ADAPT Scotland supports foster and adoptive parents and the traumatised children in their care to find ways of managing life in happier and healthier ways.
Testimonial from a parent at midway point of support.
"Parenting my son was to say the least not enjoyable and at worst a living nightmare. Having had input from ADAPT Scotland we are now in a place where I look forward to my time with my son rather than the feelings of dread that I used to have. From the depths of desperation I researched every conceivable intervention and quickly began to realise that my son was affected by early trauma and that traditional parenting of children like my son actually made things more difficult and was totally inappropriate. At that point I understood that I (we) needed to parent him differently.
Things are not 'fixed', they never will be. My son has complex difficulties that continue, however the impact of these are now not as traumatising.
I asked for help from ADAPT Scotland after everything else available locally failed to make any difference and I felt under attack in my own home and worried about my own and my son’s future safety. I had come to realise that we required a holistic whole family approach from one source rather than multiple professionals giving conflicting advice and dealing with us on an individual basis.
Working with ADAPT has given me the understanding of my son’s condition that no other professional even came close to. Now I am better equipped to see his challenging behaviour as a way of him trying to communicate to me that he is struggling, anxious or even in fear... rather than seeing the challenging behaviour as just that ... challenging behaviour. His behaviour is actually a cry for help!
My son lives in a 'fight' or 'flight' world and his levels of anxiety are extreme. I have the ability now to reflect on situations and think of a more therapeutic response that would have been more appropriate. I am working on feeling less guilty for not giving my son experiences which most children would find fun and get joy from but that he finds challenging. We cannot do 'normal' activities without careful planning and reduction of environmental stimuli that he finds difficult and now I can make decisions based on the needs of my son rather than what is 'normal' and 'expected'. I have, with every best intention, been trying to 'fit a square peg into a round hole' - meaning I have tried to shape our family life into what people see as normal and that society expects. We are not 'that' family, and life needed to change to reflect that.
The support from ADAPT has been beyond my expectations. I have felt listened too, understood and believed. I'm getting it right far more often than not now and the aggression towards me from my son has reduced to being a rare occurrence. We are in a much better place and I believe after the ADAPT programme and with long-term less intensive support we can maintain this."
"It is difficulty to put into words the transformational effect that working with Adapt Scotland has had on our family life. From a position where we were all struggling to hold our family together, Karen and Christine provided support, advice and an outlet for our pain. More than that, they brought comfort that we were not alone; that we could be happy again; that our whole family could, in fact, thrive.
The impact of having these remarkable women in our lives is something that will be with us forever. There is no doubt that we shall hit bumps in the years that lie ahead of us, however we are so much better equipped to understand and cope with these that we can look forward with a confidence and happiness, which once seemed impossible."
"The greatest gift you can give to a adoptive parent is the support of someone who is non-judgemental, confident and who has expert knowledge of your situation. You feel safe, trusting and able to accept your child for who they are and what they are going through. Through the use of therapeutic reparenting skills, it then becomes possible to move forward and help to repair the trauma from which your child is suffering. ADAPT Scotland has been just such a gift for our family."
“Developmental re-parenting helped me to parent my child from a place of LOVE and this made the crucial difference to her and to our relationship.”
“This is amazing!! Never had a difficult let alone challenging bedtime for four weeks now. Even after the aggressive hour or so last Thursday, bedtime was easy. Teeth, toilet the lot! He even asked the usual… Can I go out to play tonight, and I said no as usual. No kick off, no argument or no shouting”!
"After years of questioning our ability as parents, and at times our sanity, it has been a breath of fresh air to be supported by Adapt Scotland. In the past, although support was there, we often felt our inability to get value from the training and support offered was down to the fact that we were just crap adoptive parents. We were presented with information and training to somehow make parenting our girls easier. Why didn't it? It had to be us!
How amazing it has been to feel we have someone really understand the challenges of reparenting children who hurt and give us permission to say ….. this is really ****** hard! So much of what we believed about parenting in the past is just not appropriate for our girls and ADAPT has allowed us to discover this without feeling judged or in anyway inadequate. Our children need new understanding and parenting skills based on their fullest histories, something which we felt deprived of. They need the kind of parenting that recognises the trauma and losses endured not just by them, but within their birth families too.
Too many times we've heard "oh all kids are like that" or "it's just the same as our kids" and been left feeling somehow it must be us that don't measure up to the job, yet deep down recognise that this is different, it is not the same, that these girls live and struggle to survive daily because of the way they perceive the world. They need specialised help and support, through their adoptive parents, to promote the repeated practicing of core social and emotional life skills, skills that reduce fear and promote a more pervading sense of safety. This is so much more complex than it sounds and takes massive practice for everyone involved. The practical, hands on support we’ve experienced from Adapt Scotland has enabled us to make a significant start to that journey.
As parents we need to practice calm and control consistently. Without that our children will surely continue to struggle. We need to practice self care, despite the intensity of parenting, and be supported to prioritise that. We need the pressures of making a living to be reduced and be allowed to concentrate on making a family which provides the foundation for these children to feel safe, secure, loved, valued, accepted and have positive and worthy expectations so they can go on to achieve their fullest potential in the world. Our children need to be helped to understand their own behaviour, building strong positive narratives for their lives and supported to practice new appropriate strategies in a nurturing and understanding way that promotes the journey and not the outcome. We have learned more about ourselves and adoptive parenting in the last two months than we have in the last ten years."