Blog Archives

Healing Trauma: Writing (or not) to Win

The Challenge

Have you ever heard of NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write 1,667 words per day for the month of November. At the end, you will have a text roughly equivalent to the draft of an entire novel. Writers who reach 50,000 words “win.” I am one of those writers.

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Kidneys vs. Brains

–by Laura Dennis
Author’s note: I was working on an entirely brand-new post for this week, but life happened. I present instead an edited version of a a post I wrote for my own blog, Les Pensées du chat noir in honor of National Attachment and Trauma Awareness Day,

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ATN Angel: Billy Kaplan

In celebration of ATN’s 2016 Angels in Adoption award, we’re profiling ATN members who have helped ATN win the award — and who have themselves been Angels to families and children.

By:  Sarah Neal and Vincent Kennebeck

Billy KaplanWhen our children came to live with us,

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ATN Angel: Donald Craig Peterson

By:  Julie Beem

Tireless.  That’s the word that comes to mind when describing Craig Peterson.  Those on Facebook know him as Donald Craig Peterson.  Craig is an author, an activist, an advocate, an advisor…but most importantly he’s a dad.  Parenting six he adopted as a single parent has been far from easy.  

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What’s in a Name? Part 3 – Misdiagnoses/Misunderstandings

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

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What’s in a Name? Part 2 – To Label or Not to Label

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.

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Getting Their Ticket Punched

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.

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April 29, 2013 — Fourteen Years

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.

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Rules . . .

By: Gari Lister

Experts advise that kids with developmental trauma need calm, stability and predictable limits. And in fact I know my youngest does better when she knows her schedule, and exactly what is expected of her. The problem is that peace, stability and a well-ordered life are not always easy to come by in a household filled with a bunch of poorly behaved dogs and cats, not to mention the children or broken appliances. For that reason, I’m always a little defensive about our organizational dynamics.

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Why Trauma Wouldn’t Let Me Attend the Trauma Conference

By: Marc Deprey

Last Sunday, my son went into a rage so severe that he assaulted me and destroyed my car’s windows and body with head-sized boulders. He was arrested and taken to Juvenile Hall. It’s the first time I’ve ever been assaulted—by anyone, let alone my own child—and this is his first arrest. My daughter, who is also afflicted with developmental trauma, has been especially reactive this week beyond her usual explosiveness and destructiveness. So the trauma I have been experiencing this week has been so severe that I got sick (my immune system is probably in full retreat) on top of it all. Yesterday, I just gave into reality and cancelled my trip to the Trauma conference.

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