Disabilities & Challenges

Silent Suffering: Responding to Self-Harm

By Katie Langer, MSW Katie Langer is a training specialist at FamiliesFirst Network. Katie spent 10 years helping children in foster care to find permanent adoptive families prior to transitioning to her current role as a trainer for child welfare staff. She has a passion to help families and children heal and grow after suffering… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Grief & Loss, Parenting, Trauma

Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency

From Adoptalk 2019, Issue 2; Adoptalk is a benefit of NACAC membership.  By Sharon Kaplan Roszia and Allison Davis Maxon Sharon Kaplan Roszia and Allison Davis Maxon have co-authored Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency: A Comprehensive Guide to Promoting Understanding and Healing in Adoption, Foster Care, Kinship Families and Third Party Reproduction, which… Read more

Categories: Achieving Permanency, Adoption Practice, Disabilities & Challenges, Featured, Grief & Loss, Older Youth Adoption, Parenting, Supporting Families, Supporting Youth

The Teen Years: Brain Development and Trauma Recovery

From Adoptalk 2019, Issue 1; Adoptalk is a benefit of NACAC membership.  Adapted by Anna Libertin, NACAC’s communications specialist, from a webinar by Kim Stevens. Kim Stevens is a program manager at NACAC who specializes in post-adoption support, youth development, training for caregivers, and trauma and healing. She is also the adoptive parent of four children from foster… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Grief & Loss, Parenting, Parenting Strategies, Trauma

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders from a Trauma Lens Webinar

Many children coming into care were prenatally exposed to drugs and/or alcohol. We will explore risk factors for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, look at the connection between brain impairment and behaviors, including impact of trauma & discuss reframing and other strategies for professionals and parents to better support children who were prenatally exposed to substances… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Training, Webinar

Helping Kids Survive and Thrive in Winter

From Adoptalk 2018, Issue 4; Adoptalk is a benefit of NACAC membership.  By Anna Libertin, NACAC communications specialist Change is always met with resistance. But the shift from fall to winter is more than just a transition: as winter progresses, grey skies, dropping temperatures, winter activities, and the holiday season pose unique and overwhelming obstacles for parents of children with… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Parenting Strategies

Helping Children Manage Behaviors: Increasing Affect Regulation

From Adoptalk 2018, Issue 3; Adoptalk is a benefit of NACAC membership Adapted by Anna Libertin, NACAC’s communications specialist, from a webinar by Sue Badeau  Sue Badeau is a birth and adoptive parent to 22 children and a national child welfare trainer and consultant with more than 30 years of experience in the field. Her… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Parenting Strategies, Trauma

Child Welfare’s Next Challenge: Parenting Meth’s Young Victims

from Fall 2006 Adoptalk How seriously is methamphetamine (meth) use affecting child welfare? The answer varies by state and region, but Congress, when it reauthorized the Safe and Stable Families Program in September, agreed to spend $40 million on the problem in fiscal year 2007. That’s how much states—through $500,000 to $1 million grants—will have… Read more

Categories: Articles, Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Parenting Strategies, Trauma

Parenting Children or Youth Who Are Sexually Reactive

From the Summer 2017 issue of Adoptalk; Adoptalk is a benefit of NACAC membership Monica Cohu is the lead family advocate for the New Mexico Fiesta project, a statewide adoption support program. She is an adoptive parent and supports other families through the Fiesta Project and Project Revive: Emotional First-Aid to Foster Families. Both projects… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Parenting Strategies

Helping Your Child Move from Anti-Social to Pro-Social Behaviors

We all enter the world ready to attach because this is how we get our most basic and primary needs met. The human infant, like other high functioning mammals, is completely dependent on their primary caregivers to get all of their needs met—survival, safety, food, shelter, stimulation, comfort. For us to understand where some of… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Trauma

