A substantial part of my work as a psychotherapist has been with people with learning disabilities, both privately and in the National Health Service. Often these are people who have impaired bodies and sometimes additional difficulties communicating in words. People with learning disabilities can be ill-regarded, sometimes experience bad treatment from others, and be viewed as not at all suitable for psychotherapeutic help. Yet, in a passing reference to disability, Bowlby (1969) in his first volume on attachment says,

To achieve his set-goal of proximity to mother any and all locomotory skills at a child’s disposal are likely to be called upon. He will crawl, shuffle, walk, or run. If he is grossly deficient in locomotory equipment, for example as a result of thalidomide, he will still achieve his end, even if it means rolling. (Bowlby, 1969, p. 248)