I'm looking for some books to suggest to my friend who has adopted a year & a half a go. She's an experienced teacher & she is really struggling with all her tried & tested techniques (naughty step, time out, reward charts etc) not working. I used to work in foster care & have suggested some stuff but I'm 10 years out of date.
Did your friend not get training, as an adopter (and possibly as a teacher) as to why none of those approaches are recommended for looked after or adopted children? I'm surprised, but perhaps I shouldn't be . They're things to be avoided, due to their tendency to trigger shame, fear of abandonment, and anxiety about being good enough. Could she ask post-adoption support for training now, or to asses her for funding for training through national adoption support fund? In the meantime Louise Bomber and Amber Elliott all the way for reading material giving insight into adjusting parenting and responding to the unmet needs being expressed through the behaviour.
I've just read Sally donovan's "No matter what" - although of the 350 pages, only about 150 are about her struggles with adoption. But there are two bits towards the end of the book which I have copied out as they provided great advice. I have just ordered her new book and have Dan Hughes by my bedside next to read.
The explosive child - Ross Green is a must read. It ties in really well with therapeutic parenting techniques and PACE but is about how to deal with conflict effectively. It is a game changer when it comes to dealing with any child (I am a teacher and adopter- and my school uses this technique to deal with all issues within school).
Thanks I'll suggest them. There definitely seems to be a knowledge gap today she's complaining on FB they've had a lovely day out but now LO is thanking her by kicking off. Friends all pitching in with sympathy & main stream techniques
Kicking off during and immediately after days out/parties/christmas/holidays/birthdays was what our AC did every time for years on end until we realised that the extra stimulation (noise, excitement, large groups of people, bright lights, loud music, attention) were just too much stimulation for a child who is already in a persistant state of emotional arousal and hyper-vigilance due to early trauma.
I remember crying on the way home from our AC's birthday party, refusing to go on a summer holiday one year, and swearing I'd never, ever hold another kids' party. It's soul destroying until you understand what's causing the behaviour. It affected my physical and mental health for years, not to mention losing family and friends along the way. Your friend definitely needs to read up on this stuff before it it breaks the family up.
In Sally Donovan's book 'Unofficial guide to adoption' there's a chapter called 'the hard stuff', I think. That is my go to piece of reading material every time I'm really struggling.
Raising a traumatised child is nothing like raising a birth child and requires a whole lot of reading up, talking to other adopters, and coming up with different parenting techniques. But it is possible to become a happy and close family eventually.