Weekly Roundup, Sunday Sep 15, 2019

Popular posts

Netflix’s ‘Unbelievable’ Is Based On A Devastatingly True Story
Have you seen this new series on Netflix? It is an important story about a young woman who aged out of foster care, was raped, and then not believed.

Why Adults Who Have the Savior Complex Aren’t Healthy for Kids From Trauma
It’s not necessarily bad to want to make children’s lives healthier and happier. It’s not even bad to make plans for how we’d be kind to children we work with or will work with in the future. The problem comes when we assume that our plans truly encompass all the pieces of the puzzle and that other plans are less worthy. When we train ourselves to look at children who are in trouble and assume that the adults are at fault, we train ourselves to believe that all children are innocent and all adults are guilty. 

How to Create a Classroom That Supports Adopted Children
Adoption is a wonderful solution for children whose parents are unable or unwilling to care for them for whatever reason. However, many children who are adopted face challenges that their peers in school do not. They may have suffered trauma, are struggling to transition into a new home, or have trust issues due to their early experiences. Educators need to be aware of these challenges and should make an effort to create a classroom environment that supports adopted children and makes it easier for them to succeed.

You can get PTSD from dealing with a young child?
I was diagnosed with PTSD, but I brushed it off. How could dealing with a young child cause PTSD? Looking back I now believe I had in fact developed PTSD and it took years for me to heal.

Mindfully Talking To Kids About 9/11
Most of our children will have faint memories of the event, many were too young to remember it, and some weren’t even born yet. It becomes a challenge for us to know what to say about it and how to say it in a developmentally age appropriate way.

Dear ER Staff: My Son Never Asked to Be a Regular
I know there are some of you who roll your eyes and wish it wasn’t us again when you see his name show up on your patient board. Believe me, I wish it wasn’t us again too.

1 in 5 kids who’ve spent time in foster care are LGBTQ: Valuable resources for parents
According to a recent study more than 1 in 5 kids in the foster care system is LGBTQ. Their foster/adoptive families may or may not be accepting of their sexual identity. This can be particularly challenging for young people who are already grappling with the impacts of early childhood trauma.

Here’s what “trauma informed” looks like…
Far too often, however, trauma informed care is little more than a buzzword. Over the last few months, my family has benefited greatly from several examples of truly trauma informed care. Let’s take a look at what “trauma informed” really looks like.

Help! My Child’s Only Interests Are YouTube and Video Games
YouTube and video games can bring a ton of stress into a mom’s life. I want to encourage you that your child’s interests may be healthier and much more intelligent than we tend to assume when YouTube and video games are in play (see what I did there). I am learning that that there is nothing to fear or fight when your child’s only interests are YouTube and Video Games.

Recommended books of the week


Best shareables

Weekly Roundup, Sunday Sep 8, 2019

Popular posts

To the Teacher of My Child With Sensory Processing Disorder from @lynnsollitto
Dear Teacher, My child has sensory processing disorder (SPD). This means her brain interprets sensory information differently than most people’s. When she has to process multiple sensory stimuli, she feels overwhelmed and may shut down, which can distract her from her learning.

5 creative ways to foster attachment from @RaisingDevon
Every child and parent are different, but here are five creative attachment ideas that have worked for other families. 

Manifestation Determination from @parentcenterhub
At specific times, and for certain violations of the student code of conduct, IDEA’s discipline procedures require school systems to conduct what is known as a “manifestation determination review.” The purpose of this review is to determine whether or not the child’s behavior that led to the disciplinary infraction is linked to his or her disability.

How to survive an active shooter situation from @RaisingDevon
I recently attended Active Survivor Training (also called Active Shooter training) with my children. What we learned was invaluable and, as our personal story shows, the lessons can be used in real-life situations.

Reactive Attachment Disorder in Adults Ruins Relationships
Relationships are an integral part of our lives, and when we don’t form a healthy attachment with our parents and guardians, we can develop severe disorders as adults. Reactive attachment disorder happens when a child doesn’t form healthy bonds with their parents, and as a result, if left untreated, reactive attachment disorder follow a person into adulthood. 

Nurses and teachers are changing the world: It’s time their paychecks reflected that.
Imagine a world without nurses and teachers. Where would we be without the amazing people that work daily to educate us, help make us feel better, and so much more?

