Mental health

FASD: It's not just the brain

Source: 
Focus on Adoption Magazine

New research reveals that prenatal alcohol exposure impacts the entire body, not just the brain.

A whole-body disorder

For the past several decades, the widely held assumption in the field of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) research has been that a fetus’s brain is by far more vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol exposure than any other part of its developing body.

Be ready to support LGBTQ youth

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For many youth, foster and adoptive homes can be safe places for care and support when the biological family does not provide appropriate care. Unfortunately, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth are placed in foster homes where their caretakers do not understand or accept these youth because of their gender or sexual orientation.

Calm your nervous system

Source: 
Focus on Adoption Magazine

Nicole Gfeller is a counsellor, an art therapist, and an adoptee. For as long as she can remember, she struggled with an overactive nervous system. She’s not alone: regulating the nervous system is a major challenge for many adoptees. In this article, she helps adoptees understand this challenge so they can develop healthy, fulfilling, and happy lives.

Shame and the adopted child

Source: 
Focus on Adoption Magazine

Catherine is the co-founder of the non-profit organization We Are Adopted/Adoptees Association. In this article she draws on her personal experience as an adoptee and an adoptive mother as well as her professional experience as a registered clinical counsellor to explain why shame and adoption are so intertwined.

Early adversity and mental health

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

This article was originally published on the Adoption Council of Ontario’s blog for Bell Let’s Talk day (a social media campaign that encourages Canadians to talk openly about mental health). We were inspired by Kathy’s insight into the connection between early trauma and mental illness in adoptees, and by her ideas on how to help hurt kids heal.

Trauma matters

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Advice from a counsellor on how to recognize and help wounded children and youth.

Trauma: adoption’s shadow

Many children and youth who are adopted have been exposed to highly stressful situations and traumatic events; however, the resulting special needs these children can experience aren’t always recognized or supported. It’s vital for caregivers and professionals to learn the signs and symptoms of trauma as they present in children and youth, and to know how to find and access age-appropriate trauma-informed care.

Attachment: take it outside!

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

There’s no better time than the present for adoptive families to get reacquainted with Mother Nature. Angela Krueger, an Ontario PRIDE trainer, parent facilitator, freeelance writer, and adoptive mom, explains how getting outside can facilitate attachment for adoptive families, and shares practical tips to help you make it happen.

Take a walk

“Again?” my preteen asks, rolling her eyes, when I say it’s time for a walk around the block.

Diary of an adoptive mom #8

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the eight of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. After a couple of months having the children home, our mom finally admits she's overwhelmed and needs help.

No, I am not writing this from the psych ward. However, there are times when that is a definite possibility. Although things have improved since April, there is still such a long way to go.

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