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Adoptive mother of 3 young children had good luck using Good Night for night terrors and asks for ..

16 May
An awesome woman who adopted three troubled siblings, uses imagery and her own invaluable, tender loving care to help her traumatized babies achieve stability and happiness..
HJ heard from an awesome woman who adopted three troubled siblings, and who has been using imagery, along with many other resources and her own invaluable, tender loving care to help these traumatized babies achieve stability and happiness. Here are her own words:

All three of my children have been adopted (a family) through foster care. The twin boys were 2-1/2 and the little girl was 1-1/2 when they were placed with us as foster children. We were their third placement in 6 months, not to mention that they had had no stability, nurturing and just basic care.

I am extremely happy to say that they are now with their forever family. It has been 4 years since their placement, and they have made tremendous progress in becoming "normal kids". We worked with a therapist (PhD in behavior) and a speech pathologist for about 1-1/2 yrs. We dealt with what we could at the time. We couldn’t really move forward until they were older and could better understand.

Now time has passed and we have some room to grow in understanding, what is acceptable behavior and what isn''t, why they often push people away and other things that often happen with children diagnosed with PTSD, disruptive behavior disorder, mixed expressive/receptive language disorder, neglect, and severe and sustained stressors: loss and trauma. .

One of the twins had trouble with really bad night terrors (3 to 4 times a night) and sleep walking, so I started playing the Good Night cassette and have had wonderful, wonderful results with that. I switched to The Star Within tape after about 3 or 4 weeks of listening to the other, and the terrified screaming started again. We changed back the next night. (Ed. Note from BR: With a traumatized kid, we recommend you don’t switch anything that works - they are very distressed by loss and change, as you well know. So we suspect that this child wasn’t upset by the new tape, just upset at the loss of the old tape. You were wise to quickly switch back. If you want to introduce something new, try to do so without taking away the old!)

Could you suggest something that might help them grow to love and trust and not be afraid? Something that might also help them to fall asleep?? They are truly little angels ( okay, maybe not angels, but pretty close, a least I think so).

I do intend to have them go back to therapy again. The boys are just now finishing kindergarten and I am proud to say they have passed entrance into the 1st grade. They are going to summer school for a little boost and the structure is good for them. The little girl has all but finished pre-school and will enter into kindergarten next fall. Her teacher detects no learning disabilities at all. (She was previously diagnosed as learning disabled and received some additional help through The Infants and Toddlers program of Maryland.

What tapes would you suggest for my children and at what time of day or night should they listen? I am hoping you will suggest something soothing to deal with some of the issues that adopted children go through - loss, anger and not knowing why, distrust, behavior problems, poor sleep and anything else I might have missed. I still see residual effects in all three.

Thank you for any suggestions you may have and I hope this isn''t too all over the place or hard to read. (my excuse is Mommy Brain and getting interrupted about 30 times while writing this. Anyway, thanks again for your time and suggestions.

P.S. (I new I forgot something) I swear by your Relaxation & Wellness CD)

Additional comments from BR:
What lucky, lucky kids to have you for their permanent mommy!! I take my hat off to you and the way you’ve - no exaggeration - saved these kids’ lives.

I would suggest you continue to do what you’ve been doing - use the kids’ imagery audios in a structured way - perhaps to start and end each day. As you’ve already noticed, the regularity and structure are as beneficial as the intervention itself. Any and all the Roxanne Daleo audios would be fine - but keep it slow and steady and consistent, and, as I mentioned earlier, don’t introduce a new one until they seem ready for it - in fact, I’d leave it up to the kids, when they’re ready to try a new one - and I’d keep using the oldies but goodies until they tell you otherwise. Charlotte Reznick’s audio, which teaches belly breathing and progressive relaxation, is another wonderful self-soothing skill teacher, and, when they get a little older, they’ll be ready for Betty Mehling’s Magic Island.

I would also make ample use of "magical" teddy bears, blankets, and other symbolic items for them to take to bed with them, objects that you’ve helped create stories about, that connote safety and protection. Interestingly, in the recent movie, Crash, a Latino dad creates an "invisible cloak" for his traumatized little girl who is afraid to fall asleep. This is exactly the sort of imaginative invention I’m talking about - I was so delighted to see it so skillfully exemplified in the movie!

There is a technique called WHEE that is particularly good for kids. In your searching for a therapist, try to find one skilled in these new "alphabet therapies". There is a Trauma Disorders Center at Sheppard Pratt - they may be able to steer you to the right practitioners in Maryland.

Good luck and hats off to you!
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award