On television, a popular scientist explains that the implications on a child of the impact of witnessing domestic violence are deep and profound; they tap the side of their skull to emphasise just how deep within the child’s brain the legacy of this must reside and how difficult it will therefore be to access and change. At a professionals’ meeting, a teenage girl with a history of challenging behaviour is considered a hopeless case because of all that she has suffered early on in life and now there is little left that anyone can do to reach deep inside her mind and turn her around. The legacy of her abuse has changed her brain. A mother cries outside a child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) clinic having been told that her postnatal depression meant that she failed to nurture her infant’s brain at the critical time point and it is now this that explains her son’s ADHD and reading problems.
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