Trauma

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Childhood trauma in the classroom 10 things teachers need to know

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For children who have experienced trauma, learning can be a big struggle. Here’s how to help them.

With grief, sadness is obvious. With trauma, the symptoms can go largely unrecognized because it shows up looking like other problems: frustration, acting out, or difficulty concentrating, following directions or working in a group. Often students are misdiagnosed with anxiety, behavior disorders or attention disorders, rather than understanding the trauma that’s driving those symptoms and reactions.

Not perfect, just present: Everyday trauma-informed parenting

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In our summer issue, we explored how difficult but important it is to share our not-so-perfect moments. In this piece, Caroline shares one of hers. We hope it encourages you.

“Mom, when did Mamoo see me for the first time?” My child asked this question completely out of the blue. (By the way, Mamoo is my mom.)

I turned to my child and explained that Mamoo came the very next day after my child arrived at our home.

“Did she hold me like this? How did I act to her? Show me how I was held.”

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.

Open hearts, open wounds

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My daughter Libby was born as I held her birth mother Carla’s hand, breathing with her through the agony of labour. When her daughter drew her first breath, Carla looked at me and said, “Congratulations on your new baby.” Then she asked me to cut the umbilical cord.

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.

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