Thursday, January 5, 2012

Do neurotypical children exist in foster care?

It is incredibly rare for a neurotypical child to be in foster care.  Lots of studies and statistics exist to explain the type of child in foster care.  These comments are merely based on the 15 or so that come into our home yearly.

We parented neurotypical birth children. They learned from their mistakes.  Natural consequences mattered.  Miss the bus and walk home meant they chose to not miss the bus anymore.

Then the journey of foster care and adoption began.  These children cannot be parented effectively with a behavioral program that depends on consequences whether natural or parentally chosen.  Their brains' wiring does not allow learning in typical ways.  The trauma and exposure to drugs and alcohol both prenatally and after makes neurotypical parenting ineffective.

This took MANY YEARS to learn.  The first of our foster children were guinea pigs unfortunately.  It seemed that with repeated exposure to rules and stability they would learn.  They did not.  Their trauma was too great.  Organic brain damage rocked their worlds.  We were oblivious.

Slowly, we began to learn that time was the great healer.  Our children learned through repeated experiences.

Calling it play therapy usually means talk therapy. Talk therapy continues useless for the most part.  I learn from the therapists, but the kids/adults need neurofeedback, EMDR or DBT.  Those can change brain waves effectively.  Social services wastes millions on treatments that absolutely do little to help our children. Medications can help to stabilize as they heal. Often the medications can be eliminated with healing.

Children in foster care are not neurotypical.  The trainings preparing foster parents need to change and adapt. Currently, trainers continue to espouse a type of healing my children will never achieve.  Their ability to function on a typical level is a different sort of typical.  We forget that their unique abilities are not typical.

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