Family myths of a child’s identity and the effect on service provision
Louise Terry Senior lecturer in law and ethics, Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University
Anne Campbell Lecturer in children’s nursing, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, University of Hertfordshire
Using two cases as examples, Louise Terry and Anne Campbell explore the myths parents create to overcome the difficulties they face when caring for a child with severe disabilities
This article examines parental and family myths regarding children, with particular concentration on the child with severe developmental disabilities who may never be able to challenge their allocated identity. The case of ‘Ashley, pillow angel’ is discussed, alongside that of an Asian female child whose family created the myth that she was a boy to address cultural taboos that were preventing her father from being her principal carer. The use of myths of identity as solutions and problems in their own right is discussed. The article concludes that there is a need for professionals to question these myths.
Learning Disability Practice. 12, 8,24-29. doi: 10.7748/ldp2009.10.12.8.24.c7310