4th February 2005 at 00:00
The Back-to-Front Boy. By Rebecca Wright. Covenanters Press. pound;10.95.

Teachers must try hard to see life through the eyes of others; a skill that's particularly important in dealing with the parents of children with special needs.

When it's lacking, you end up with the kind of tense conversation that Rebecca Wright had with the headteacher of the school attended by her adopted son Sam, a lovably infuriating boy with attachment disorder.

Questioned by Wright about the lack of contact Sam had with his designated special needs assistant, the head retreated into a guise that's sadly familiar.

"She sighed, as if implying she was weary of explaining the obvious to nuisance parents..."

Wright and her husband took on Sam with trepidation, and although there were times when it seemed love was not enough, and the world seemed filled with disapproving onlookers, it was a relationship that enriched the lives of everyone concerned.

This is an absorbing read - better, because it deals with feelings, than many textbooks on either adoption or attachment disorder.

Gerald Haigh

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