Adoptive parent and therapist, Brenda McCreight, wrote this letter for parents to give to teachers. Download a longer version, which includes website recommendations for teachers, at www.adoptioncounselor.com.
Learning disabilities expert Dr Richard Lavoie knows the secrets of school. Here's a summary of some of his ideas.
Lavoie identifies four groups of kids at school:
Growing up you see your parents' "mistakes" in raising you, and you swear never to be like them. Then you become a parent.
Suddenly you no longer see your parents as having made mistakes; rather, they were surviving in the forever challenging world of parenthood.
Your adoption-related questions answered
My father constantly makes negative remarks about black people in front of my African-American son. It really upsets me, but I hate confrontations. What should I do?
By looking at adoption in other places, other cultures, and other times we hope to open our minds and develop a deeper understanding of ourselves, each other, and our roles in the world of adoption. In this post we visit Japan with Sophelia, an Australian expat and adoptive mother to one Japanese son.
I have a right to feel confused.
Who wouldn’t? After all, I have two sets of parents, one of which was shrouded in mystery.
I have a right to fear abandonment and rejection.
After all I was abandoned by the one I was most intimate with.
I have the right to acknowledge pain.
After all, I lost my closest relative at the youngest age possible.
I have the right to grieve.
After all, everyone else in society acknowledges strong emotions.
I have a right to express my emotions.
After all, they have been shut down since adoption day.
Seven years old, but still just a baby
One of my father’s most ridiculous parenting lines was “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” As if children are just crying for no reason. As if their spontaneous emotional eruptions need to be stopped immediately for their own good.
My adoption story
Prior to my adoption, I lived in Tennessee with my birth mother (in utero) and then spent one year in foster care. Doctors’ assessments of my potential medical issues deterred black families from adopting me, so a white couple with experience parenting children with special needs was selected. I moved across the country to the most northwestern corner of the United States and joined what would become a family of seven adopted and biological children. All of us varied in our racial makeup, ethnic background, cultural affiliations, and physical capabilities.
Romance, a ranch, and raising kids
Like so many children, I grew up on stories of Dick and Jane and Spot. I imagined I would fall in love with Prince Charming and have perfect children and live happily ever after. My youthful adventures took me across Canada to Yukon where I met my Prince, a commercial pilot who later morphed into a rancher. Between us we had twelve siblings and naturally assumed we would have at least half a dozen children to run wild on the ranch.
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.