This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Books and Methods Review - Online Support - Support Groups/ Forums/ Resources


ATN –Attachment and Trauma Network– ATN provides training both on-line and on-location training in therapeutic parenting, operates private on-line support communities with experienced therapeutic parents moderating, maintains a free database of worldwide therapists, respite providers, and resources, and is the premier support, education and advocacy system for those raising traumatized and attachment-disordered children. There is a membership fee associated with some of these services, including the online support and parent coaches.

ATTACH- Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children - ATTACh strives for a world where every child has secure attachment relationships. We provide an annual conference, membership directory, and other benefits to our members and the public. We invite you to join us as we continue our mission: providing training to parents and professionals to promote healthy attachment and heal trauma. Resouces has therapist, books and DVDs.

Balanced Mind – (used to be CABF – Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation) – this is an amazing site with support groups, forums, moderated chat, and LOTS of resources.  It focuses on supporting parents of children with mental illness, but there is an Adoption Support Group (list-serve) and a lot encompasses RAD.  You can join more than one support group.

BeTA -  Beyond Trauma and Attachment - We are moms of kids who came from tough situations.  Perhaps they grew up in abuse and neglect situations, perhaps they were raised in an orphanage, perhaps they were placed for adoption, perhaps we aren't sure why but through no fault of their own, they were exposed to early trauma and may have resistance attaching to their new families.  We are bio moms, step moms, foster moms, adoptive moms and other female caregivers.  We realize that we need to provide extra help for our children and therefore rely on each other's experiences to help them grow into the children that they are meant to be and offer them all the support that we are able. BeTA has a FaceBook page and online support groups (to access go through the FB page or email) offers an annual retreat and local support get togethers. Resources
Marythemom: These ladies are life savers. Join the FaceBook groups for positive support from people who "get it." All trauma mamas should try to attend the annual retreat in Florida at least once.

Center for Parent Information and Resources - Local Resources and Support Groups for families with a child who has a disability often need information about the disability of their child, about early intervention (for babies and toddlers), school services (for school-aged children), therapy, local policies, transportation, and much more. Every State has at least one Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) to offer families just this kind of information. Many States also have a Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC), which offers the same type of support and training to parents of children with disabilities.

NACAC - National Association Council on Adoptable Children  NACAC promotes and supports permanent families for children and youth in the U.S. and Canada who have been in care—especially those in foster care and those with special needs.To achieve this mission, NACAC focuses its program services in four areas: public policy advocacy, parent leadership capacity building, education and information sharing, and adoption support. To find a Support Group Near You.

NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness – NAMI offers support and trainings for people with mental illness and their families.  Family2Family training is like “mental illness 101” for family members (parents, siblings, spouses…) of adults with mental illness.  Visions for Tomorrow or NAMI Basics are trainings for parents of children under 18.  There are also trainings and support groups for consumers and teens.  They have local support groups and may offer volunteer advocates that can help with things like court cases, custody, and school issues. To find a NAMI Near You 

National Foster Care and Adoption Directory - Find Resources and Support Groups in your area.

Parent to Parent USA Emotional and informational support to families of children who have special needs most notably by matching parents seeking support with an experienced, trained 'Support Parent'. 

Texas Based

Texas Parent to Parent an amazing organization that helps parents of Texas children with disabilities, chronic illness, and/or special health care needs. It matches parents to parent mentors. These mentors have a child with a similar diagnosis. Parents are connected to resources through mentors, list serves and a library of resources.   To apply for a match -
Marythemom: I have both received a parent mentor and volunteer as one. This is a great program.

Texas Community Resource Coordination Groups (CRCGs) A team meeting of local interagency groups, comprised of public and private providers who come together with the family to develop individual services plans for children, youth, and adults whose needs can be met only through interagency coordination and cooperation.
Marythemom: We didn't have great luck with the local CRCG office, but I haven't used one in many years and things change. Sometimes they can get you access to services that you don't even know about. 

Council on Adoptable Children of  Texas (COACTX)
based support group associated with NACAC. 

  • Austin Council on Adoptable Children (COAC) Austin based support group associated with NACAC.  Offers monthly support group with FREE childcare offering a chance to connect with other parents of kids with trauma and other special needs. This website is not very current, but if you want to be added to the email list with monthly reminder notices and updated info then email marythemommy at gmail dot com. 

D/FW Advocates for Children of Trauma(ACT) Worth based support group.  Offers monthly meetings with FREE childcare, seminars with big-name adoption speakers including CUs for professionals, and forums offering access to other parents of kids with trauma.  

NAMI Austin – National Alliance on Mental Illness (  NAMI offers support and trainings for people with mental illness and their families.  Family2Family training is like “mental illness 101” for family members (parents, siblings, spouses…) of adults with mental illness.  Visions for Tomorrow or NAMI Basics are trainings for parents of children under 18.  There are also trainings and support groups for consumers and teens.  They may offer local volunteer advocates that can help with custody, school issues, court problems...

