All children and adolescents experience stressful events which can affect them both emotionally and physically. Their reactions to stress are usually brief, and they recover without further problems. A child or adolescent who experiences a catastrophic event, or events that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror, may develop ongoing difficulties known as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The stressful or traumatic event involves a situation in which someone’s life has been threatened or severe injury has occurred.
When Tracy and Scott Hill adopted two older children, realizing that it’s not always easy for kids to make the adjustment to a new family, they decided to let the girls take the lead in what they should call their new parents. It took a while, but eventually those magical words “Mom” and “Dad”—that so many parents take for granted—started to come naturally. Here’s their story.
I recently found my seven-year-old African-Canadian daughter scrubbing her skin with a nail brush. She told me she wanted to be white like me. We have read books that portray people from other races in a positive light, and I have always talked very positively about her colour. She also has black friends at school. I am upset by her desire to change colour and I am not sure how to deal with this. Can you advise me?
Five years ago Sophie Perkins* was an empty nester in her fifites with a busy career. She had no idea that she was soon to become a full-time mother again.
Though Sophie knew that her daughter-in-law and son weren’t parenting their children adequately, as she lived some distance from the family, she didn’t have a full grasp of the situation. Her son and daughter-in-law made great efforts to appear as though they lived relatively "normal" lives.
"Are we scaring you?" the facilitator asked me in a very concerned voice.
"Not at all," I lied.
My husband and I had recently brought home a sibling group of two, both of whom had been prentally exposed to alcohol and drugs. Despite all the reading and education we had done in advance, nothing prepared me for the reality of an FASD support group meeting.
Many of the parents were over 50 and most had adopted their kids when very little was known about FASD; some were parenting grandchildren who had been diagnosed with FASD.
Like new biological parents, some adoptive parents can become blue or even experience some depression once a baby or child comes home. This can occur for several reasons. It's nothing to be ashamed about, but you do need to recognize it and get some help.
I remember walking down the streets of East Vancouver pushing my newborn baby’s stroller and sobbing. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, trying to care for a baby—something I knew precious little about—and from loneliness. I felt that I had thrown away my season ticket to freedom, and I longed to go back to my previous life.
From the beginning, Sean Simpson* knew that the adoption of his two children aged three and five would not be easy. Both children had experienced dreadful neglect and physical and sexual abuse from their birth parents.
This information applies to any individual who is functionally dependent on others in some specific areas, and who does not learn from correction, or who does not “get” why people are distressed with their behavior.
Parents, teachers and support persons of individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) are sometimes faced with episodes of extreme behavior. The first instinct we all follow is to use “common sense” methods for controlling the disruptive behavior of any child.
Renee Friedman attended the 2003 NACAC workshop presented by Ronald Frederici and Lisa Locke on “The Neuro-developmental and Attachment Related Disorders.” Here’s what she learned.
Despite its lofty title this workshop proved informative. Dr Frederici, an adoptive parent and ex-worker at an international orphanage, made the assertion that if a child has been institutionalized for two years or more, it is probable that he or she will display neuro-cognitive deficits. In other words, the child’s brain will have developed differently than if trauma had not occurred.
There are a variety of techniques you can employ to help your child and your family cope with attention deficit disorder(ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD). Medication is helpful in many cases, but there are techniques that can help your child learn how to better manage his behaviour.