Last month Interconnections published a book, Bringing up babies and young children who have very special needs: A 21st century guide for parents students and new practitioners. The book is particularly useful for parents who can often feel like they live in a world separated from the main world because babies and infants who have very special needs belong to a small minority, most people will rarely encounter.
Written by Interconnections founder, Peter Limbrick, the book is written for all people who are new to the world of babies and young children with very special needs. It also provides valuable information for others with a parenting role, family members, students who might eventually work with these children and people who have just moved into this field of work.
The book contrasts effective 21st century support with approaches that are out-of-date and, at worst, insensitive and institutional. The author explains that roles in the care of these vulnerable children should be very clear, saying, “Parents’ role is to bring up their children. The role of therapists, teachers and other practitioners is to help them. Even so, many parents have to go into battle to get what they need.”
These three essential pillars of effective support are described:
- Health: for the child’s survival and freedom from pain
- Education: for the child’s understanding, skills and wellbeing
- Family support: for the family’s resilience and quality of life
The phrase ‘bringing up’ in the book’s title, was used because this is what parents all around the world do and it is what this book is about. “Parents bring up their children as best they can whatever abilities and needs their children have. But, unfortunately, when a baby or young child has very special needs it can feel that some of this parenting role is taken over by one or more practitioners. Parents might then find themselves inappropriately forced into a secondary or subservient role because practitioners appear as experts and because parents do not yet know all the same things the practitioners know,” says Peter.
It is common in every country for parents of all young children to ask for help when they need it – during pregnancy, after the birth or in the coming months and years. The up-to-date support described in this book follows this natural approach. In this, parents bring up their babies and infants who have very special needs as best they can and ask for help when they need it. Roles are very clear in this:
- Babies and young children belong to their parents.
- Parents carry the right and responsibility to bring up their children.
- Agencies and their practitioners carry the professional responsibility to offer relevant and effective support when invited to do so.
Read more about the book and order a copy here.
About the author
Peter Limbrick is an educationalist with long experience of babies and young children who have multiple diagnoses. His approach helps children who have disabilities and very special needs learn basic skills and supports parents with all they have to deal with.
Interconnections Worldwide is a charity that works internationally to share information, help build knowledge and support teamwork around babies, children and young people who are disabled, marginalised or vulnerable.