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Friday, 27 November 2020
Connection Between ADHD & Trauma Print
Julie Beem has another blog called ADHD-What's Trauma Got to Do With It? on adoptionBLOGS.com that I'd encourage folks to read, especially if parenting an adoptive child with ADHD.

We hear about higher percentages of adoptive children having ADHD. Some of these children, when evaluated by professionals who specialize in adoption, are found to be hypervigilant rather than truly being hyperactive. The distinction is profound, especially when looking at appropriate treatment methods. Medications often fail to have an effect when hypervigilance is the symptom and trauma is the root cause.

Adoptive Parent
Written by Debbie on 2006-10-01 06:32:44
Hyperactivity is sometimes part of the trauma response in children - ie, it's sometimes the result of a kind of childhood PTSD. It's seen in a lot of kids who've experienced abuse or neglect early on.  
Bruce Perry, who researches the effects of trauma on children's brain development, describes it as being stuck in the "fight or flight" response. That is, when a child experiences intense or repetitive trauma, the floods of neurochemicals (from the "fight or flight" response) can result in sensitisation of those parts of the brain, causing them to become more sensitive to future stressful events. Perry calls this “how states become traits”. In other words, repeated “switching-on” of this adaptive fear response can result in the fear state persisting long after it’s needed. The brain’s baseline arousal level is heightened.  
You see this especially in children's arousal, hypervigilance & hypersensitivity.  
It's interesting that a lot of adopted children seem to have difficulties with hyperactivity. A number of professionals believe it's to do with the separation trauma. Most children who are adopted as babies do very well, but some seem a little more fragile than others, & it's probably because they experience separation from their birthmother as very traumatic (not to mention the many other separations & traumas, big or small, that our kids experience). 
The child's very vulnerable brain is stuck in the trauma response, & is actually hyperaroused.  
The way to deal with it is to accept that the child's brain is 
overaroused & can't calm itself very well. That is, her "baseline" 
level of arousal is set higher than it needs to be, PLUS her ability 
to self-regulate, & get it back to baseline once it's been sent off is 
poor. The ideal way to parent these kids is to try to minimise their exposure to very stimulating situations, & to provide lots of calming activities (e.g. only 10 minutes running around the backyard playing StarWars before you bring the child indoors & have him help you bake cookies). They also need more structure than other kids, & more help with organising (e.g. routine charts). This approach helps to address the cause, rather than the symptom, of the problem. 
If you want to know some more, check out Dr Bruce Perry's website www.childtrauma.org, or check out my website (attachment pages), which will be up & running by the end of the week - www.djeffrey.id.au 
Excellent website article!
Written by Cynthia on 2006-10-25 21:45:28
The website mentioned above is EXCELLENT!!!!  

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