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1. Laura, aged 2, is in hospital for 8 days to have aminor operation. She is too young to understandher mothers absence. Because her mother is notthere and the nurses…
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  • 1. Laura, aged 2, is in hospital for 8 days to have aminor operation. She is too young to understandher mothers absence. Because her mother is notthere and the nurses change frequently, she has toface the fears, frights and hurts with no familiarperson to cling to. She is extremely upset by arectal anaesthetic. Then she becomes quiet and"settles". But at the end of her stay she iswithdrawn from her mother, shaken in her trust.Throughout the film, Laura alternates betweenperiods of calm and distress. She is visitedoccasionally be her parents and begs to go home.Laura’s obvious struggle to control her feelingsover the course of the film is hard to watch
  • 2. John was placed in a residential nursery whilst hismother was in hospital.Over the course of 9 days John went from being a happychild to an overly distressed child. For two days Johntries to attach himself to a nurse, but because they are notassigned to individual children no nurse attends to Johnlong enough to understand him and answer his needs. Heis not mothered or protected from attacks by the otherchildren. Food and routines are strange, and the fathersvisits can do little to ease the situation. John becomesincreasingly distressed, and eventually sinks intohopeless apathy. He seeks comfort from an oversizedteddy bear, but this isn’t enough. He breaks down,refuses to eat, stops playing, cries a lot and gives uptrying to get the nurses’ attention. At reunion with hismother, John screams and struggles to get away fromher, For many months he continued to have outbursts ofanger towards her
  • 3. Case study:Jane, Lucy, Thomas and KateJane, Lucy, Thomas and Kate were all under three yearsof age and placed in foster care with the Robertsonswhile their mothers were in hospital. The Robertsonsendeavoured to sustain a high level of substituteemotional care and keep routines similar to those athome. Father’s visits were arranged regularly to maintainemotional links with home. Kate was taken to visit hermother in hospital and was much more settled after this.All the children seemed to adjust well. They showedsome signs of distress, for example Thomas rejectedattempts to cuddle him but in general they slept well anddid not reject their mothers when reunited. Some werereluctant to part with the foster mother demonstrating theformation of good emotional bonds.
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