A classic in its field, now extensively revised and updated.
Dr Thomas Weihs had a unique approach to learning disability: this book represents his attempt to describe childhood disability not only as a pathological condition which has to be remedied or prevented, but equally as a challenge to the self-knowledge and development of the parent, carer, educator or therapist. Moreover, he maintained that help can accrue to the disabled from a change in our understanding of them and in our way of being.
For over forty years, Dr Weihs lived and worked with children who had special needs at the Camphill Rudolf Steiner School in Aberdeen, and his book is a refreshing demonstration that love, intuition and aesthetic sensibility are as valuable as scientific understanding in the treatment of the individual child. Within the context of the general principles of child development, his book sets out a general classification of learning disability as part of a continuum of differentness, rather than in terms of any rigid definition of ‘normality’ and ‘abnormality’. This is an experimental approach, and helps the reader to place him or herself inside the experience of the child, to feel with, interact with – and above all accept – the uniqueness and value of the human being.
This book has been valued as a classic in its field by parents, teachers and many others dealing with children with disabilities, ever since its first appearance in a library edition in 1971. It has now been completely revised and updated to provide a relevant addition within its field.