Recommended books of the week

Video of the week

News & Headlines

Editorial: Grandparents need help raising kids from TRIBLive

Parents Should Sleep With Babies At Least 3 Years for Optimal Brain Development, Pediatrician Says

Family lives in fear after adopting troubled girl from The Daily Item

Best shareables

Weekly Roundup, Sunday Sep 1, 2019

Popular posts

RAD Symptoms – which are most common?
Parents of kids diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) are all too familiar with the symptoms. Anecdotally we often list food hoarding, violent outbursts, crazy lying, to name a few. But which symptoms are most common? To explore this further we collected data on 277 children and analyzed the results of the 236 who have been formally diagnosed with RAD.

Online support groups for parents of kids with trauma
Unfortunately, you may not fit into typical parenting support groups. Your child’s behaviors and emotions may be so extreme that other parents can’t relate. As their parenting-101 and common sense advice falls flat and over time, their lack of understanding can feel an awful lot like blame. So where can you find the support and community you so desperately need? One fantastic option is a private online support group.

10 Tips to Prevent your Child’s Recess from being Taken Away.
From @ADayInOurShoesIEP
Let’s put an end to this “taking away recess as punishment” trend once and for all!

The ugly truth about trauma
Each Childhood neglect and abuse is invisible to the untrained eye, we tend to imagine our children having only bruised and bleeding hearts.In reality, some of our children have huge gaping trauma wounds. The gash is infected and oozing puss. Warning- Graphic Image.

6 signs of PTSD in RAD caregivers
From @Gina Heumann
Many people (including at one time, me) associate PTSD only with combat veterans, police officers who’ve been involved in tragic events, and rape or sexual assault victims, but there are actually quite a few other causes for this debilitating condition. As a caregiver for a child with reactive attachment disorder, I would never have recognized or suspected PTSD in myself until someone pointed it out, and even then, I just tried to suck it up and think myself better. While some people can heal themselves over time, the vast majority of PTSD sufferers require professional treatment in order to fully recover.

10 Disturbing Signs It’s Not Your Body But Your Soul That’s Tired
If we ignore the signs that our energy is depleting, it can lead to very serious consequences such as chronic anxiety, mental health issues, and depression.

Languishing in Residential Care Made Me Worse. Unconditional Love Helped Get Me Better
From @ChronicleofSocialChange
People talk a lot about how important it is that every foster kid grows up in a loving home. While well intentioned, most of them are approaching that idea from an abstract understanding. They have never known a loving foster home, and they certainly have not experienced the alternative. I learned the hard way how important this concept really is. 

Being the primary parent is exhausting
From @closetoclassy
Being a parent is seriously the most mentally taxing thing I’ve ever done. Single parents are the known bad asses of the parenting world, and I’m not here to dispute that, because we all know how hard that role is. What I have to say may be an unpopular opinion but I’m going to say it, because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way—I’m so freaking exhausted being the primary parent.

“I Don’t Think We Can Do This Much Longer.”
From @authornealierose
That’s something so many people say when they are struggling with a traumatized child. Here’s advice from another trauma mama.

Why You Should Never Bad Mouth Your Child’s First Family
From @confessionsofanadoptiveparent
It can be a difficult thing to not do, at times, because your child’s storyline may not be very positive. But it’s critical that we never bad mouth our child’s first family. Here’s why…

Here’s a great video with information on early childhood trauma

Recommended books of the week

In the news

More than eight in 10 men in prison suffered childhood adversity – new report
Male prisoners are much more likely than men in the wider population to have suffered childhood adversities such as child maltreatment or living in a home with domestic violence, according to a new report by Public Health Wales and Bangor University.

A new high school will have sleek classrooms — and places to hide from a mass shooter
A $48 million major construction project at Fruitport High School will add curved hallways to reduce a gunman’s range, jutting barriers to provide cover and egress, and meticulously spaced classrooms that can lock on demand and hide students in the corner, out of a killer’s sight.

How Adoption Medicine Clinics Aid Forever Families
Adoption medicine clinics – which aim to address the complex medical, developmental, psychological and social needs of adopted children – have emerged around the country in response to shifting societal trends. Typically housed in major medical centers and children’s hospitals, they got their start in the 1990s, when international adoptions were on the rise.

Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys
White boys who grow up rich are likely to remain that way. Black boys raised at the top, however, are more likely to become poor than to stay wealthy in their own adult households.

Best shareables

Weekly Roundup, Sunday Aug 25, 2019

Helpful for back to school…

Trauma handout for teachers

2/3 of kids with RAD are first misdiagnosed with ADHD
Kids with developmental trauma may have attention deficits and other symptoms of ADHD: inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsivity. However, the ADHD diagnosis doesn’t correctly point to the cause of those symptoms – the trauma. 

Popular posts…

What it’s like to be the sibling of a child with RAD
In their own words, how siblings are affected by children with attachment disorders and what parents can do to help.

…Why you should be aware of your family history from @guardianng
These are just some of the reasons therapists inquire about family history. Mental and physical health is affected by many things and the situation that one is exposed to have a significant impact on adulthood.

Staying Calm During a Tantrum from @Foster2Forever
I don’t know about you, but sometimes my child can certainly push my buttons, and can trigger me into my own “mommy meltdown.”

How to Explain Adoption Dissolution to Adopted Kids from @creatingafamily
How do we explain an adoption dissolution to adopted kids without making them feel like they do could be given away? If you ever face this challenge here’s some helpful advice.

The Special Needs of Adopted Children
Whether you are religious or not, this list from Sherrie Eldridge is a powerful tool. She’s included Bible verses for those who would like them.

The Dismantling of a Non-Profit – A Bird’s Eye View of Traumatized Adoptive Family Systems from @followmarykalbach
Therapeutic parents are walking wounded with wounds that nobody sees except those also walking the same path. Many of us can’t do this anymore. We have no resiliency…

4 Questions to Ask When Early Childhood Trauma Causes Behavior Issues via @Foster2Forever
Recently, my child wanted me to buy him sunflower seeds after baseball practice. I knew he needed to eat a good meal so I just wanted to get him home for dinner. As the situation escalated, I tried to reason with my child, but he was becoming more irritated…

Recommended books of the week…

In the news…

What Happens When The Adopted Kids Of Anti-Gay Parents Come Out? via @BuzzFeed
Evangelical Christians are the religious group most likely to adopt but are also most likely to oppose homosexuality, which can make life complicated for gay adopted kids.

Adopted son, 22, of ex-NFL lineman Barry Bennett is charged with shooting dead his parents via @dailymail
Authorities say the Bennetts were found shot and alleged that the couple’s adopted son had expressed thoughts of killing them in December, while lodged at a mental health facility.  

Best shareables…

Weekly Roundup, Sunday Aug 18, 2019

Popular posts…

Tips to work with your child’s school (includes free teacher handout) from @RaisingDevon
Here’s tips to work with your child’s school and a pdf handout for teachers.

When They Judge Us, They Show Their Weakness — Not Ours from @additudemag
“When someone judges your parenting or your child, don’t engage — don’t respond to it and, most importantly, remember that it’s not about you or your child. It’s about somebody who has a need to make themselves feel morally superior to you, even for a brief second.”

How the “System” Nearly Turned My Son into a Sociopath from adoptingfaithafathersunconditionallove.org
Young adults who commit heinous crimes weren’t always evil. Once upon a time, they were innocent children – like my oldest son.

We have to get serious about child-on-adoptive-parent violence from @CommunityCarePage
Too many adoptive parents experience aggression from the traumatised children they raise. Peter McParlin, who has experienced it first-hand, argues that it is time for change.

College $$$ for foster care alumni from @RaisingDevon
Sadly, only 3% of foster care alumni will earn a bachelor’s degree compared to 60% of the general population.Many states now offer full tuition exemption to state and community college for kids who spent anytime in foster care including adopted foster children. Here’s a state-by-state list.

Team Sports May Help Children Deal With Trauma from @NewYorkTimes
Training, working hard and learning to win and lose help children develop resilience, experts say.

10 Reasons for Adoptive Parents to Be in Child’s Therapy Session from @creatingafamily
Commonly, most therapists meet with the parents alone, and then work with the child alone with a short time for both parties together. While this practice is commonplace, it is not optimal for adoptive or foster families.

