Childhood Psychological Disorders: Current Controversies

Childhood Psychological Disorders: Current Controversies

Childhood Psychological Disorders: Current Controversies

Childhood Psychological Disorders: Current Controversies

Synopsis

Jason Prosper grew up in the elite world of Manhattan penthouses, Maine summer estates, old boy prep school and exclusive sailing clubs. A smart, athletic teenager, Jason maintains a healthy, humorous disdain for the trappings of affluence, preferring to spend afternoons sailing with Cal, his best friend and boarding school roommate. When Cal commits suicide during this junior year at Kensington Prep, Jason is devastated by the loss and transfers to Bellingham Academy. There, he meets Aidan, a fellow student with her own troubled past. They embark on a tender, awkward, deeply emotional relationship, until a major hurricane hits the New England coast and Aidan's battered body is found on the beach in its aftermath. School officials rule her death a suicide, and Jason is horrified to draw the parallels between Aidan and Cal. He gradually realizes that Aidan's death was neither suicide nor accident, and is determined to uncover the terrible secret that has been buried by the boys he considers his friends.

Excerpt

Disability occupies the shadows of our collective psyche. In a society that glamorizes vacuous celebrity, physical prowess, and perfect bodies, disability is the unwanted other, the aspect of humanity that evokes vulnerability and anguish—the opposite of our collective fantasized lives. Disability usually enters as unwelcome news and in its wake it tends to redefine individuals’ and families’ trajectories. Those affected generally face their challenges privately. A child with disabilities forces a detour; wellplanned lives need to be rethought, carefree lives assume a new gravity, and families struggling with challenges may be brought to a breaking point. Parents of children with disabilities often find themselves in a new, lonely, and bewildering territory without a guide, map, or GPS.

This book is rooted in a desire to help parents, teachers, young people with disabilities, and others interested in disability disentangle some of the most controversial and unsettled contemporary issues regarding children with impairments. The book does not aim to be a comprehensive guide to disabilities or to provide definitive answers about specific diagnoses or treatments. Instead it is envisioned as a trail map through difficult terrain, encouraging the reader to understand the lay of the land and some of the landmarks one might see and experience along the way. For those who are interested, there are suggestions for further readings and resources at the end of each chapter.

How and why are childhood disabilities controversial? Controversy emerges in the context of change: when the old answers no longer suit the questions, when new knowledge is contested, or when new concepts challenge established categories. While disabilities have always been a part of the human experience, their nature and social meaning have not been . . .

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