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The philosophy of normalization and promotion of the plight of children and adults with mental handicaps has drawn more public attention in recent years. Governments in a number of countries have embarked upon policies involving the dosure of institutions, move ment of people with mental handicaps back into the community, and development of community-orientated programmes, although their reasons for this may be economically, rather than ideologically, motivated. Occupational therapists have moved into the community, along with other health professionals, in order to set up community services for people with mental handicaps. My own experience of working in a multidisciplinary team in Central London for 2V2 years, helping adults with mental handicaps to move out of an institution, has been a source of motivation to write this book. The amount of written material available on the occupational therapy approach to re settlement and de institutionalization is limited, in comparison with the massive amount of information written by, and for, other practitioners. Additionally, the number of texts written by and for occupational therapists with this dient group are few. Despite excellent support from OT colleagues, I experienced considerable frustration trying to define and perform my role, not helped by a shortage of texts to draw on.