Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Little More on Attachment

I feel like I had to cut the previous post short due to time, but at least these coffee shop posts are coming out.

Things that have helped with attachment with M:

The "Beyond Consequences" book and reading FB posts from Heather Forbes.
Skin to skin contact.
Singing. M loves to be sung to.
Patience.
Remembering that it's my job to help M understand that she is safe.
Tickling.
Encouraging her to acknowledge when she's physically hurt and reminding her, "Yes, it hurts. I know it hurts. Let me kiss it to make it feel better."
Positive reinforcement, over and over again.
Picking her up when she asks with arms up.
Talking to my friends who have also adopted kids internationally.

Things that have troubled me during our process:

The philosophy of ABA is based upon positive reinforcement, but there are times when M just can't rally to do the work and they pretty much continue working her until she responds, at which point she receives lots of praise. I have tried to educate the team about the stress/fear model and also give constant reminders of M's background but they are firm in their methodologies.

Wondering if her lack of eye contact is a post-institutional problem or autism, or both. ABA therapy treats this as an autism problem and works on establishing more and more eye contact through positive reinforcement. So the corrections are all behavioral and not rooted in any emotional-psychological way. (Does that make sense?)

My lack of patience, at times. I am surprised at the challenges of mothering this child who is so different from the other two. I am not the mother I thought I was. M is making me better, though.

I have to wrap this up now because my battery is dying and M's nearly done with school.

For more information on attachment, Lauri has a great post on March 10th, 2011 titled "You've come a long way Baby."

4 comments:

Lauri said...

Great Post

thanks for the shout out

Anna Scott Graham said...

You are a fab mom, learning and stretching as this winds along the road. So many things to consider; I am in AWE!! :)))

Ronda said...

Really great post. Attachment is hard and long and a process and two steps back and and and.

We have another issue today with A. That makes three this week. He's warm, he's affectionate, he's loving and he takes other people's belongings. More work ahead. Luckily his teacher is the child psychologist for the school. She gets it and is working closely with us.

Keep up the good work. You're doing the right things and it's showing. Here's hoping the district comes around.

jeneflower said...

Piney still has eye contact issues, but it has improved over time.