Facebook Support Groups 
There are so many kinds of groups on FaceBook that I can't list them all. I suggest searching FB using key words that mean something to you (adoption, attachment disorder, RAD, FASD, bipolar disorder...). You never know what you'll find. 

On FaceBook there are different types of groups - 

Public (ANYone can see what you post - these groups can be very negative, parent bashing and outright toxic. You can search on FaceBook for these groups. I won't list any here, because there are none I feel comfortable recommending.) 

Closed (Can be found by searching with key words on FB, but you must request to join and be approved by an Admin. Many of these use a moderator to make sure that posts and comments are appropriate and respectful of others, but it's up to the admin - each group is different). Your FB Friends can see that you are a member, but not what you post. )
  • Parenting Attachment Challenged Children -This is a group for parents/caregivers of "attachment challenged children" many of whom have been adopted. Membership is limited to those of us who are actively experiencing this unique challenge of parenting. 
  • Parenting With Connection -  This group supports parents in implementing connection based tools. For more information on the models that we support, please reference The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, Beyond Consequences Logic and Control by Heather Forbes and No Drama Discipline by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.
  • Texas Based - Central Texas Foster and Adoptive Parents
    • This is a group for moms/caregivers of children from the foster care system who live in Texas.
      Qualifications for admission into the group: 
      - In the licensing stage. Working with either CPS directly or an agency to become a licensed foster parent. - Are a licensed foster parent with either CPS or an agency- Have adopted a child(ren) from the foster system. 
Secret (You must know someone who is a member and will add you. No one can see that you're a member or what you post.)
  • BeTA (Beyond Trauma and Attachment) -  Mothers parenting children with Complex Trauma/ Developmental Trauma histories that have challenging behaviors and attachment issues. Can request to join via their FB page or email.
Super Secret (Honestly I have no idea what the difference is between Secret and Super Secret). has lots of resources for those considering adoption disruption or want to adopt a child from a disruption.
These resources no longer exist since this article came out.  I agree with this response to the article.
There is a FaceBook Support Group, but you have to know a member to get in.

Yahoo Support Groups and List-Serves

Balanced Mind a wide assortment of list serves are available - including an Adoption group. Register (free) to be matched with a group(s).
Parents of Children with Borderline Personality Disorder
Post- Adoptive Support

Other Ways to Find IRL (In Real Life) Support Groups and other resources:

  • Local churches (it doesn't have to be YOUR church, most don't require you to be a member)
  • Meetup (search for groups near you) 
  • Google "adoption support groups" - it will usually give you options in your area
  • Google "[Your county name] MHMR" - they no longer call them MHMRs, but they didn't choose a new standard acronym for all - now each county calls them something different, but Google remembers everything so you'll probably be able to find it this way. If your child qualifies for services, you can ask about support groups (they may not need to be receiving services to get it). 
  • Your adoption agency (if you used one), the local health and human services or child protection services offices  - a lot of times they'll have access to the names of support groups, even if they don't offer one themselves.
  • Special Education office in the school district your child attends (or would attend if they are homeschooled or receive services some other way - like attends a private school in another district). This is also a good place to find other kinds of resources: like local agencies, summer camps, parenting presentations for parents with special needs kids...). They are generally open to everyone (in or out of district). 
  • Call 2-1-1 from any phone. Their live, highly-trained service professionals offer 24/7 assistance locating local resources to anyone in North America.

A few outstanding Trauma Mama blogs:
Welcome to My Brain - Therapeutic parenting guru Christine MoersCheck out her therapeutic parenting YouTube videos too! 
Life in the Grateful house – an amazing success story with lots of good therapeutic advice
Talkin' Real Here - This blog is intended to be encouraging, thought provoking, and to provide information to parents with children who have been diagnosed or whose parents believe their children may have an attachment disorder, whether adopted or not, as medical issues and trauma in early childhood or in utero can also cause attachment disorders in children. 

Find a Therapist:
EMDR Therapists -  Have lists: and 
Therapists and psychiatrists - - I really like using this website for searching for therapists/psychiatrist, because it allows me to choose based on location (search by city or zip code), specialties (child and adolescent, EMDR, trauma…), insurance (do they accept Medicaid, BCBS, UBH…?), you can even search by gender (I have a child who can’t have a male therapist).  Do be aware that they have to pay to be on this list.

Find a Residential Treatment Center (RTC)

Finding and Funding Residential Treatment (RTC)
Kid Link Treatment Services - - A free resource to match RTC's with funding options and children's needs. I have not used their services but it came from a good source 
Texas based - Youth for Tomorrow

Medication Review:

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