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Because every family deserves the blessing of a child with Down Syndrome...

12:01:00 PM

"Trauma and the Post-Institutionalized Child"

The following is a good overview of some issues a parent can expect to encounter in an adopted child. If you are considering adoption, or are in the process of an adoption currently, it is a great place to start to learn just what you can "possibly" expect. :)

Read the full article HERE

Attachment between a parent and a post-institutionalized child begins with the parent. It is up to the adult to begin the process by creating an empathic, safe, caring, loving environment for a new child. It is up to the adoptive parent to model communication, affection, coping, and emotional modulation. It is up to him or her to remain in control if and when the child does not. It is up to the parent to take good care of him/herself above all else in order to take good care of the family. Parents will provide the love and nurturing and will provide the rules and structure (Ibid., p. 200). Treating new children with respect and maintaining a sense of hope will instill that hope in them that they have found a forever family. Suggestions for modeling and instilling hope include the following:

* addressing the child in positive language
* recognizing and stating that behavior is bad, the child is not
* providing physical nurturing and attention
* providing emotional nurturing
* being the lead on giving affection and encouraging reciprocity from the child
* setting a sense of order and structure
* setting realistic limits and rules
* having consistency in bedtime, mealtime and other routines
* stopping manipulation of parents (if there are 2) immediately by being on the "same page"
* holding the child accountable to learn and to abide by the rules
* practicing healthy self care by having a life outside the home
* using eye contact with the child
* praising the child's behavior (he did a good job)
* keeping calm when the child is having a meltdown, to the best of a parent's ability
* teaching the child to problem solve as soon as language allows; prior to that, keeping language short and simple
* giving the child choices right from the beginning
* developing time out strategies for bad situations

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