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Attachment & Special Needs in Adoption

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Featured Books in this Category / Main Booklist

Featured Books 

Adopting a Child Living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Liz Lawryk, $26.50

This book shines light on one of the most misunderstood forms of brain dysfunction, offering perspective and clarity on a confusing topic. With this information, prospective parents can discover if they are the right family for a child or teen living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.


Adopting a Child with a Trauma & Attachment Disruption History. Theresa Fraser, $9.95

This booklet is a fact-filled resource filled with tips and strategies that can be considered before placement as well as days, weeks and months after your child joins your family. It addresses day-to-day issues and shows you how to provide the structure that will create deep family bonds.


Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids. Gregory Keck & Regina Kupecky, $20.50

Written in a nontechnical style, Adopting the Hurt Child brings to light grim truths but also real hope that children who have been hurt can be healed by adoptive and foster parents, therapists, teachers, social workers, and others whose lives interact with theirs.

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Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents. Deborah Gray, $29.95

Attaching in Adoption is a comprehensive guide for prospective and actual adoptive parents on how to understand and care for their adopted child and promote healthy attachment.

This classic text provides practical parenting strategies designed to enhance children's happiness and emotional health. It explains what attachment is, how grief and trauma can affect children's emotional development, and how to improve attachment, respect, cooperation and trust. Parenting techniques are matched to children's emotional needs and stages, and checklists are included to help parents assess how their child is doing at each developmental stage. The book covers a wide range of issues including international adoption, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and learning disabilities, and combines sound theory and direct advice with case examples throughout.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in adoption and for all adoptive families. It will also be a valuable resource for adoption professionals.


Attachment-Focused Parenting: Effective Strategies to Care for Children. Daniel Hughes, $42.00

An expert clinician brings attachment theory into the realm of parenting skills. Attachment security and affect regulation have long been buzzwords in therapy circles, but rarely are they effectively applied to basic parenting skills. Here, a leading attachment specialist brings attachment work inside the therapy room to the outside, equipping caregivers with practical parenting techniques rooted in attachment theory and research.

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Attachment in the Young Child. Kinship Center, $95.50 DVD format

This video presents ways to increase attachment between a new caregiver and a child who has experienced early childhood neglect, separation or loss. Expert presenters describe the effects of separation and outline specific techniques for attachment-based parenting.


Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control: a Love-Based Approach to Helping Children with Severe Behaviors. Heather Forbes & B. Bryan Post, $23.95

Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control takes a fresh approach to some of the most challenging issues faced by parents of children with histories of trauma and attachment disorders.

This book is a practical, accessible and compassionate guide for parents and professionals who want to provide true emotional safety for traumatized children.


Building Self-Esteem in Children Who are Adopted or Fostered. Sue Cornbluth, $25.95

How do you give your adopted or fostered child the best opportunities to grow up to be happy, healthy and successful? In this accessible book, psychologist and trauma expert Dr. Sue offers simple advice to those supporting children aged 7+. She explains why adopted or fostered children can often experience self-esteem issues, the impact it can have on their lives, and offers everyday strategies to help the child to move beyond their trauma and develop healthy self-esteem. Ideal for foster and adoptive parents as well as professionals supporting children and families, this book reveals the powerful role you can play in your child's well-being.

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A Child’s Journey Through Placement. Vera Fahlberg, $33.95

Children who are cared for in an out-of-home placement are in need of support and stability. This classic text offers information and advice for professionals and carers on how to help these children, who will often have attachment difficulties.

Vera Fahlberg shares her experience and expertise, outlining the significance of attachment and separation, the developmental stages specific to adoptive children and providing guidance on minimizing the trauma of moves. The book also features practical advice on case planning, managing behavior and direct work with children, and throughout are case studies and exercises which provide opportunities for further learning.

A readable, compassionate and practical text, A Child's Journey through Placement provides the foundation, the resources, and the tools to help students, professionals, parents and others who care to support children on their journey through placement to adulthood.


