Parenting a child with developmental delay

Parenting a child with developmental delay

Pamela Bartram, Sue and Jim Clifford


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Many adopted and looked after children experience particular health issues or other difficulties, sometimes due to their early experiences of loss and lack of care. This book focuses on developmental delay. If you are looking to adopt a child, this guide will give you practical and realistic information on what this condition may mean for your child, along with their symptoms, prognosis and treatment.

This book provides expert knowledge coupled with facts, figures and guidance presented in a straightforward and accessible style.

An adopter also describes what it is like to parent children with developmental delay, sharing their parenting experience and offering useful advice.

This book is part of CoramBAAF’s Parenting Matters series which explores many of the health conditions commonly diagnosed in looked after children.

Who Zis this book for?

A useful book for adopters, those thinking about adopting, foster carers, social work practitioners and all those involved in the care of looked after children. The combination of expert information and first-hand experience will help readers gain knowledge and understanding and make informed decisions.

What you will find in this book

The first half of the book examines developmental delay, including assessment, diagnosis, the effect of trauma, and possible treatment. It outlines stresses and protective factors within family life, findings from child psychotherapy, and where to get help for your child and family.

In the second half, an adopter describes her experiences of parenting a child with developmental delay, and how this affected, and continues to affect, day-to-day family life.

‘Wayne was exhausting to parent due to his level of hyperactivity and his poor attention span. He could not really follow even simple instructions, and we often had to stop him, turn him towards us and kneel down to his level to ensure that we had his attention before we could talk to him. Even when he repeated an instruction back to us, he was frequently unable to follow a request – either he didn’t understand it or couldn’t keep it in mind long enough to comply.’  Sue and Jim Clifford


Pamela Bartram:
Pamela Bartram is a child and adult psychotherapist. She works as a clinician/manager in the NHS, developing and managing a CAMHS team for disabled children and their families, and in private practice with children, adolescents and adults. She has a special interest in work with parents and in supporting the process of psychological change where a condition is “incurable”.

Sue and Jim Clifford have adopted nine children, aged between four and ten on placement. The story of their youngest, and the therapeutic parenting model they used to turn their children’s lives around, was told in the much-acclaimed BBC documentary, scre