Have you seen those funny memes that use photos to demonstrate the difference between how we might expect an activity or career to look and the reality? I have laughed at many. When we adopt, however, I think the contrast …

Expectation vs. Reality Read more »

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. …

A New Phase, Part II: Moving On Read more »

I have moved into a new phase in life, especially my parenting life. My last child has moved out of the house. Another child visited for the summer, so we didn’t experience a true empty nest immediately. Yet it is …

A New Phase in Life–Part I Read more »

[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 …

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

Dear educator, Here we are, the last of my three letters about childhood trauma. I appreciate you taking the time to read what I have to say. Here are my last pieces of trauma-sensitive teacher advice. Kids with trauma need …

Dear Educator, Part III Read more »

Dear educator, In my first letter, I shared some things I didn’t know about kids with trauma. In this installment, I would like to share what some of what I have learned. Kids with trauma are just trying to survive …

Dear Educator, Part II Read more »

I am sitting on airplane headed back home to my real life. I have been at a retreat/conference with a hundred moms of kids from hard places. We had classes and support groups…and chocolate and hot tub time. We did …

Creating Connections, Finding Support Read more »

When I talk about BRAVE: A Personal Story of Healing Childhood Trauma, I sense assumptions from the outset. They are understandable  – after all, the title says it’s about childhood trauma, right? Yet at the same time, I want to …

BRAVE: What I Chose to Tell Read more »

–by Susan M. Ward, LPC In April, ATN blogger Lorraine Fuller wrote a powerful post about what she would like therapists to know. I, like many ATN readers, knew exactly what she meant. Not all therapists are equipped to handle …

What Therapists Want Parents to Know Read more »

[warning – this post briefly references an act of sexual assault] In her response to BRAVE: A Personal Story of Healing Childhood Trauma, Laura Dennis, ATN blog manager, asked me to address the following: “There are (at least) 2 kinds …

Two Kinds of Brave Read more »