Connecting with Kids through Stories: Using Narratives to Facilitate Attachment in Adopted Children, 2nd Edition. Denise Lacher, Todd Nichols & Joanne May, $30.95

Children whose early development has been damaged by abuse or neglect are notoriously difficult to reach. Connecting with Kids through Stories is an accessible guide to Family Attachment Narrative Therapy for the parents of adopted or fostered children, and for the professionals who work with them. Providing a thorough theoretical grounding, and detailed information on therapeutic techniques and how to assess progress, the book shows parents how to create their own therapeutic stories to promote increased attachment and improved behavior in their child. The authors describe how different kinds of narratives can help with specific difficulties and illustrate their techniques with the story of a fictional family who develop their own narratives to help their adopted child heal.

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Does My Child Have PTSD? What to Do When Your Child Is Hurting from the Inside Out. Jolene Philo, $22.95

Is it possible that the struggles you have with your child may be because he or she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Once ignored, even by the medical professionals treating war veterans, PTSD is gaining global recognition as a very real and serious issue for those who have experienced traumatic events, even children. When children experience medical illness, witness violence, or are abused, it can leave a lasting effect. According to recent studies, 50 to 60 percent of children who experience these traumas early in life may suffer from a form of PTSD, leading to issues in childhood, through adolescence, and even into adulthood. Does My Child Have PTSD? is designed for readers looking for answers about the puzzling, disturbing behaviors of children in their care.   

With years of research and personal experience, Philo provides critical information to help people understand causes, symptoms, prevention, and effective diagnosis, treatment, and care for any child struggling with PTSD. 


Games and Activities for Attaching with Your Child. Deborah Gray & Megan Clarke, $22.95

Packed full of great ideas for fun games and activities, this book encourages positive attachments between a parent or carer and their child.

When it comes to choosing the best games to play with children who have difficulties attaching, it is often hard to know how to play with a purpose. This book contains fun, age-appropriate games along with an explanation of why they matter. All the games included are designed for specific age ranges, from infants to older children, and help to address particular needs in children that are known to affect attachment, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It provides an easy-to-understand description of attachment and reveals the crucial role that play has in forming attachments. 

Written for parents and carers, as well as for use by professionals, it is full of strategies to help build healthy attachments in children who have experienced early trauma.

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The Girl Behind the Door: a Father's Quest to Understand His Daughter's Suicide. John Brooks, $33.00

Early one Tuesday morning John Brooks went to his teenage daughter’s room to make sure she was getting up for school and found her room dark and “neater than usual.” Casey was gone but he found a note: The car is parked at the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m sorry. Several hours later a security video was found that showed Casey stepping off the bridge.

Brooks spent months after Casey’s suicide trying to understand what led his 17-year-old daughter to take her life. He examines Casey’s journey from her abandonment at birth in Poland, to the orphanage where she lived for the first fourteen months of her life, to her adoption and life with John and his wife Erika in Northern California. He reads. He talks to Casey’s friends, teachers, doctors, therapists, and other parents. He consults adoption experts, researchers, clinicians, attachment therapists, and social workers.

In The Girl Behind the Door, Brooks shares what he learned and asks “What did everyone miss? What could have been done differently?” He’d come to realize that Casey might have been helped if someone had recognized that she’d likely suffered an attachment disorder from her infancy — an affliction common among children who’ve been orphaned, neglected, and abused. This emotional deprivation in early childhood, from the lack of a secure attachment to a primary caregiver, can lead to a wide range of serious behavioral issues later in life. John’s hope is that Casey’s story, and what he discovered since her death, will help others. This important book is a wakeup call that parents, mental health professionals, and teens should read.


The Great Behavior Breakdown. B. Bryan Post, $23.95

Start understanding the causes and steps necessary to help end, once and for all, some of the most difficult behaviors your child exhibits today. Lying, stealing, defiance, incessant chatter — these are just some of the most problematic and challenging behaviors that parents face. Bryan Post offers step-by-step guidance on how to understand your own reactions and how to deal with these problems compassion.

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A Guide to Therapeutic Child Care: What You Need to Know to Create a Healing Home. Ruth Emond, Laura Steckley & Autumn Roesch-Marsh, $31.95

A Guide to Therapeutic Child Care provides an easy to read explanation of the secrets that lie behind good quality therapeutic child care. It describes relevant theories, the 'invisible' psychological challenges that children will often struggle with and how to develop a nurturing relationship and build trust. Combining advice with practical strategies, the book also provides specific guidance on how to create safe spaces (both physical and relational) and how to aid the development of key social or emotional skills for children which may be lacking as a result of early trauma.

