–-by Julie Beem, ATN Executive Director Last week was just plain emotionally exhausting! As the mom of a child who experienced severe early childhood trauma, a mom who has spent the last two decades immersed in the study of what these early traumas (abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, separation from your parent) do to the developing brains of infants and toddlers, the news of what was happening at our southern border was overwhelming. I spent
–by Donald Craig Peterson [originally published on the author’s blog, Adopting Faith: A Father’s Unconditional Love, March 19, 2018] Plain and simple. Parents know their children best from years of observation and interaction. They might not used fancy terms. They might not know the latest clinical terms. But they are the experts. If someone asks. If someone doesn’t assume. If someone engages them and builds a meaningful conversation. They deserve a voice. For children with special
–by Julie Beem I knew it. As the news poured in on that Wednesday afternoon about the shooting at the Broward County high school, my heart sank, not only for the unspeakable trauma of all involved and the loss of so many lives, but for whatever had…or hadn’t…happened before to this young man we now know is named Nikolas Cruz. “I’ll bet he’s one of ours,” I said to my husband. “You’re always saying that,”
–by Laura Dennis Yes, I’m talking about that Oprah. Specifically, her 60 Minutes segment and online followup about childhood trauma. I’m not especially given to following celebrities, not even when they support causes I believe in. But last night, I was glued first to my TV, then my computer screen. This time a celebrity was speaking straight into the beating heart of my life. You see, as I write, two of my three kids are being treated for
Dear educator: My kids have been blessed with many amazing teachers. I have many friends and family in education. They put in many hours and pursue continuing education to become better. Most deal with students from a wide variety of backgrounds with varying abilities, skills, weaknesses, and experiences. It is difficult to learn about every special need, disability, trigger, culture or background that might impact the students you work with. I totally get that. I,
–by Julie Beem I’ve been to a handful of post-adoption conferences this spring and summer. After working with ATN for over a decade, I have been excited by the number of workshops and speakers addressing early childhood trauma, and in some cases citing the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study. I remember all too well the many years when trauma and attachment challenges were not openly addressed at conferences attended by adoption professionals and adoptive parents.
–by Carl Young Manager’s note: You can read more about Carl’s journey with his son at http://fightingforanswers.com/blog It’s a heart-breaking journey and an absolute must-read. Unfinished quilt tops. Loose fabric, pieced together. seams re-sewn to strengthen the final product. adjustments, another persons eye to style and color. A work in progress. I have been told, I have broad shoulders to carry the burden of David’s care. To these people I say: I am just a dad.
by: Sheilah Davidson Nearly 19 years ago, my husband and I adopted a newborn. It took us years to learn that our beautiful, funny, athletic daughter was affected by the trauma her birthmother experienced while she was pregnant. After many, many therapies and social service interventions as well as endless complaints from teachers, administrators and other parents, the heartbreak of seeing our beloved daughter fail at school after school, including a residential treatment center, we
by: Melissa Sadin At ATN we believe that early childhood trauma and attachment disruption impacts brain development. A study found that children living in an Eastern European orphanage had larger more reactive amygdalae and smaller hippocampal volume than children in the same country that had never been in an orphanage. In addition, the same researchers found that the longer a child lived in an orphanage, the greater the difference in brain development. At ATN we
by: Julie Beem The holidays are a time to focus on what we believe. Do you believe in Santa Claus? Peace on Earth? Practicing Gratitude? Family as The Most Important Thing? Well, you can believe all of these things and more, yet, if you’re a traumatized child or the family who loves a traumatized child, the holiday season can be SO VERY HARD. The joy of the season is often overshadowed by the grief of