Book notice #1

Occasionally we will post about a book relevant to Social Role Valorization–sometimes a new book, sometimes an older and still relevant one. If you have suggestions for such items or comments on the titles we post, please post a reply! Note these will be notices, not book reviews, though we don’t rule out reviews in the future.

Here’s our first book notice:

Management of the Family of the Mentally Retarded: A Book of Readings edited by W. Wolfensberger and R. Kurtz (Follett Educational Corporation, 1969)

This is an interesting and useful book in and of itself, but also in relation to one of Wolfensberger’s more recent books, entitled The Future of Children with Significant Impairments: What Parents Fear and Want, and What They and Others May be Able to Do About It (Syracuse, NY: Training Institute for Human Service Planning, Leadership and Change Agentry, 2003– see review here). I found it interesting to see how many issues we discuss today (e.g., about genetic counseling, brothers and sisters of people receiving services, parents helping parents, and so on) are included in this 1969 book. Keep this connection in mind, and the date of publication, as you scan the table of contents (see below).

If you read the book when it first came out, what impressions do you remember of your first read? What connections do you see between the topics covered in this book and the realities which families of people with impairments face today? What new issues have arisen since 1969?

An excerpt from the preface which is relevant to the title:

Management of the family of the mentally retarded implies to us the entry of persons or organizations in an official, or at least widely sanctioned, capacity into the lives of members of families of the mentally retarded, purportedly for the benefit of either these family members, of the retardate himself, or of the community. The activities subsumed by this definition include referral, fact finding, case evaluation, counseling, psychotherapy, guidance, tuition, education, casework, direction, supervision, and control. In the course of discussing this book with colleagues, we have found that several have objected to the term ‘management’ because of its authoritarian overtones. However, we feel strongly that this term is the only one that is broad enough to subsume the range of appropriate services; furthermore, we feel that the term is the only honest one to describe the realities of the field. (p. iii)

Abbreviated Table of Contents:

Part I The Background

Section A The Challenges and Demands of Family Management

Section B Through the Parents’ Eyes

Section C The Old Way

Section D The New Way

Section E The Manager

Part II Parental Dynamics Relative to Management

Part III Management in Conjunction with the Diagnostic Process

Section A General Considerations

Section B Early Contact Phase

Section C Feedback Phase

Part IV General Principles of Management and Counseling

Part V Special Management Techniques

Section A Group Approaches

Section B Home Management Techniques

Section C Long-Distance Management

Section D Training the Parent in Operant Behavior-Shaping Techniques

Part VI Special Types of Guidance

Section A Genetic Counseling

Section B Religious and Pastoral Counseling

Part VII Management Considerations for Various Disciplines

Section A Educators

Section B Nurses

Section C Physicians

Section D Psychologists

Part VIII Management of Special-Problem Groups

Section A The Limited Family

Section B The Family with a Mildly Retarded Child

Section C The Family with a Mongoloid Child

Section D The Family with a Phenylketonuric Child

Section E The Siblings of the Retarded

Part IX The Parent and the Institution

Section A The Placement Decision and its Alternatives

Section B Management During the Placement Process

Section C The Management of the Institutionalized Child’s Family

Part X Parents Helping Parents

Posted on April 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm by MTumeinski · Permalink
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