Written with input from foster carers, the book is an ideal guide for residential child care workers, foster carers, kinship carers, social workers and new adoptive parents.


Healing the Hidden Hurts: Transforming Attachment and Trauma Theory into Effective Practice with Families, Children, and Adults. Edited by Caroline Archer, Charlotte Drury & Jude Hills, $35.95

With contributions from social workers, adoptive parents, adoptees, psychologists, therapists, counsellors and other related professionals, this book provides a varied and expansive approach to explaining attachment theory. The authors speak from personal experience to deliver explanations of theory, how they relate to practice and to provide practical guidance on how to improve the physical, emotional and psychological development of children in care across a broad range of professional settings. 

This book provides valuable insights relevant to practitioners within the fields of social work, health, education, the criminal justice system and any independent and voluntary sectors working with children and families.


Healing Parents: Helping Wounded Children Learn to Trust & Love. Michael Orlans & Terry Levy, $41.95

Attachment is the deep connection that children and parents/caregivers establish early in life. This connection is basic to every aspect of a child’s emotional, social and cognitive development. Healing Parents is a toolbox filled with practical strategies and research that help parents and caregivers understand their child, learn to respond in a constructive way, and create a healthy environment. Readers will learn to develop their child’s positive beliefs and establish trust by emphasizing respect, providing appropriate limits, consistent structure, and being a positive role model.

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Improving Sensory Processing in Traumatized Children: Practical Ideas to Help Your Child's Movement, Coordination, and Body Awareness. Sarah Lloyd, $19.95

Early trauma and neglect can have a profound effect upon a child's development. Sensory integration theory offers a way of understanding how the brain processes and stores movement experience, and how these experiences manifest at a physical and emotional level. This book explains how early movement experiences affect brain development and gives examples of how trauma can prevent basic sensory processing pathways from being correctly established. It shows how you can identify gaps in normal sensory development and offers ideas for how you can use physical activities to help build up the underdeveloped systems. Good bodily awareness forms the foundation of motor development as well as social and emotional skills and learning. This book will help your child to be more in tune with themselves and their bodies and feel more comfortable in their environment.

Highly accessible with lots of practical tips and examples, this book is written for adoptive and foster parents, and will also be useful for social workers, fostering and adoption workers and those working in primary and early years educational settings.


Innovative Therapeutic Life Story Work: Developing Trauma-Informed Practice for Working with Children, Adolescents and Young Adults. Edited by Richard Rose, $39.95

Life story work is an approach designed to enable traumatized children to explore, question and understand the past events of their lives. It aims to secure their future by strengthening attachment with their carers and providing the opportunity to develop a healthy sense of self and a feeling of wellbeing.

This new edited volume documents innovative ways in which life story work has been developed. It draws on the work of nine life story centres based around the world and provides understanding and guidance for those working with children who have experienced trauma. The book illustrates current theory and practice and looks at how the approach is being used in a variety of settings including schools, intensive services, youth justice, and post-adoption support, highlighting its versatility. The importance of trauma-informed practice when working with vulnerable children is emphasised throughout, to help practitioners provide the best for the children in their care.


An Introduction to Autism for Adoptive and Foster Families: How to Understand and Help Your Child. Katie Hunt & Helen Rodwell, $25.95

Written for busy foster carers and adoptive parents, this book provides a concise introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and how to support a child with a diagnosis. It emphasises the common strengths children with ASD have, as well as offering strategies for any behavioural issues that are likely to arise, highlighting how these can be exacerbated by the care system and adoption process.

The first part of the book looks at the different aspects of autism and the challenges it can pose for children and parents, providing strategies for managing difficulties at home and at school, using social stories, and reducing sensory input in a child's environment. The second part looks at issues that arise for fostered or adopted children, including placement transitions, contact, and explaining the past. It concludes with helping parents to think about self-care.

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More than Love: Adopting and Surviving Attachment Disordered Children. Sherril Stone, $18.95

More Than Love is the candid and heartbreaking account of the adoption, parenting and eventual relinquishment of three attachment-disordered brothers. The book is an emotional tale of perseverance and helplessness, joy and despair that vividly describes the parents' frustration with the system meant to support them and their efforts to build the support they needed with the help of therapists, psychologists, clergy, teachers, social workers, friends and family.


Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow. Gregory Keck & Regina Kupecky, $21.50

The world is full of hurt children, and bringing one into your home can quickly derail the easy family life you once knew. Get effective suggestions, wisdom, and advice to parent the hurt child in your life.

Parenting the Hurt Child explains how to manage a hurting child with loving wisdom and resolve and how to preserve your stability while untangling their thorny hearts.


Parenting Strategies to Help Adopted and Fostered Children with Their Behaviour: Trauma-Informed Guidance and Action Charts. Christine Gordon, $27.95

Difficult behaviour in children with developmental trauma comes from a place of hurt. It is often confusing, unpredictable and painful both to the child and the people around them, and can be a form of self-protection or coping with deeply rooted fears and anxieties. Traumatized children rarely respond to traditional parenting strategies, but once you understand the impact of trauma on children you can master 'developmental re-parenting' strategies which do work — by validating their feelings, boosting self-esteem and encouraging open and honest conversations.

The first part of this book guides you using easy to understand language through the latest science and research relating to trauma and its impact on the brain and executive functioning. The second part forms the heart of the book, laying out 35 action charts to addresses some of the very hardest challenges for parents and carers — from inappropriate sexualised behaviour and over-familiarity with strangers through to tantrums, food issues and deception.

Written by an experienced adoptive parent who is also a qualified social worker with expertise in trauma-informed parenting, this book will be a welcome relief to any family struggling with the challenges of living with trauma in the home.

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Promoting Attachment with a Wiggle, Giggle, Hug and Tickle: a Programme for Babies, Young Children and Carers. Fiona Brownlee & Lindsay Norris, $29.95

Practical and easy to use, this resource is for practitioners working in early years settings to help children aged 0-2 to develop secure and positive attachments with their parent or carer.

Designed to be flexible for one-to-one or group work, the resource features fun and engaging activities involving singing, movement and sensory activities in a structured but playful environment. It explains the significance of positive attachments in a child's early years, and equips practitioners with skills and techniques to help encourage bonding. It will be of particular interest to those working with parents needing additional support such as vulnerable and adoptive or foster families. The resource is accompanied by online materials — songs to sing along with, and film clips of signing to help parents and carers improve communication. This programme will help parents to become more attuned to the needs of their child, and aid the child's emotional, social and cognitive development. 

With additional guidance on how to run the programme as a group, this resource will be easy to use for any health, education or childcare practitioner in specialist and mainstream settings.


Reparenting the Child Who Hurts: a Guide to Healing Developmental Trauma and Attachments. Caroline Archer & Christine Gordon, $31.95

Finally, a parenting book which demystifies the latest thinking on neurobiology, physiology and trauma and explains what the research means for the everyday life of parents of children who hurt. As experts on adoption and fostering who are adoptive parents themselves, Caroline Archer and Christine Gordon explain how this knowledge can help parents to better understand and care for their child. They explain why conventional parenting techniques are often not helpful for the child who has experienced early trauma and explore why therapeutic reparenting is the only way to help repair the unhealthy neurobiological and behavioural patterns which affect the child's development. They do not shy away from how difficult reparenting is, acknowledging how hard it can be to recognize our own fallibility as parents and to change our own parenting patterns. The authors also offer hard-won advice on a range of common parenting flashpoints — from defusing arguments and aggression to negotiating bedtimes and breaks in routine, and making sure that special occasions are remembered for all the right reasons.

Reparenting the Child Who Hurts is a humane, no-nonsense survival guide for any parent caring for a child with developmental trauma or attachment difficulties, and will also provide information and insights for social workers, teachers, counsellors and other professionals involved in supporting adoptive and foster families.


Romania’s Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development, and the Struggle for Recovery. Charles Nelson, Nathan Fox & Charles Zeanah, $35.50

The implications of early experience for children’s brain development, behavior, and psychological functioning have long absorbed caregivers, researchers, and clinicians. The 1989 fall of Romania’s Ceausescu regime left approximately 170,000 children in 700 overcrowded, impoverished institutions across Romania, and prompted the most comprehensive study to date on the effects of institutionalization on children’s wellbeing. Romania’s Abandoned Children, the authoritative account of this landmark study, documents the devastating toll paid by children who are deprived of responsive care, social interaction, stimulation, and psychological comfort.

