Childhood Psychological Disorders: Current Controversies

By Alberto M. Bursztyn | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

The idea for this book emerged in the context of conducting a study of families whose children had transitioned from a restrictive setting—that is, a school for children with severe disabilities—to neighborhood schools. I placed the word restrictive in italics because these families, for the most part, did not object to the isolation by disability that the initial school represented; they viewed the specialized school as a necessary first step in their child’s journey to social and academic integration. Although these parents were savvy about the special education system—some had moved to specific school districts because of the special education department’s reputation—they still struggled with ambivalence about finding the right balance between home, school, and the demand of therapies. They obsessed daily about when to step in and when to let go as their children confronted new challenges and experiences. More that anything else, they worried about their children’s emotional well-being in the more open and challenging context of a regular school; they wondered if the teachers, the school, the therapists, were doing enough, were doing the right thing, and questioned if they themselves were good parents. I’m thankful that they welcomed me into their homes and spoke openly about some of the most difficult issues in their lives. This book owes much to the knowledge, insights, and wishes they shared with me.

The book is also the product of collaboration and friendship. I approached the contributors hoping they would write specific chapters given their areas of interest and expertise; all of them happily agreed to participate. The ensuing process has been an enjoyable exchange as the evolving drafts provided a fruitful source of conversation and mutual education. In a number of cases the collaboration led to the question: What’s

-xi-

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