Mental health

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Depression in adopted teens: What families need to know

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Only 20% of depressed teens ever receive help, yet over 80% of people who are treated feel better as a result.

Parenting teenagers can often trigger your own memories of growing up and the roller coaster ride of emotions, drama, unpredictability, and the need to fit in. You may be realizing that being a teenager today is more complicated than ever due to the steady stream of social media in all its various forms.

Attention Deficit Disorder

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
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:

Attaching to Alex takes all Mom's skills

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoptive mom Carol Bolton describes how she struggled but succeeded in developing an attachment relationship with one of her newly-adopted sons.

Last year, we adopted our two sons. Though siblings, the boys had been placed in different foster homes and barely knew each other.

David, aged two, was placed five days after birth with foster parents who were very experienced and knew how to transition a child to a new family. David moved in with us first and the process went very smoothly.

Retraining the traumatized brain

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Neurofeedback is a safe and non-invasive alternative treatment for issues such as trauma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, and anxiety. Here Brenda McCreight, adoptive parent, therapist, and author, describes how it works.

Our understanding of the way the brain develops and functions has grown phenomenally in the last five years. The capacity of the brain to change in function and in structure as it adapts to new information has proven to be astounding.

In my opinion: Mentally ill youth left behind

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoptive mom says there's nowhere to turn for adoptive families with mentally ill youth. She also describes the services she'd like to see.

It’s estimated that 10 to 20% of Canadian youth have a mental illness or severe behaviour disorder.

You can bet that these youth are highly represented in the adoption population where mental health concerns are often combined with FASD, ADHD, and the brain damage caused by early abuse and neglect.

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #28

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the 28th of our series, our mom of three kids, Emily, Grant and Lynn, evaluates what she wishes she knew before adopting kids with special needs, and what she’s glad she didn’t know.

Things I wish I’d known before adopting special needs kids:

Understanding medical reports

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Thoughts on the tricky business of understanding medical reports for children available for adoption, particularly from other countries.

Dr Julia Bledsoe could be described as a medical detective—she knows when something doesn’t sound or look right, what questions to ask, and how to find the answers.

FASD - Facts and services

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The basics on FASD and some of the provincial services available to families for their kids with FASD

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is used to describe the problems resulting from alcohol use during pregnancy.

Siblings with FASD

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

An honest account of the fun and frustration involved in growing up with twin brothers who both have FASD.

When I was in kindergarten, my parents adopted two-year-old twin brothers. They brought with them a double-dose of both love and of calamity.

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