Ordinary Families, Special Children, Third Edition A Systems Approach to Childhood Disability

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-02-23
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press

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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.

Author Biography

Milton Seligman, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology in Education at the University of Pittsburgh. His chief academic interest is in the area of childhood disability and the family. Other areas of instruction and scholarship include individual and group psychotherapy and clinical supervision. Retired since 2004, Dr. Seligman maintains a private practice and serves on the editorial board for the Journal for Specialists in Group Work.


Rosalyn Benjamin Darling, PhD, retired in 2008 as Professor of Sociology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she had taught since 1994. Prior to assuming her academic position, she served for 15 years as the executive director of an agency serving young children with disabilities and their families and was the founder and first president of the Early Intervention Providers Association of Pennsylvania. Dr. Darling has authored or coauthored eight books and numerous articles and chapters on disability and human services. She has played an active role in many state- and national-level disability-related organizations and committees and is currently engaged in research on orientations toward disability.

Table of Contents

Conceptual Framework
Introduction and Conceptual Framework I: Social and Cultural Systemsp. 3
Conceptual Framework II: Family Systems Theory and Childhood Disabilityp. 17
All Families Are Not Alike: Social and Cultural Diversity in Reaction to Childhood Disabilityp. 57
The Family Life Cycle
Becoming the Parent of a Child with a Disability: Reactions to First Informationp. 97
Childhood: Continuing Adaptationp. 121
Looking to the Future: Adolescence and Adulthoodp. 153
The Family System
Effects on the Family as a Systemp. 181
Effects on Fathersp. 218
Effects on Siblingsp. 233
Effects on Grandparentsp. 261
Approaches To Intervention
Professional-Family Interaction: Working toward Partnershipp. 279
Perspectives and Approaches for Working with Familiesp. 315
Applying a Partnership Approach to Addressing Family Resources, Concerns, and Priorities: Developing Family Service Plansp. 345
Referencesp. 381
Indexp. 421
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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