Ignorance is Bliss

Unless you have lived with, or been, an attachment challenged child you will have great difficulty understanding the needs. This became apparent during a recent consultation with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. (CAMHS)

There are obvious signs that Jenny suffers from attachment issues and that was the decision of the Autism Panel. We don’t disagree with that decision, even though we are also pursuing a proper assessment for co-morbid autism. We believe that each condition is affecting the other. 

During the discussion with the CAMHS doctor I commented that having a full diagnosis of all conditions would help us to know the best way to handle the various challenges without creating a typical spoilt brat. 

Aha! I could almost see a flash of light in the doctor’s eyes as she grasped at the psychological straw that I inadvertently held out to her. I have read about this effect in the experiences of other parents of children with challenges. The doctor’s eyes lit up with the recognition that this must all be our fault as parents, even though we are actually substitute parents because their birth parents couldn’t do the job properly. In fact, during all the social services assessments of our parenting capabilities it became obvious that we were being allowed to care for our suffering grandchildren because we are super parents! 

The doctor took out a piece of paper and started writing. “Have you looked at The Parenting Puzzles?” she asked. 

“Well you obviously haven’t,” I thought. “If you had then you would know that it’s actually called The Parenting Puzzle – singular.” 

“There you are,” she said, handing me the piece of paper. 

I politely thanked her, knowing that the best chance of getting her cooperation was to go through the humiliation of having our parenting abilities called into question. 

I bought the book and opened it straight to the chapter on discipline. I knew what I was looking for. 

Yes! Success. The best way to deal with challenges is the time out. 

“So,” I thought. “That’s what they teach you in university. Treat like with like. If a child suffers from abandonment, abandon her again.” 

I haven’t read any more of the book. How much trust can you have in such outdated, barbaric suggestions?

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The Trouble With Kinship Caring

An acquaintance of mine who goes by the name, Grandpa, wrote an interesting article entitled, The Trouble With Teachers. The article presents a realistic view of the situation of many kinship carers and, indeed, anyone who cares for children with attachment issues. I recommend that you read it, together with the linked articles, especially if you care for, or teach someone with attachment disorder.

The article set me to thinking about other issues faced by those whom I will call “professional carers,” such as kinship carers, foster carers, adopters, those caring for vulnerable adults, etc.

With this in mind, Grandpa has given me permission to use his format to start a “The Trouble With . . .” series. It may not be regular, but I will be adding to it as time goes on. In addition, Grandpa has agreed to consider writing a guest post, or two, as the occasion arises.

I am looking forward to this series, and hope you will follow along.