In the news…

The connection between trauma and addiction from @carrierclinic
Researchers have been studying the connection between trauma and addiction in order to understand why so many drug and alcohol abusers have histories of traumatic experiences. Data indicates that a child who experiences four or more traumatic events is five times more likely to become an alcoholic, 60% more likely to become obese, and up to 46 times more likely to become an injection-drug user than the general population. 

Study finds psychiatric diagnosis to be ‘scientifically meaningless’ from @neurosciencenews
A new study, published in Psychiatry Research, has concluded that psychiatric diagnoses are scientifically worthless as tools to identify discrete mental health disorders.

Labor Dept rules IEP meetings a valid reason for family and medical leave from @EducationDive
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued an opinion letter stating parents and guardians are allowed to use the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) intermittently to attend Individual Education Program (IEP) meetings with teachers, school administrators and others involved in planning education services for children with special needs.

In a split-second, a CMPD officer shot my husband and saved my life my oped from @WBTVNews3
By vilifying officers who act in good faith we are promoting a defensive police culture that could easily cost someone their lives. It very well could have cost me mine.

Parents sue Centennial adoption agency claiming they weren’t informed of Chinese son’s sexual-abuse issues from @denverpost
Adopted child raped younger adoptive kids, lawsuit claims

Best shareables…

Book Review: The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself

If your child has attachment issues, The Boy who Build a Wall Around Himself is the perfect book to cuddle up with. This lovely story by Ali Redford, an adoptive parent, gently describes the emotional wall some children build to protect themselves and keep safe after experiencing early childhood trauma. On one side of this “wall” is the caregiver, and on the other side the child.

The beautiful illustrations in this book will help even young children begin to reflect on how this “wall” is negatively affecting their lives, by keeping them from getting support and having fun with people who care for them.

This book will not only be thought provoking for children, but also paradigm shifting for caregivers. It’s a gentle reminder that our children’s behaviors are deeply rooted in trauma. Their unwillingness to attach to us is out of fear and the need to control everything around them because they view the world as an unsafe and uncaring place.

When I read this book I thought of my daughter Kayla. We adopted her out of foster care at the age of three and she’d been neglected. The she came to us, she spent hours screaming and could never get enough to eat. No doubt her needs had not been met up to that point and she was desperately trying to survive. She’s healed over the years, but the scars of early childhood trauma are forever etched on her core.

Kayla is now 15, but still my sweet baby girl. So I recently read her The Boy who Build a Wall Around Himself substituting “girl” for the word “boy.” It was a truly touching moment for us even though she’s a teenager and it’s a picture book. Always keep in mind that for traumatized kids, connecting at an earlier emotional level can be a powerful way to rebuild those connections they may have missed.

If you pick up this book and read it with your child please be sure to come back and share about the experience in the comments. I’m looking forward to hearing about your beautiful moments.

How kids in “typical” biological families grow up with attachment issues

Adults who grew up in so-called “typical” families—the families we pay no or little attention to because it looks “normal”, okay, or good-enough—can struggle too. In this post from IACD Robert W. McBride, LCSW, MSW offers insight into the experiences that may cause attachment issues in children who are not foster kids and not adopted.

Phil the Farmboy
Phil was raised in a small mid-western town where his father operated several grain silos and mom was a teacher. Phil described his family as stereotypical—a happy, church-going, farmland family—dad, mom, daughter, and son. He described himself as mostly shy, afraid, unhappy, and somewhat angry as a child. When Phil was eight-years-old, his father began to take him to work at the silos after he got out of school. He picked up the dead rats, swept out the train cars, and cleaned the elevators. By the time he got home, his mouth and nostrils were red and raw, his throat was constricted and scratchy, and his eyes were swollen nearly shut from the dust…read the full story here.

Beth the Big Sister/Mother
Beth grew up in a large western city. She did not know who her father was and her mother had been addicted to drugs until Beth was fifteen-years-old. She had four siblings by four different men. Beth raised her siblings—bathed, fed, dressed them, did the laundry, and many other caregiver roles from a very early age. As a child, she was afraid someone in authority would find out her mother was an addict and party girl and break up the family…read the full story here.