By: Julie Beem

There’s a lot of talk about resilience being the antidote to trauma. Lots of workshops, books, and training programs talk about building resilience in kids as a way to counteract the impact of trauma in their lives. On the surface all this seems to make sense, but it’s always puzzled me. What did people mean by resilience, and why does it appear that my child has none, even after years of parenting her?

ATN is delighted to include another post from Carol Lozier. Carol, a member of ATN’s Board of Directors, is a clinical social worker in private practice in Louisville, Kentucky. Her website, www.forever-families.com, offers a blog, free downloadable tools for families, an excerpt of her book, and a supportive community of adoptive and foster parents.

By: Carol Lozier

Have you ever noticed that adopted and foster kids are especially cute? Their beautiful eyes, cute noses, and charming smiles often call attention to them and to their family. In the midst of this attention, adoptive and foster parents often hear remarks of how their parenting could be more effective, or possibly that they are expecting too much or too little from their child. Understandably, parents are caught off guard as they are hit with a critical comment, and sometimes are not sure how to address them.
I wrote the following letter, found on page 63 of The Adoptive & Foster Parent Guide, to help families express their needs and requests to their family, friends, church, after school caregivers, teachers, physicians, and others. Parents, please copy and use this letter; share it with your adoptive and fostering friends. Send the letter to any person(s) in your life who may gain a new understanding of how to help you and your family.

By: Julie Beem
Many of the parents who contact ATN have children with multiple diagnoses and we’re frequently puzzled about which ones are the “right” ones. I’m included in that group. My child has an alphabet soup of diagnoses, including autism spectrum and ADHD/OCD/Tourettes (aggravated by her trauma.) Fortunately for us, we had professionals who also recognized the RAD, PTSD, DTD components and pointed us in the right directions for treatment of those. Yet, her developmental and processing struggles continue.

By: Julie Beem

My child has __________________ (pick one or several: Bipolar, ADHD, autism, ODD, anxiety, executive functioning problems). When parents of traumatized children turn to professionals for diagnoses and treatment, coming away with at RAD or Developmental Trauma Disorder diagnosis isn’t a sure thing. If I had a dollar for every time a parent told me, “but my child has only been diagnosed with ADHD,” I could fund ATN’s activities well into the next decade. Nearly every child I’ve met with attachment or trauma problems carries an ADD or ADHD diagnosis. Don’t misunderstand me, children can have both attachment & trauma problems and ADHD. But do they always co-exist? No

By: Julie Beem

“You don’t want her labeled for life.” This sentence is usually spoken by your child’s grandparent (out of sheer concern for you and your family) or by a school official (who may be trying to block access to special education services). Either way, crossing the threshold into “labeling” your child is a difficult thing for many.

By: Jane Samuel

Last week I took our middle daughter out of town for four days to attend her close friend’s confirmation – in another country. Despite all her healing I still worried this trip would be too hard on our youngest – now ten-years-old and adopted at one. Luckily for her – and I – she was naïve as to how far away I would be (a long plane flight) and only knew I would be back in “four sleeps.”

By: Julie Beem

It’s nearly Mother’s Day. And thanks to retailers, schools, churches, we hear the message of “celebrating your mom” broadcasted from the rooftops. In a normal world, this would be a great thing. Motherhood is truly one of the highest callings. But what about children for whom their first relationship with a mother didn’t go well, didn’t last, produced trauma?

By: Marc Deprey

I’m not sure this is some great revelation, but this idea came to me this morning and it put a lot into perspective for me. We all know as adults (or at least I hope we all do) that we can’t expect the world to fit to us, that we know down deep that we need to fit the world and meet its basic requirements. That’s a fundamental truth we accept almost unconsciously and it allows us to navigate things pretty successfully overall.

By: Kathleen Benckendorf

ATN is delighted to welcome Kathleen Benckendorf as a guest voice on Touching Trauma at its Heart. Kathleen, a parent member of ATN’s Board of Directors, is a relentless researcher and seeker of answers. An engineer by education and experience, Kathleen has also trained as a bodyworker and in as many other therapeutic approaches and interventions as she has been able to convince the providers to let her attend. Her website, www.attachmentandintegrationmethods.com , describes these approaches and others.

By: Julie Beem

The argument discussion rears its head every now and then, so I wasn’t surprised to see it come up again in an online group I belong to. Someone in the group took offense over others in the group referring to their children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) as “radishes” or “radlets”. Then others in the group took offense at being “shamed” because they were just referring casually to their children. And a war of words ensued.