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Sunday, 23 April 2017
 
 
A Mom Reflects on Subtle Symptoms Print
In my conversation with [a professional] we talked about how different my two girls are and how differently their attachment and neurological problems look. I feel sad to think that parents, particularly adoptive parents, often cannot recognize the behaviors in their kids that demonstrate there are issues around loss, trauma and attachment. In fact, I think parents who take such significant measures to promote healing are often seen as a bit whacko and on the fringe.

My four year old is such a good example of subtle symptoms. In fact, despite the reality that we commute 4 hrs each way for therapy, I did not start her in attachment therapy a year ago when I started my older daughter. Finally, in a conversation with our attachment therapist, I described my plan to start her in therapy at age 6 when her language skills improved, and she advised me strongly not to wait. We got started, sigh, and therapy has been like opening Pandora's box. I am SO glad we did not wait. I really believe that the longer children practice responses to the world that aren't healthy, the longer it takes for not only the fundamental problems but the behaviors as well to be eliminated. For example, my older daughter started therapy because of severe anxiety and separation anxiety. At the time, I didn't understand how the root cause was trauma and early loss. As she healed, her behavior in the world improved considerably. However, it is obvious that certain behaviors were "learned" and will need additional support to be undone. Examples I'm thinking of include reluctance to be in a local kidsí parade, reluctance to perform, reluctance to draw attention to herself through clothing or hair decoration, etc.

Anyway, as a person who fought neuro reorg with the best of them, I must say I am so thrilled with the progress the girls, myself, and our family have made this last year. Our girls needed both the neuro and the attachment therapy to really progress, and I know that there will be lingering behaviors to work on, but starting to feel like a "normal" family is just....delightful.

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