Ordinary Families, Special Children, Second Edition: A Systems Approach to Childhood Disability / Edition 2

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Now in a revised and expanded third edition, this popular clinical reference and text provides a multisystems perspective on childhood disability and its effects on family life. The volume examines how child, family, ecological, and sociocultural variables intertwine to shape the ways families respond to disability, and how professionals can promote coping, adaptation, and empowerment. Accessible and engaging, the book integrates theory and research with vignettes and firsthand reflections from family members.

New in the Third Edition
*Updated with current research, counseling approaches, and resources
*New chapter on the challenges and opportunities of adulthood
*Expanded coverage of disability pride, family diversity, and the role of fathers

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Milton Seligman and Rosalyn Darling have done a wonderful job describing the impact a child's disability can have on a family. They deserve special praise for their attention to the frequently overlooked concerns of fathers, siblings, and grandparents. The user-friendly discussion of family systems and the many insightful quotes from family members will make this book valuable to family members and service providers alike." --Donald J. Meyer, MEd, Director, Sibling Support Project, Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, Washington; editor of Uncommon Fathers: Reflections on Raising a Child with Special Needs.

"The second edition of Ordinary Families, Special Children continues in the fine tradition of the first. The book, firmly anchored in empirical research, brings the laboratory data alive with commentary by mothers, fathers, and others who love a child with a disability. Seligman and Darling offer a critical look at the literature, blended with human wisdom about coping effectively in the face of a family crisis." --Sandra L. Harris, PhD, Professor and Dean, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

"The revised edition of this superb text provides a comprehensive review of the topic which is relevant to an international readership. It contains an extremely readable account of the essential information needed by professionals in order to develop effective working relationships with parents of children with disabilities. It should be on the required reading list for all teachers, social workers, therapists, psychologists and medical staff concerned with childhood disability." --Garry Hornby, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Hull, England

"...An important work...Its summaries of research and theory provide an excellent overview and introduction to work with families with disabilities." --Diana Garland, Journal of Family Ministry

"Honest, respectful and empathetic dealings with developmentally disabled youngsters and their families is difficult for school professionals because so few of us have walked in their shoes. This book has provided my school psychology students with the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively with the families of the developmentally disabled. It goes further than the first edition by providing additional materials and including recent research, new programs and approaches that have emerged during the past several years, legal changes, and new resources that have been developed for families." --Marla Brassard, PhD

Seligman (psychology, U. of Pittsburgh) and Darling (sociology, Indiana U. of Pennsylvania) examine the many variables that shape how families respond to childhood disability and the extent which they can overcome the physical, cultural, and social barriers to a satisfactory lifestyle. The show how to apply an approach based on social and family systems to assess and intervene with diverse families. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572304666
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/20/1999
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Milton Seligman, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair, Counseling Psychology Program, University of Pittsburgh.

Rosalyn Benjamin Darling, Ph.D., is the Graduate Coordinator in the Sociology Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she also teaches courses in human services, at-risk children, and the sociology of disability. Prior to assuming her present position, she served for 15 years as the Executive Director of Beginnings, an agency serving young children with disabilities; in that capacity, she also served on various state-level policy advisory committees in the area of early intervention. Dr. Darling is the author of five books and numerous articles and chapters about children with disabilities and their families. She has also served on a number of national-level, disability-related advisory boards and continues to act as an advocate for children.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction and Conceptual Framework: Social Systems and Family Systems
2. Becoming the Parent of a Child with a Disability: Reactions to First Information
3. Childhood and Adolescence: Continuing Adaptation
4. Effects on the Family as a System
5. Effects on Siblings
6. Effects on Fathers and Grandparents
7. Cultural Reactions to Childhood Disability and Subcultural Variation
8. Professional-Family Interaction: Working toward Partnership
9. Therapeutic Approaches
10. Applying a Systems Approach to the Identification of Family Resources and Concerns: The Individualized Family Service Plan and Beyond
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