International Adoption Info

Newsletter #66 for Internationally Adopting Parents
July 12, 2007
PAL Center Inc.

New Articles


Initial Psycho-Educational

preschool and school age
Children from China
in the native language
is now available


Psychological services at the Center for Cognitive-developmental Assessment and Remediation

Call 845-694-8496 for details

The online course
BG5-School Issues of an Internationally Adopted Child: Language
is now updated


A new group consultation

Jean Mauro, LCSW, Psychotherapist specializing in children and families

In the midst of attachment issues:
What to do when you are concerned

During a group session we the following questions are addressed:

  • Parental expectations and the realities of bonding.
  • Practical bonding and attachment between you and your child of any age (What works and what doesn't).
  • How to deal with behavioral and emotional disturbances: excessive aggression, emotional detachment, clingy behavior.
  • How to develop a support system for your family.
  • Setting priorities and establishing routines.


You receive this newsletter
as a former client or correspondent of the Center for Cognitive-Developmental
Assessment & Remediation,
or a former student
of the BGCenter Online School,
or a user of the International Adoption Articles Directory.


Latest Articles
from the

International Adoption Articles Directory

Chris Robertson
The Frustrations and Rewards of Parenting Teenagers
Most parents - whether they admit it or not - react to the onset of their child's teenage years with either trepidation or absolute dread. Yet parenting a teenager can be rewarding. Here are tips to get set you on the right path.

Florrie Poff
The Warning Signs: Child Bullying
One of the most serious problems your child could ever experience is bullying. In this article you will be able to identify some of the signs that may indicate your child is being bullied.

Marina Neiman
Bring Your Kids One Step Higher!
Give your kids feeling 'I can do it myself' with richly decorated wooden step stools. A step stool is basically one of those practical items that you must have in your house, especially if you have children. It makes a good gift for children, besides helping them to reach areas that they normally could not have reached. So what is a step stool? Simply put, a step stool is a stool that has either one or a few steps attached to it.

From Our Database

Recovering from Trauma

Leading an adopted child to recovery from an early and often unknown trauma is one of the most difficult to cope with, sometime devastating experiences of the international adoption. We discussed this subject in the earlier Newsletters (see Newsletter #12 - Old Trauma, New Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress...) and we return to it again, because the families who find themselves in this predicament need to understand that this is a long term process with setbacks and no guarantees, and an intense, prolonged, and consistent remedial effort is the key.

Below is a message from a parent (all identifiable personal info is removed) and the reply from Dr. Gindis. Unfortunately the situation described in the message is not so rear: at the BGCenter we constantly hear the adoptive parents' horrifying stories of child abuse in varies donor countries, mostly of children before being sent to an orphanage, but sometime in the orphanage as well. Reactive Attachment Disorder - a frequent result of sustained emotional trauma, or any other antisocial and disruptive behaviors stemming from trauma, do not go away on their own. In fact, as many parents report, they may resurface with new force in teenage years. The solution is not to wait and get professional help from the start.

Q. My daughter had always been in the institution until age 5 when I adopted her. The day she came to me she called me "mom" and freely sat in my lap. She didn't bother to say good-bye to her caretakers when they left her. She didn't cry till it was time to go to sleep. After the hand-off, I took her back to the hotel, changed her clothes and brought her to the children's playroom. The room was neatly filled with an abundance of toys, including about 15 large, life-sized, stuffed dolls that were lined up along one wall. My daughter looked around the room, picked up something that resembled a stick and up to each doll in turn and whacked it on the side of the face as hard as she could while screaming at it. She went down the line and back again hitting each doll twice and if she didn't land the blow exactly on the cheek alongside the ear, she lifted the doll's head up by the hair and whacked it again in the proper place. When she was done (and out of breath) she threw the "stick" down and began to explore the room. I was dumbfounded. Her behavior since has been very difficult to manage and if she perceives that she's been given a command, she refuses to cooperate and becomes disruptive. This has caused a lot of problems in school and they are asking me to consider medication and possible ED (emotionally disturbed) classification on her IEP. She still has frequent meltdowns in school where she runs off from the staff (to the street) and hides or kicks, screams, hits, bites etc. I received a call several weeks ago because she tried to stab a boy in the eye with her pencil because he made her mad. Two days before this incident I caught her (at home) stabbing the dog in the back with a pencil. I talked to her at length about this and then she did it at school. I don't know where to go for therapy. She has her sweet moments but I must admit she's wearing me out. Whenever she's in any sort of group she demands all the attention and if she's not the complete focus of the group she makes annoying noise or movement or becomes extremely disruptive. Where can I get therapy for her?

A. It's impossible to suggest any specific treatment of the child just based on one message, however, my experience tells me that any therapy by itself is not enough in your case. You will need a comprehensive plan to approach this situation. The plan should include:

  • Medical management: Your daughter needs to be stabilized emotionally in order to be available for other treatments and school/family functioning.
  • A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of your child, possibly psychiatric assessment as well are in order: (1) the child needs to be objectively evaluated in terms of her danger for herself and others; (2) the appropriate therapies should be identified.
  • School arrangement: Educational classification, small class placement, structured environment, instructional and testing accommodations, etc.
  • Family therapy: Your parental techniques need to be adjusted or modified for your child's condition.
  • You have to take care of yourself: Being worn off is the worst possible condition in dealing with an emotionally disturbed child. You need a respite from time to time to continue to be effective.
B. Gindis Ph.D.


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