|Family Helper > Post-adoption > Attachment and the Adopted Child|
By Robin Hilborn
Graefe / Attachment: a core issue
Smart / Four stages in the attachment cycle
Bayless / Behaviour of the unattached child
ADSR / Causes and symptoms
Bayless / Needs of the child
Flanders / "Dear teacher: I'm not a bad parent"
Becker-Weidman / Activities to help attachment
Gray / Encourage a strong bond
Hopkins-Best / Attachment and toddler adoption
Webb / Theraplay for a healthy parent-child relationship
Trenberth / Three comforts for the afflicted
Smart / When it becomes too much to handle |
Smart / PTSD in parents
Gallant / How I became a Therapeutic Mom
Smart / Couples need strength
Combs / Challenge to your marriage
McCreight / Ten ways to survive the tough times
Kupecky / Do sibling rights trump attachment?
Lametti / Review, "A Child's Journey Through Placement"
NAIC / How to find a good adoption therapist
Hilborn / Attachment Resources
Where to go for help? Robin includes a helpful guide on "How to find a good adoption therapist" and a list of attachment therapists in Canada and the U.S.
As Jennifer said in 1998, "With professional counselling, assistance in becoming a 'therapeutic parent' and ongoing support, you have every reason to be hopeful for positive and lasting change in your child's behaviour. Then your family life will become much more enjoyable again, as it was meant to be."
See below for an excerpt from Attachment and the Adopted Child. To order, fill in this form and send with your cheque to: 220 Summerhill Rd., Southampton, Ont. N0H 2L0 Canada.
|Please send me one copy of Attachment and the Adopted Child (#48).||
I enclose a $12 cheque to "Robin Hilborn".|
Attachment and the Adopted Child (#48) is also available at a discount ($9) when you order four or more titles from the Family Helper series. See the form at Family Helper, and choose the editions you'd like to order.
Children who are adopted after the age of 6 months or so are at risk for attachment problems. Normal attachment develops during the child's first two years of life. Problems with the parent-child relationship during that time, or breaks in the consistent caregiver-child relationship, prevent normal attachment. The severity of attachment disorder seems to depend on the number of breaks in the bonding cycle and the extent of the child's emotional vulnerability.
Emotional vulnerability can be affected by such factors as: genetic factors; prenatal development including maternal drinking and drug abuse; pre-natal nutrition and stress; Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; temperament; and birth parent history of mental illness (schizophrenia, manic depressive illness, etc.). One thing is certain: if an infant's needs are not met consistently in a loving, nurturing way, attachment will not occur normally.
Touching, rocking, eye contact, movement and physical closeness all will facilitate developmental attachment. Any activity that encourages reciprocity (such as pat-a-cake) and emotional attunement is helpful.
1. Peek-a-boo with hands, blanket, hood of jacket, from behind a door.
2. This little piggy went to market with fingers or toes.
3. Comb the child's hair facing each other while commenting on color, texture, shape, and form.
4. Washing child's face, bathing child.
5. Lullaby singing. Cradle your child so that eye contact is maintained while you gently rock child and sing. Be sure to put child's name and descriptions of the child's features into the song whenever possible.
6. Push that Button. Gently press on the child's nose, ear, finger, toe, chin, etc. and make a noise such as "honk", "beep", or "toot." Then have child copy your actions.
7. Blow raspberries on child's arm, leg, belly, cheek.
8. "Pop" cheeks. Fill your mouth with air and gently guide your child's hands to your cheeks to pop out the air and make a sound. Then do the same to the child.
9. Singing and rhyming couple with movement. Bouncing, dancing, rocking, moving arms or legs, fingers, etc. Simon Says games.
10. Rubbing lotion onto child's hands, feet, arms, or legs.
11. Playing with clay or shaving cream together to make shapes.
12. Tower of hands: alternate hands and then move bottom hand to top of pile.
Dr. Art Becker-Weidman, CSW-R, PhD, DABPS is director of Center for Family Development in Williamsville NY, www.center4familydevelop.com. He may be reached at AWeidman@AWeidman.cnc.net.
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Updated Apr 13, 2009
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