By: Julie Beem

When she looked at me, her eyes were filling with tears. She had just heard me say, and expound upon, the idea of reviewing your therapeutic parenting responses at the end of the day to see where you had done well and where things had not gone so well. “Just like professional athletes,” I advised, “we need to review those game tapes every day, learning from what worked and what didn’t.”

By: Gari Lister

My post last week was scary and sad for some of you, but please do not confuse heartbreak with a lack of hope. I have a huge amount of hope for our kids, and for the progress that we are making in helping them. For every child like my Katya, there are many, many more children who can and who do heal. My youngest, in fact, is a poster child for healing – at 10, she is perhaps a little odd, and she is certainly a little quiet. But she has an amazing sense of humor, she loves to ice skate and take ballet and she can talk my ear off when she wants to – a far cry from the little girl who screamed for hours every night when we brought her home and from the 5 year old who didn’t and wouldn’t talk. Now, yes, we haven’t lived through her teenage years, so perhaps there are crises yet to come.

By: Gari Lister

Our oldest daughter, Katya, has been gone nearly two months. She packed the car with everything she could find, changed her phone number, blocked us on facebook, and disappeared into the urban Dallas wilds. In many ways, our life is back to normal, and I have adjusted to my new status. Only a few weeks ago, I couldn’t stop myself from pulling away from the little girls in subtle ways. I finally realized I was petrified they too would throw me away, walking away without a backward glance. I’m mostly now able to accept the risk.

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.

By: Marc Deprey

Father and SonWell, here it is, the moment I’ve been thinking about. How to start my contribution to ATN’s new blog? I could write about the experience of parenting two kids, eleven months apart with Developmental Trauma Disorder and the whole whack-a-mole nature of that day-to-day experience. I could write about the fact that I can only take time to write this when my kids are asleep and I’m exhausted, or the idea that being around them wears me down to the core (and that I can’t imagine I’ll have any core left sometime soon).

By: Anna Paravano

I’m going to be completely honest here. Whenever I go to a presentation, participate in a discussion group, or talk to a psych, and someone says, “Remember, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you put it on your child,” I just feel like decking them. In truth, my first thought is, “Do you even have kids?!?!” and then I want to deck them.

By: Julie Beem

Every Monday my daughter (let’s call her LuLu) goes to a social skills class. Most of the children are on the autism spectrum and that seems to work fine for her, even though I truly believe her developmental issues are trauma-related and not true autism (or at least not entirely autism-related). It’s a nice bit of downtime for me, given that she’s in virtual school and I’m her daily learning coach. Chatting with the other mothers is my own social break. One of the mothers recently revealed that her daughter was also adopted and did it in the context of exploring why she acted the way she did. We’ve since discussed ways that her daughter’s autism diagnosis doesn’t quite “fit” some behaviors and maybe there was something more there. (Yes, I believe there is – early childhood trauma.)