Child Abuse, Coronavirus, and Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Month Every May, advocacy organizations such as Mental Health America come together to raise awareness around needs related to mental health. These needs have increased during the coronavirus pandemic. Now that we have entered the month of June, we should reflect on the lessons learned during Mental Health Awareness Month so we […]

When My Son Cries for His Birth Mom

Silhouette of a young boy

My son’s behavior has been improving. It’s really quite incredible when I think about the progress he has made in such a short amount of time. There has been no hitting. No biting. No long-lasting rages. Very little swearing. Still. When my adopted child cries for his birth mom, my heart breaks. He’s constantly agitated, like […]

5 Enlightened Ways to Think About Mental Health

drawing of a brain lifting a barbell and sweating

Mental health problems should be thought of no differently than physical health problems. In fact, they are related: mental health problems affect physical health and physical health problems affect mental health.

A New Phase, Part II: Moving On

red dolly with cardboard boxes

Last week on the blog, I told you a little about what life was like with my son with complex early trauma. I talked about the lying, the stealing, the fear, the things we did to protect ourselves and him. And I told you that once he turned 18, he outright rejected what he’d always […]

Paying Attention: The Most Exhausting Part of Parenting with ACEs!

Mother and Child

[Original version published at ACEs Too High, May 26, 2016] Self-care? What’s that? I used to sneak away for a hot bath as often as possible when my daughter was in the need-me-every-minute years. I’d soak long past when the water went cold and I felt guilty at times but sometimes I needed to be alone. […]

Some Thoughts on Oprah

Some Thoughts on Oprah

–by Laura Dennis Yes, I’m talking about that Oprah. Specifically, her 60 Minutes segment and online followup about childhood trauma. I’m not especially given to following celebrities, not even when they support causes I believe in. But last night, I was glued first to my TV, then my computer screen. This time a celebrity was speaking straight into […]

I Wish I Hadn’t Adopted

–by Donald Craig Peterson I wish, I wish, I wish…I wish I hadn’t adopted. There I said it. Like a majority of families who’ve adopted children, I wasn’t mentally prepared for the surprises. You know, the chaos inside Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The manipulation and triangulation inherent to attachment disorders. The invisible insanity associated with developmental […]

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 When our children came to live with us, we recognized something wasn’t right almost immediately – they were […]

Stop the Madness – Schools Must Be Trauma Sensitive

by:  Julie Beem I knew it — from the first time this photo and story showed up in my Facebook feed.  The security officer forcefully removed a teenage girl from her math class after she had been using her cell phone — by knocking her chair to the ground.  And then I saw an interview […]

Inspiration: Taking Flight

by:  Gari Lister One of my youngest daughter’s biggest challenges is self esteem – and sadly her lack of self esteem is combined with an inability to imagine and dream. Not dream at night, but dream of an exciting future. My sweet girl can very easily imagine herself getting cancer, or epilepsy, or even cystic […]