Neither has the intellectual acumen or emotional depth of Helen Featherstone's A Difference in the Family (1980), but this new entry, together with Bette Ross' Our Special Child (below), could be of practical help to parents of children with many kinds of disabilities. Pearlman and Scott--a physical therapist and a speech-and-language pathologist for the Illinois Parent-Infant Program--score primarily as providers of information, especially information valuable in dealing with medical and educational specialists. They tell who the specialists are, and what they do; explain testing procedures; define special-education terminology; describe types of alternative-living arrangements. They also discuss financial considerations--with pointers on resources and recourses (tax deductions, public assistance) that may be unknown to parents. (No specific sources are given, however--and, oddly, there are no references or reading lists, and no lists of organizations to contact, anywhere in the book.) On matters of day-in, day-out concern--""coping"" emotionally, discipline, socialization--they provide sound strategies, illustrated with examples. For that moment when the sensitive question ""Should we place?"" may come up, they offer an excellent series of questions to focus parents' attention on the facts and feelings that will affect their decision. A handbook that supplies positive, supportive guidance on difficult issues; for a more personal slant, see the Ross.