By E. Anderson

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B) Bladder incontinence. Only three of the cerebral-palsied group had abnormalities of bladder functioning, one being a boy diagnosed as having both spina bifida and cerebral palsy. One coped with nappies, and two with frequent visits to the toilet. In contrast, over 80 per cent of the spina bifida group had bladder incontinence. One who had a problem over retention of urine managed to cope in the normal way, but the rest required urinary appliances. Sixteen (64 per cent) had urinary diversions (only two of these were boys), seven (28 per cent) had penile bags, while one girl had an indwelling catheter.

Coleman (1974) found that relationships between parents and adolescents were generally good, but that where conflict did occur it revolved around different issues in boys and in girls. For boys, independence of action and freedom of movement are the most common sources of conflict, whereas girls do not appear to see this as an issue but are ‘much more concerned with inner autonomy…they want to be themselves… they feel threatened by the influence and forcefulness of their parents’. These issues apply equally to able-bodied and disabled adolescents.

1 The sample—type and severity of handicap Within each diagnostic category the ratings on severity of handicap were roughly the same for both boys and girls. 2 we have therefore shown, irrespective of severity, the total number of problems of the young people within each diagnostic group. Twelve different problems were included: impaired mobility, impaired hand function, abnormal bladder function, abnormal bowel function, speech defect, visual defect, hearing defect, presence of a valve, obesity, marked facial or bodily abnormality, epilepsy, and IQ below 85.

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