Like many of you, the first two years home with our daughter involved sleepless nights and restless days with a tired, hyper-aroused toddler. It was during those early years that I began my informal education in trauma and the brain, attachment disorders, positive parenting, and floor time.
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.
Can we predict which of our kids (or kids waiting to be adopted) will be able to live on their own, in whatever manner we think people should as adults?
When I talk to adoptive parents who are considering adopting from the foster care system, they often say they will only consider a child who will be able to live independently as an adult.
I think that was one of our criteria the first time we applied to adopt, too.
In part one (see: Boundaries: Keeping families safe), we talked about the need to make our expectations for behaviours explicit to children who are new to our families. We also discussed how some children, especially those from foster or institutional care, may have had multiple caregivers, all or some of whom may have been relative strangers. It is not surprising that such children may seek affection indiscriminately from adults or children they have just met.
Dr John Taylor guides us through some key strategies for teaching healthy boundaries and keeping children safe.
Boundaries are the “rules” that create safety and common understandings of accepted behaviour in our homes and families. In this article, we will look at what we mean by boundaries, examine some of our beliefs and assumptions about appropriate behaviour for children, and then learn how we can communicate these expectations to our children, in a manner that makes them feel safe and respected in the home.
“Daaaddyyy... I reddy for waaaiipe...!” My recently adopted child yelled out. “Coming!” I sang back. I look back now, years later, to those daily routines of officially being a bum wiper for my children as precious moments. They were opportunities for each of my children to know that I am dependable and committed, and that I love each one. In our adoption journey, those days of behavioural regression manifested by our adopted children were truly blessings in disguise which needed to be seized as the ticket to trust, bonding, and relationship building.
Autism is a complex developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of life, though it is sometimes diagnosed much later (it is not a mental illness). It is a life-long disability that tends to be three to four times more common in boys than girls. It affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.
The official clinical diagnosis is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) but the term Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is used as well. ADHD is a diagnosis applied to children and adults who consistently display certain characteristic behaviours over a period of time. The most common core features include:
Aspergers Syndrome (AS) is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder. It is considered a milder variant of Autistic disorder, characterized by severe and sustained impairment in social interaction, development of restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, and activities.
In BC there are a host of services to help diagnose special needs and offer support to families. This guide explains where BC families can go to get help and what to do if it isn’t forthcoming.
Infants 0 - 6
Infant Development Program