Understanding The Acting-Out Behavior of Your Adopted Children Webinar

In an adoption world where disruption looms all too often, this session offers a positive approach for workers and families. Here is a way to make sense of (and deal with) some of the negative feelings that adopted children can make their parents feel. Understanding this dynamic, as well as other key parent-child interactions which… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Parenting Strategies, Training

Parenting Children Who Have Been Prenatally Exposed Webinar

Children who have been prenatally exposed to drugs, particularly alcohol, can have significant challenges with learning and behavior. When parents or foster caregivers understand the underlying causes and the impact on the brain from prenatal exposure, they can develop therapeutic parenting and teaching strategies that allow both parent and child to experience success! Presented by… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Parenting Strategies, Training

Parenting Tough Behaviors Webinar

Many children in adoptive and foster families come to us with challenging behaviors. Parents and caregivers need to have the knowledge, skills, and understanding of where these behaviors come from, and how to deal with them. This is one of the most common topics in support groups. Join us as we discuss and explore ideas… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Parenting Strategies, Training

Behavioral Interventionist Model: Keeping Children with Extreme Challenges Home for Treatment Webinar

Learn about an innovative program currently operating in Missouri that has the potential to revolutionize mental health treatment for kids in the child welfare system who have suffered extreme trauma. Designed by an adoptive parent whose children were in residential care but not getting better, this program is based on her personal approach to “What I need… Read more

Categories: Adoption Practice, Disabilities & Challenges, Model Programs, Parenting, Post Adoption Services, Sample Post-Adoption Programs, Training

Disabilities and Challenges Links

Visit the NACAC resources or other websites to learn more about specific disabilities and challenges that are more common in adoption and foster care. Attachment/Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) NACAC Webinar: Parenting the Hurt Child NACAC Webinar: Healing from Food Insecurity: Beyond the Stash Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children (ATTACh) Attachment and… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting

Disabilities and Challenges

Children who have been in foster care are more likely to have a disability or behavioral challenges than children in the general population. These disabilities can make being an adoptive parent more difficult, and we encourage adoptive parents to learn as much as possible about the issues affecting their children. Read the articles and view… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges
Miles Tan

ADHD Treatment Options Prove Effective

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common childhood psychiatric disorder in the United States. The disorder affects an estimated 3 to 7 percent of all children, and often persists into adulthood. Many researchers (Simmel, et al. 2001, and others) believe the rate among children in foster care—and those adopted from foster care—is substantially… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting
Martin Knize

Beyond Sexual Abuse: Families Can Promote Healing

Adapted by Diane Riggs from Beyond Sexual Abuse: The Healing Power of Adoptive Families, published by Three Rivers Adoption Council in cooperation with Wayne Duehn, PhD, Sherry Anderson, MSW, and Kirsti Adkins, MPH. Parents teach pre-schoolers about good and bad touch to give them tools for avoiding and reporting sexual abuse. But foster and adoptive… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting
Aaron Burden

The ABCs of Back to School with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

by Kari Fletcher, NACAC parent support specialist Kari Fletcher is a parent support specialist for NACAC’s Adoption Support Network program, which provides peer support to  adoptive families across Minnesota. She is the adoptive parent of two children who have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and previously worked at the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. If… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting, Schools & Education
chalk drawing

Behavior and Sensory Processing: Two Sides of the Same Coin

My children are my greatest treasure on earth. They are worth more to me than all my possessions combined. Most of you feel the same way about your children—whether they were born to you or placed into your family to blossom. Our children are what matter, and there is no close second. That is why… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Parenting
Annie Spratt

The GFCF Diet, FASD, and Adoption: Food for Thought

A few years after adopting three children with FASD from Russia, Diane Black and her husband were exhausted from supervising a hyperactive and destructive son, a son with autistic traits, and a daughter who was sweet but disconnected. Three years later, after removing casein and gluten from the children’s diet, Diane wrote about “the slowly… Read more

Categories: Disabilities & Challenges, Food & Nutrition, Parenting
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