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Therapy for a 9 year old

4 replies

gabsdot · 15/02/2017 19:02

My DD is 9. She was adopted at 2.5 from a Russian orphanage. She suffers the effects of early childhood trauma. She's very immature and has some learning difficulties.

She really struggles to regulate her emotions and gets frustrated very easily. Recently she has started biting her arms and banging her head when she doesn't get her own way.

Anyway we feel that she needs some therapy to help her progress through some of this.

Does anyone have experience of play therapy, art therapy, thera play or anything else and any recommendations.


OP posts:
ac73 · 16/02/2017 08:25

Our son has started music therapy which has been positive for him. Please message me if you would like some more details.

GirlsWhoWearGlasses · 16/02/2017 12:36

We're in the midst of accessing therapeutic input for DD (4) after I received some good advice here. We have found it such a struggle to access through SW or Education that we are now paying for it ourselves. Essentially the take, particularly through Education was, if she's not displaying these behaviours at school but is at home, then your parenting must be to blame. Hmm So we are sorting it out ourselves. You may find that quicker and less like bashing your head off a wall. Feel free to PM me if you want more detail.

IwantedaSindywardrobe · 18/02/2017 20:55

gabsdot my AD used to do things like this too due to frustration and inability to regulate her emotions, particularly if she didn't get her own way. It's horrible and frightening to witness.

We did a lot of work on feelings and acknowledging that the feelings were there, and powerful, but exploring other ways of reacting to them. We got school on side too who helped her with strategies for overpowering emotions and allowed her access to their nurture room during playtimes and lunchtimes if it was all getting too much for her. We also talked through past situations to work out what she was feeling and how I/she might've been able to help her make different choices. We also became aware of situations where such behaviour might be triggered (noisy/busy situations where she was likely to feel over-stimulated) and planned strategies for when she was feeling overwhelmed.

It took a long time but by the age of 11 she had more or less cracked it. It was a long process but the emotions she will be experiencing will be old and raw, and easily triggered. Our AD is now more emotionally intelligent than some adults I know because she is clued up with regards to her own emotional/physical responses when she is stressed or overwhelmed. I'm not saying she is 'cured' but she is a different person now at 12.

I would recommend contacting your LA to ask for adoption support funding for some therapy too. Do some research to make sure that any therapist you are offered understands early trauma and social/emotional regulation.

It's truly awful to see you child behaving in this way and I can imagine the pain you are experiencing. As a previous PP said, parents are often judged when this kind of behaviour arises and that guilt just adds to your stress and fear. Please feel free to PM me if you want to talk further.

Italiangreyhound · 18/02/2017 20:58

Our son has had Theraplay. It is very good. It is a specific style of therapy. It is not just play. Worth enquiring about.

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