in speaking up for themselves and I was disappointed to
find no discussion of the remarkable contribution that self-advocacy has made
to their lives.

a consequence of improvements in health care, children born with Down’s
syndrome now not only have a much better life expectancy, but also enjoy more
opportunities to be included in community life. Their parents deserve a more
up-to-date account of their needs.

Russell is a consultant psychiatrist.


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