Having a child with mental retardation is a major and usually totally unexpected blow to any family. However, most families show great resourcefulness and adapt to give their normal child as well as themselves a happy, rewarding life. Parents strongly resent being treated as potential psychiatric patients and have vigorously thrown out the concept of 'the handicapped family'. They do suffer understandable grief. The handling of the breaking of the news has been much improved recently, but perhaps a helpful way forward is having a psychiatrist who is familiar with the paediatric department and its work. The focus will be more often towards the staff and only rarely towards the parents themselves. From the point of discharge, the encouragement of informal support is more useful than providing hospital-based services. Children with all sorts of disability go to school early and the provision of unobtrusive familiar services is helpful. Unfortunately, there is often a gap in services between children's services and those for older adolescents and adults. The gap occurs at the worst time for parents who of all times require a familiar knowledgeable person who can offer a service throughout the transition period. The services required by the parents are practical help, such as appropriate equipment, respite care, advice about behaviour, and the ability to find emergency or specialized help at short notice. Parents also require some notice to be taken of their increasing age and/or infirmity, the financial difficulties arising out of the disability, and their anxiety that a humane plan can be made for their son or daughter when they die.

Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

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