Special needs

Parenting special needs kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Most parents shy away from adopting children with special needs. Here we meet parents who actually want to.

When I interviewed Carrie Hohnstein, mom of 11 children, I probed for quotes that might offer hints of the constant drama and stress that I assumed was an inevitable feature of her life.

There were slim pickings. Carrie just isn’t a dramatic person. She’s calm, thoughtful, and unflappable—qualities which are probably central to her success as a parent in a large family.

Finally on the way to forever

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Maya and John Benson adopted a sibling group almost three years ago. Despite careful preparation, and being experienced foster parents, the couple were soon devastated by the behaviours of their traumatized children—especially their oldest son. Being a forever family quickly seemed an impossible fantasy.

Some parents who have adopted older kids or sibling groups will understand what I'm going to say next; others will think I'm an awful parent.

Solutions in strengths

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Taking a child's strengths as the starting point to solving their problems, and involving family and community, can work wonders.

Chris Mundy sees his job as a combination of detective and anthropologist. After our interview, it’s easy to see why.

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #27

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the 27th of our series, our mom of three kids, Emily, Grant and Lynn, feels isolated and different from the other moms waiting in the schoolyard for their kids. Then she spots her youngest daughter, Lynn, who has been standing completely still, all alone in the busy playground.

I just don’t fit in with any of the mom groups that surround the playground after school. I really have nothing to contribute to their labour pain and episiotomy stories.

Clever communication with kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Children, especially those who are under stress or who have a learning disability, can easily feel overwhelmed by the amount of language being thrown in their direction, or by their inability to process what is being said. Here are some tips on how to reduce your child’s frustration, and increase your success.

Don’t Talk Too Much!

The language of hurt kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Psychologists have given us a concept of non-verbal communication that makes an incredible amount of sense in the context of adoption—it is called inducement.

Those of us who live or work with adopted children need to understand that inducement is the language of the abandoned. Inducement is the most important conceptual tool we have to understand why children act the way they do.

The Basics on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Source: 
Special Needs Database

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.

Are you up to parenting a child with FASD?

Source: 
AFABC Supplement: FASD and Adoption

When I met Susan Bell* in her large, Surrey home, I was immediately struck by how ordered and tidy it seemed, especially considering it’s home to several teens. I had pictured a far more hectic, cluttered place.

Susan ushered me into her equally immaculate office, and we spoke for two hours about parenting kids with FASD. Susan, an adoptive parent, is direct, honest, and she doesn’t sugar-coat any aspect of this complicated issue.

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