12.30.09

Adoption Myths #2 – Addition – Check out this video

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:32 pm by Administrator

I wanted to add to my last post.  I watched a video by Dr. Robert Scaer – fascinating!  He says that the greatest predictor for handling trauma in a lifetime is a positive birth experience.  Maybe this is part of the answer for how two children with very similar preverbal experiences can have so different manifestations. 

Check it out for yourself:

http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com/members/rscaer.htm

Blessings towards healing!  “Perfect Love Casts Out Fear”

Adoption Myth’s #2

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:28 pm by Administrator

Adoption Myth 2:  Nature vs. Nurture, “Her personality is just….strong-willed, easy-going, temperamental (you fill in the blank).” Melissa

 

So there is the great debate of how much of our children’s behaviors are influenced by nature vs. nurture.  Are they just who they are genetically, or are they molded by their environment?  An additional question I have often pondered; how can two children come out of an orphanage with seemingly identical experiences and one have extreme behavior and another appear to have no affect?

Ok, so first my opinion, I believe (after much research) children are a combination of nature and nurture.  Is a very strong-willed child like that genetically?  Yes, I believe many times they are.  But the extreme behaviors we often see that are strong willed, are being hijacked by the brain reacting to early trauma and/or neglect.  So the child would be strong willed even if they had not had early trauma and/or neglect, but those experiences magnify that personality/behavior.  How about the flip-side of that coin?  The child that is easy-going and seemingly un-phased by their early beginnings in an orphanage is said to have survived unscathed.  Have they really?  How many times have I heard, “she plays so well by herself”, “she’s so independent”, and “she wasn’t clingy and didn’t need to be held”.  Again, this child would most likely be easy-going without their early difficult experiences, but the extreme independence is not appropriate, and also a hijacking of the brain.

Now back to the two children with identical experiences; these two children are also influenced by their genetics.  Trauma is in the eye of the beholder.  What is traumatic to one person may not be traumatic to another.  People’s brains are wired differently to handle trauma.  Some call this survival of the fittest.  So you can have two children with seemingly identical experiences and one is very affected.

Please know that ALL adopted children have experienced trauma.  Even that child who is transferred from birth mother to adoptive parents at birth experiences trauma, according to Dr. Bryan Post.  It is up to the “nature” of the individual as to how that trauma will manifest itself.

Our job as adoptive parents is to respect the trauma our children have experienced.  It does a real disservice to our children to deny it.  We must give words to it so that they can then give words to it.  Please do not mistake me, I am not saying that we should make, “everything about being adopted or coming from a difficult place”.  I often have people say this to me.  As if we are going to warp our children if we dwell on being adopted.  If you speak to adult adoptees, they thought/think about being adopted much more than their parents ever talked about it.  Many adopt adoptees wish that their parents had talked more about coming from a difficult place.

The fact of the matter is that ALL behaviors children show are normal developmental human behaviors, they just may be showing them at the wrong time or for too long.  There are no behaviors that our children show that are outside of this realm of normal.  After all we have not adopted any Martian babies (yet)!

How To Help Our Children Heal

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:10 am by Administrator

Even though a “cure” would be perfect in helping children with trauma heal, a magic pill is not to be had.  So there is a “formula” that needs to be adhered to so that they can heal.

So now for the formula. I truly feel that in order for our children to heal
there must be a four-pronged approach. So now for the four prongs (with some explanation). Our children must have:

1. Therapeutic parenting. This means we, as parents, have to figure out our
own stuff so that we can successfully bond with our children and parent them from a place of unconditional love. Most of our kids have very little in the way of emotional regulation and we must love them and give them our emotional regulation. Through helping them emotionally regulate they create new neural pathways. We as parents also have to help them fill in the developmental gaps that are missing.

2. Solid nutrition and supplementation. Most of our kids’ brains are truly “on
fire” with excitatory neurotransmitters and and solid nutrition and
supplementation (such as targeted amino acid therapy) can “calm the storm”. This in turn allows for therapeutic work to happen (gives some foundation and support). Sometimes our kiddos need special diets as well, as their histamines can be way up. Sometimes they need to be gluten free etc.

3. Therapeutic body / brain work. There are many ways to get at this, but the trauma our children have experienced have caused developmental gaps in their brains. (Imagine the brain as a pyramid of blocks, some of our kids blocks are filled in, but many of them in the lower levels of the brain are not.) So our kids need neuroreorganization work, neurofeedback, regression (although it’s not truly regression if they never got it in the first place), EMDR, massage, yoga, movement therapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom), AVE (audio visual entrainment).  There is quite a few different therapies that access the lower levels of thebrain. But, per Dr. Bruce Perry, in order for therapies to be healing they need to be rythmic. We have used a variety of techniques with our children. We are currently working through filling in developmental gaps with neurological reorganization, but we have also done EMDR, massage, yoga, and AVE. I think families have to figure out what works for them.

4. Parent Support. Parents must be supported through the healing process of
the children. This includes working with a good attachment therapist, both for the child and for yourself. Being part of an attachment support group, getting in touch with your spirituality, parent coaching, taking care of yourself (massage etc )and having a supportive group of friends. I am currently doing EMDR myself. I also have a prayer group, that I meet with bi-weekly. And I have two friends that have children that are also challenging and I can call them at a drop of a hat.

I will add that in my life, I could not walk this walk personally or professionally without a whole lot of prayer.  Prayer is what, in my darkest hours, sustains me.  I have also fervently prayed for God’s healing of my children.  I do believe that He is the ultimate healer.
This is a very reader’s digest version of many, many years of research, but take it for what it is.

Sincerely and blessings towards healing,

Melissa E. Robinson, MAT, BCI Certified Trainer
www.wholechildcoaching.com

“Perfect Love Casts Out Fear”