"You've developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil ... you are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability." -Lori Borgman

Saturday, October 3, 2015


This story is one of a series written on behalf of a mom who placed her children at IACD years ago. She writes from a place of love as a woman who has endured the feelings of love and loss after adopting children with reactive attachment disorder. Her boys are now grown men. These are her reflections and memories from life experiences and the wisdom that time bestows.
Perhaps you looked forward to fall—the time when your child with reactive attachment disorder could return to school after summer break. Now, you may find that’s not going well either (again!). Some children with reactive attachment disorder disrupt at school and, admittedly, you feel embarrassed. The teachers and principal look to you as the problem and the person responsible to “fix” it. Yet, you’re looking to them for help.
Other children with reactive attachment disorder charm the adults at school. The teachers and principal don’t see the behaviors you do. Yet, your child comes home to disrupt your home and family—in a big way.
Whatever your specific situation, parents of children with disrupted attachment can benefit from support in regard to school. No matter how they express it, children with reactive attachment disorder don’t deal well when they need to give control to adult authorities. The result is an array of complicated and disruptive behaviors in or outside of school.
Here are some ways you can navigate school issues for your child with reactive attachment disorder:
  • Develop resources from experts and professionals. Assemble easy-to-read and concise talking points in regard to the typical behaviors of children with reactive attachment disorder (see our resources for reactive attachment disorder).
  • Advocate for your child. Inform school officials about traumatized children and attachment issues so they can interact with your child more effectively.
  • Inform teachers about your child’s specific struggles. All children are different from one another, no matter their similar diagnoses. Let your child’s teacher know about your child’s individual needs and triggers.
  • Get your child’s mental health assessments and advocate early for an IEP (individual education plan). Children with early trauma often have difficulty with concentration, focus, impulsivity and cause-and-effect thinking. Research the criteria for an IEP and address your child’s issues through strategies in an IEP.
  • Bring a solid support person with you when you request special school services.Prepare yourself for resistance from school personnel. In my state, we had a group that supported parents of special needs children (PEP). They provided experts to attend the school meetings with us.
  • Avoid school battles at home. What goes on in school stays in school. When your child gets in trouble in school, keep his or her natural consequences there. Explain this parenting philosophy to your child’s teacher so he or she does not expect you to remedy school issues at home.
  • Explain the idea of “splitting” to your child’s teacher. If your child is inclined to lie about you and your home life to others, let your child’s teacher know early on. Children with reactive attachment disorder typically lie to “split” relationships between parent/teacher, spouses, etc. to gain control. Make sure you and your child’s teacher are a team to avoid this dynamic.
  • Ensure homework is your child’s responsibility. Give your child the structure of a certain time of day for homework each day. If your child doesn’t complete the work, do not get in the way of their natural consequences. Children with reactive attachment disorder often use homework for control and infuriate their parents.
Do not tax yourself with worry about your child’s education. It may take a long time, but if and when your child decides to do the work to learn, they will.

Wisconsin FACETS Trainings


10/1 Serving on Groups that Make Decisions (Section 1 & 2), 12-1 pm
10/6 IEP Part 1, 12-1 pm
10/7 Navigating the Special Education Maze, 12-1 pm
10/8 IEP Part 2, 12-1 pm
10/12 Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS): Facilitated IEPs, 12-1 pm
10/14 IEPs and the Common Core Standards, 12-1 pm
10/15 Serving on Groups that Make Decisions (Section 3), 12-1 pm
10/16 Apoyos e Intervenciones para Obtener una Conducta Positiva, 12-1 pm
10/20 A Family Guide to PBIS, 12-1 pm
10/20-21 State Superintendent’s Conference on Special Education & Pupil Services Leadership Issues, WI Dells 
10/29 Serving on Groups that Make Decisions (Section 4 & 5), 12-1 pm
10/30 Resolviendo Desacuerdos a Través de la Mediación, 12-1 pm

Ozaukee Family Services Upcoming Workshops

All workshops are free and held at Ozaukee Family Services unless otherwise noted.

Spirited Child:
Positive ways to work with your child's spirit and temperament.

Parenting With Love and Logic: Learn how Love helps children grow from their mistakes and Logic allows them to live with the consequences of their choices.

Rainbows: A peer support program for kids K-12th grade who have experienced divorce or death of a parent.

Let’s Play to Learn: For parents and 2-4 year olds.

Behavior Modification: Strategies for managing difficult behavior.

Let’s Play to Learn:Get creative with your 2-4 year old.

NAMI Ozaukee

Registration still available for NAMI Family-to-Family program

MEQUON — The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ozaukee County will sponsor the NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program specifically for families of persons diagnosed with serious mental illness. The 12-week series of free classes be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays and start September 14, 2015.
The course will cover information about schizophrenia; mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and major depression; panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder; coping skills, such as handling crisis and relapse; basic information about medications; listening and communication techniques; problem solving skills; recovery and rehabilitation; and self-care around worry and stress. The curriculum has been written by an experienced family member mental health professional and the course will be taught by NAMI-Ozaukee family member volunteers who have taken intensive training as course instructors.
The course is designed specifically for parents, siblings, spouses, adult children (age 18 or older) and significant others of persons with severe and persistent mental illness. To provide a cohesive, beneficial and productive learning experience for all attendees, participants are expected to attend all 12 (once a week) classes; however, there may be reasonable exceptions.
Class size is limited.  For more information on how to register: Email namiozaukee@gmail.com or call NAMI Ozaukee at 243-3627.

Children Come First Conference

Early Bird Rate - $150 has been extended until Oct. 12 (after Oct. 12 - $185)
Youth Track ($75) 
For youth ages 12-26 with a social, emotional, behavioral, mental health or substance use challenge
 Conference website:  www.ccfconference.org  – Register right from the website.
Special rates on hotel rooms are guaranteed until Oct. 16th (then subject to availability).
CEUs available
 Please share this email with others.
Sponsorship and Exhibitor opportunities available. Contact Alison@wifamilyties.org for more information.

Zachariah's Acres

Fall Harvest Fest 2015

Enjoy a hay ride around the serene property, pick your own pumpkin, participate in the pumpkin Olympics, and relax with light refreshments. All planned activities are fully accessible to kids with special needs. This FREE event is exclusively for children with special needs and their families.


Saturday October 10, 2015 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM CDT


Zachariah's Acres
N67W35911 Servants’ Way
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
For more information: http://www.zachariahsacres.org

Zachariah's Acres

Trail Run/Walk/Roll to Benefit Children with Special Needs

The trail run takes place on 125 acres of pristine land in Southeast Wisconsin and features rolling hills that meander through prairie grass, woods, ponds and cornfields. After the Family Run/Walk/Roll, Zachariah’s Acres will host its Fifth Annual Fall Harvest event held exclusively for children with special health care needs and their families.


Saturday October 10, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM CDT 


Zachariah's Acres
N74 W35911 Servants’ Way
Oconomowoc, WI 53066