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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the particular issues of those faced with a congenital condition that affects one or more aspects of physical appearance. It uses the examples of cleft lip and/or palate and neurofibromatosis. It highlights the need to counter the tendency to pathologize the experiences of children and young people through a focus on problems and difficulties, and instead to adopt a more normalizing, developmental perspective in understanding their worlds. It discusses positive aspects and protective factors as well as challenges, and considers the need for appropriate psychosocial interventions for those experiencing difficulties.

Keywords: appearance psychology, cleft lip, cleft palate, neurofibromatosis, children, young people, psychosocial interventions

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