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Ask the Expert: Occupational therapy for kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

What is occupational therapy and what qualifications do OTs need?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is the art and science of enabling individuals to participate in meaningful activities or occupations by using evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning. Occupations vary: a child’s occupation may include playing on the playground, a young adult’s occupation may include attending school or working, a mother’s occupation may include looking after the household and her children, and a retiree’s occupation may be that of a golfer or grandparent.

Extreme parenting: Goals, behaviours, and... ducks?

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

So far in this column I’ve talked quite a bit about my second son, Ethan. I’d like to give you a little bit more background information about him so you can better understand where I’m coming from. First of all, you should know that Ethan is very bright and has a great sense of humour. He has his own brand of wisdom, which lives just under the surface of his impulsive little boy exterior.

Ethan did a ton of work with counsellors and therapists prior to coming into our family. He has “feeling language” down to an art and truly tries to move and heal his troubled soul.

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #16

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the sixteenth of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids: Emily and her new siblings, Grant and Lynn. This time, a camping trip tests Diary Mom’s patience, and she prepares for a new school year.

It’s been a hectic summer, and I have to admit some of our activities were just a tad on the crazy side.

One mom's method

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Every September, I speak to my daughters’ teachers about adoption. I always bring a copy of AFABC’s “Positive Adoption Language” with me, and I set privacy boundaries for the teachers around publicly discussing our daughters’ circumstances. This visit also gives me an opportunity to find out about any family-related assignments that might impact the girls. I’m careful to point out to teachers that the adoption language sheet will help them when discussing family circumstances with same-sex families, single-parent families, and separated, divorced or blended families.

From Haiti to here

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A timeline of one youth’s life from adoption, through foster care, and into independence, as told to Mary Caros.

Author’s note: This account started out as an interview with a youth as a way to allow her to give voice to her life experience. There is more to this story—and more to all of our life histories— than one person’s subjective experience. Our recollection of life events are often affected by the time and space in which we remember them. This young woman may tell her story quite differently five years from now.

Teaching trauma in the classroom

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

It's not about "good" or "bad"

Children are vulnerable. In an optimal environment, they experience this vulnerability later in life when their minds and  nervous systems are equipped to handle elevated levels of fear, stress, and feeling overwhelmed. The key phrase here is “optimal environment.” Unfortunately, we live in the “real” world, so children will often find themselves in situations that are far from the optimal; the result can be childhood trauma.

An open letter to people regarding touching chocolate hair

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Dear People Who Have, or May, Come Into Contact with My Daughter,

Thank you so much for your interest in my daughter’s hair. Yes, it is beautiful, and we both appreciate your compliments. Yes, she’s very patient and has no problem sitting to have her hair done. She’s been getting her hair done since she was very small and knows of nothing else; her hair regime is a fact of life, and she doesn’t see it as the burden that you do. Nor do I.

The truth about confabulation

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Is it lying? No, it’s confabulation and there’s a big difference!

Time and time again we hear from adoptive parents that one of the hardest behaviours to take is children lying to them. They experience the lie as a personal affront, a show of disrespect, and a harbinger of anti-social behaviour to come. There are many reasons why adopted children may lie, ranging from the fight or flight reflex, fear of rejection or punishment, to delayed development. It is not uncommon, nor is it usually something to be alarmed about.

Learning disability

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
A learning disability (LD) is a disorder that affects people's ability to either interpret what they see and hear, or to link information from different parts of the brain. These limitations can show up in many ways, as specific difficulties with spoken and written language, coordination, self-control, or attention. LD can be a lifelong condition that, in some cases, affects many parts of a person's life: school or work, daily routines, family life, and sometimes even friendships and play.

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