–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD “It’s just me.” That’s what I used to think about my behavior, including when I myself was a student. Then I began to learn. My growing understanding of the effects of trauma on children and how they learn has come from several sources. In addition to my own experiences as a traumatized child and later as a teacher educator, I have been researching trauma-sensitive schools while watching a series of webinars
–by Lorraine Fuller So, you survived Christmas! Yay! I am happy for you. I don’t know how much chocolate, or bread, or caffeine, or alcohol it took, but you survived. Soon the kids will be back to school. So let’s take a moment, even if you don’t want to hear it, to talk about next year and how we can make it better. I’ve been talking to a bunch of moms about how they handle
–by Donald Craig Peterson I wish, I wish, I wish…I wish I hadn’t adopted. There I said it. Like a majority of families who’ve adopted children, I wasn’t mentally prepared for the surprises. You know, the chaos inside Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The manipulation and triangulation inherent to attachment disorders. The invisible insanity associated with developmental trauma. Sure, I expected some challenges along the way. After all, adoption isn’t a fairy tale. But when the bad
–by Sara Borgstede [originally published on the author’s blog, The Holy Mess, December 6, 2015] If you are a parent or a caregiver of a child with special needs, you know that the holidays are not always fun and joyous. Using my experience of many years of parenting children with special needs, plus help from a friend of mine, Riverbird, we have put together a guide with tips to help kids with special needs celebrate holidays. As
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD It was inexplicable. I was a twenty-seven-year-old wife and mother of an infant, and I had just left the family gathering and thrown myself on the floor kicking and screaming. My husband was standing over me with a compassionate but perplexed look on his face. I now understand exactly what happened. In that moment, I was not an adult. I was one of my child selves and that self felt betrayed. At
–by Sara Borgstede [originally published on the author’s own blog, The Holy Mess, on October 7, 2017] No one gives birth or adopts a child with the hope that he or she will need residential treatment someday. Coming to the conclusion that your child needs care in a facility is an incredibly difficult, painful process for any parent. These decisions are not made lightly. Yet, for many children there comes a time that more care
–by Lorraine Fuller It’s a feeling special needs parents know all too well. My most recent experience happened on a cruise ship, on a vacation with extended family. One evening, I couldn’t sleep. My son had gone to a teen party and everyone else had gone to bed early or was off doing something else. I went walking and decided to get a slice of pizza – 24-hour pizza is one of the perks of
–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 Lorraine Fuller Back-to-school time involves mixed feelings for so many of us trauma moms. We might look forward to the respite it provides. I am a stay-at-home mom and while I love my kids, I enjoy the much-needed break at the end of a long summer. The routine my child thrives on is easier for me to keep up with during school. Plus being able to grocery shop without my son stealing is nice.
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD Every adult knows that there are triggers in life. We often know each other’s triggers, and in toxic relationships, we talk about how we push each other’s buttons. We know those buttons exist, but we often don’t remember how they got there. It is even harder for children, who are not yet developmentally capable of identifying the trigger. Most difficult of all, for children and adults alike, is that triggers and