Combining scientific, historical, and personal narratives in a gripping, often heartbreaking, account, Romania’s Abandoned Children highlights the urgency of efforts to help the millions of parentless children living in institutions throughout the world.

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Complete Booklist

Adopting a Child Living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Liz Lawryk, $26.50

Adopting a Child with a Trauma & Attachment Disruption History. Theresa Fraser, $9.95

Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids. Gregory Keck & Regina Kupecky, $20.50

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents. Deborah Gray, $29.95

Attachment-Focused Parenting: Effective Strategies to Care for Children. Daniel Hughes, $42.00

Attachment in the Young Child. Kinship Center, $95.50 DVD format

Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control: a Love-Based Approach to Helping Children with Severe Behaviors. Heather Forbes & B. Bryan Post, $23.95

Building Self-Esteem in Children Who are Adopted or Fostered. Sue Cornbluth, $25.95

A Child’s Journey Through Placement. Vera Fahlberg, $33.95

Children with Prenatal Alcohol and/or Other Drug Exposure: Weighing the Risks of Adoption. Susan Edelstein, $14.50

Connecting with Kids through Stories: Using Narratives to Facilitate Attachment in Adopted Children, 2nd Edition. Denise Lacher, Todd Nichols & Joanne May, $30.95

Does My Child Have PTSD? What to Do When Your Child Is Hurting from the Inside Out. Jolene Philo, $22.95

First Steps in Parenting the Child Who Hurts: Tiddlers and Toddlers. Caroline Archer, $26.95

From Fear to Love: Parenting Difficult Adopted Children. B. Bryan Post, $17.50

Games and Activities for Attaching with Your Child. Deborah Gray & Megan Clarke, $22.95

The Girl Behind the Door: a Father's Quest to Understand His Daughter's Suicide. John Brooks, $33.00

The Great Behavior Breakdown. B. Bryan Post, $23.95

A Guide to Therapeutic Child Care: What You Need to Know to Create a Healing Home. Ruth Emond, Laura Steckley & Autumn Roesch-Marsh, $31.95

Healing the Hidden Hurts: Transforming Attachment and Trauma Theory into Effective Practice with Families, Children, and Adults. Edited by Caroline Archer, Charlotte Drury & Jude Hills, $35.95

Healing Parents: Helping Wounded Children Learn to Trust & Love. Michael Orlans & Terry Levy, $41.95

The Healing Power of the Family: an Illustrated Overview of Life with the Disturbed Foster or Adopted Child. Richard Delaney, $27.95

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The Hope-Filled Parent: Meditations for Foster and Adoptive Parents of Children Who Have Been Harmed. Michael Trout, $20.95 CD format

Improving Sensory Processing in Traumatized Children: Practical Ideas to Help Your Child's Movement, Coordination, and Body Awareness. Sarah Lloyd, $19.95

Innovative Therapeutic Life Story Work: Developing Trauma-Informed Practice for Working with Children, Adolescents and Young Adults. Edited by Richard Rose, $39.95

An Introduction to Autism for Adoptive and Foster Families: How to Understand and Help Your Child. Katie Hunt & Helen Rodwell, $25.95

More than Love: Adopting and Surviving Attachment Disordered Children. Sherril Stone, $18.95

Next Steps in Parenting the Child Who Hurts: Tykes and Teens. Caroline Archer, $27.95

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow. Gregory Keck & Regina Kupecky, $21.50

Parenting Strategies to Help Adopted and Fostered Children with Their Behaviour: Trauma-Informed Guidance and Action Charts. Christine Gordon, $27.95

Promoting Attachment with a Wiggle, Giggle, Hug and Tickle: a Programme for Babies, Young Children and Carers. Fiona Brownlee & Lindsay Norris, $29.95

Reparenting the Child Who Hurts: a Guide to Healing Developmental Trauma and Attachments. Caroline Archer & Christine Gordon, $31.95

Romania’s Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development, and the Struggle for Recovery. Charles Nelson, Nathan Fox & Charles Zeanah, $35.50

Troubled Transplants: Unconventional Strategies for Helping Disturbed Foster and Adopted Children. Richard Delaney & Frank Kunstal, $30.95 – Video, $41.95

When Love Is Not Enough: a Guide to Parenting Children with RAD-Reactive Attachment Disorder. Nancy Thomas, $20.75

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