Most children have secret worlds but for some their worlds are found to contain secrets that are both permanent and damaging. Within their secret lives, these vulnerable children are often emotionally confused, anxious and angry, and yet many of them put out clear signs of wanting to be understood. This account of the secret lives of vulnerable and disturbed children aims to enable professionals working with these children to find out what is going on in their minds: what they are thinking, what they are feeling, and why they behave as they do. The contributors to this volume draw on a wide range of disciplines - psychiatry, paediatrics, clinical psychology, bereavement counselling and psychotherapy - to show how vulnerable children can be assessed and helped. They describe children who are depressed, neurotic, autistic, bereaved and hyperactive, and children who have been physically, emotionally and sexually abused. Practical in their emphasis, they also deal with the art of communicating with such children and discuss the difficulties of relating to vulnerable adolescents.