Author Topic: Disorganized attachment  (Read 1013 times)

aneel

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Disorganized attachment
« on: November 26, 2018, 03:59:58 PM »
We adopted our 5.5 year old 2 years ago from foster care. Since then, he's had a hard time developing emotionally. This year, we had a failed first attempt at kindergarten which landed us in a school for psychological and emotional health. It was for the best!

Today we finally got a bit of a name for one of the underlying issues our son has: disorganized attachment. I'm posting to share, because on a daily basis I feel like I'm in way over my head, but I'm also posting to get your resources on the specific topic of disorganized attachment and emotional health of kids in general. Nothing bad ever came from posting in the mmm forums!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Disorganized attachment
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 04:10:28 PM »
Have you read "The Body Keeps the Score"? Fantastic section on disorganized attachment and its relationship to trauma in there.

aneel

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Re: Disorganized attachment
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2018, 07:14:50 PM »
I haven't. Hopping over to my library site to find it!

Psychstache

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Re: Disorganized attachment
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2018, 07:50:15 PM »
Yes, +1 for the body keeps score. You can also do research online about trauma informed care and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and you will likely find some good relevant information.

Tina Payne Bryson also has some great writing/books that might be valuable.



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BeautifulDay

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Re: Disorganized attachment
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 08:25:51 PM »
ACEs, body keeps score and Tina Bryson are good.

Highly recommend the Connected Child by Karyn Purvis. She has some good videos online. She specializes in adoption and connection. https://child.tcu.edu/blog_6_books_parents/#sthash.MrJXsDDb.dpbs- more good resources listed on her website.

If you really want to dig deeper, Bruce Perry’s work with the Child Trauma Academy is excellent. He is the expert in this area. He has a couple books. “Boy who was raised as a dog” is good, but it is tough to read because he talks about the trauma his clients have experienced. He has some good videos too, dry but good.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 08:34:27 PM by BeautifulDay »

WorkingToUnwind

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Re: Disorganized attachment
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2018, 08:32:04 PM »
Pedi psych NP here. It's important work that you're doing with your son. Are you all in family therapy? Make sure you and your partner get adequate time to yourselves to rest and recharge, so that you can approach your son's needs with patience and energy.

Early trauma/neglect has likely wired his brain differently to respond to stressors. It's lots of work, but the stable, loving environment you provide has and will continue to help him grow and develop. Definitely ask the school for more resources.

The Explosive Child by Ross Green is a classic, helpful read if part of the challenge is irritability/anger/inflexibility.

aneel

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Re: Disorganized attachment
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 07:53:49 PM »
Pedi psych NP here. It's important work that you're doing with your son. Are you all in family therapy? Make sure you and your partner get adequate time to yourselves to rest and recharge, so that you can approach your son's needs with patience and energy.

Early trauma/neglect has likely wired his brain differently to respond to stressors. It's lots of work, but the stable, loving environment you provide has and will continue to help him grow and develop. Definitely ask the school for more resources.

The Explosive Child by Ross Green is a classic, helpful read if part of the challenge is irritability/anger/inflexibility.
Thanks! It definitely feels a lot more like work and less like parenting most of the time, but hoping for those long term benefits!

AMandM

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Re: Disorganized attachment
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2018, 03:06:17 PM »
I have no help to offer, but I just want to say thanks on behalf of the world for what you are doing for your child.  I have several friends whose kids have attachment disorders of one kind or another, and I have seen the difference good parenting makes for them.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Disorganized attachment
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2018, 03:37:30 PM »
I'm glad you have a name and a framework for what you are dealing with.  I'm sorry you are dealing with it though.

I used to work with children with attachment disorders and their families, and I'm going to second the advice to make sure you're getting adequate rest and respite.  Parenting is always a challenge, but attachment disorder kids often require deeper reserves of patience, unconditional love, and consistency.  You can't have that for him without taking care of yourself too.

I think the resources already mentioned are very good - I especially liked The Body Keeps the Score.  I also recommend Simplicity Parenting, with one HUGE caveat, which is that you should read it when you're feeling high in emotional fortitude.  It's a very "keep what works, forget the rest" kind of book.  Simplicity Parenting is simply about setting the stage for a home life that feels calm and secure.  It's aimed at everyday parenting concerns, but I think it is good background for anyone parenting and the sections about creating patterns and routines are especially helpful for parenting kids with attachment issues.

I think working with a good therapist is essential.  Also, depending on your state and what insurance your child is on, you might be able to access in-home behavioral support.  Definitely ask your doctor and therapist if there are any resources like that you could access.  The kids I worked with got 2 hours a day of in-home support to implement behavior plans and work towards behavioral goals.

Attachment disorders can be really rough on children and families, but kids also have a tremendous capacity for healing and growth.  I hope you find some resources and a path forward that makes you all feel hopeful about that.

Lhazzmat

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Re: Disorganized attachment
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2018, 06:40:31 PM »
I also used to work with children with disrupted attachments and second the books recommended by others. The connected child by Karyn purvis was a go to. I also wanted to add, it sounds like you likely are already seeing someone with experience in this area, but if not I highly recommend finding a therapist with very specific experience in adoption related issues. Many traditional therapists are not equipped. Most importantly I wanted to share if you’re able to find a therapist trained in Theraplay, I highly recommend it. This is not traditional play therapy, Theraplay is a type of play therapy specifically for children with disrupted attachment. In my work, it was by far the most effective therapy for healing  that I used. The headquarters are in Chicago but there are trained therapists throughout the country. Good luck - I know it can be extremely difficult but it sounds like you’re on a path to healing.

italianant

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Re: Disorganized attachment
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2018, 08:26:28 PM »
Have you read "The Body Keeps the Score"? Fantastic section on disorganized attachment and its relationship to trauma in there.

yes yes yes!