Jean Mercer Responds to Adoptive Parent’s Comments
In the previous posting, I responded to Faith, an adoptive parent who commented on one of my blog articles. What follows is Jean Mercer’s responses to Faith. My purpose in posting our responses is to hopefully clarify what our positions are on these issues and to hopefully promote greater understanding among people who disagree with one another.
Again, I will indent Faith’s comments and Dr. Mercer’s comments are in italics, so the reader can distinguish between them.
As an adoptive parent of a child adopted overseas from an orphanage, I must say that unless you have experienced parenting a child with diagnosed Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Severe PTSD you really can’t know what techniques work and which ones don’t.
My child was a serious danger to himself and to those around him during a meltdown.
Without the use of touching him during these times and using the safety restraints taught in professional training through the state and by a trained specialist, my son could not calm himself down.
To allow him to fling himself around the room banging his head on the floor, ect…there are times when restaints done with precision and with the motive of compassion and utmost safety are the kindest way to help the child.
Dr. Federici teaches THAT type of hold in his book and in his practice.
My child has gone from completely unattached and labeled with conduct disorder at 4 years of age to a gentleman with an open and joyful heart.
Unless you are the parent of a child like this, you do not know what you talking about.
I love my child and have only wanted him to have his best chance at breaking through the barriers of mental illness that he was an innocent victim of in his early life.
His frame of mind was survival and manipulation.
Of course he would say, “I promise to stop….” and as any parent of a child with reactive attachment disorder and PTSD would identify with as being manipulated into letting the child continue to try to run the world through his distorted and rageful mindframe.
They are so scared that they lose control.
To let that go on when there are people who have used safe methods that work, to not try and help your child…is where I find the abuse.
Ther real world out there isn’t going to allow their violent tantrums or verbal abuse.
From experience as a therapist and as the client of a son in Play Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, it doesn’t work.
Traditional therapies don’t go deep enough into their preverbal traumas.
Only safety and development of trust can start to heal that wound.
The real world isn’t going to have “compassion” when he socks his future boss, wife, stranger or anyone in range when his PTSD rages hit.
No, the real world expects him to calm himself done, and this is TAUGHT.
I am an advocate for doing what works,
and the use of therapeutic holds as described in Federici’s book in emergency situations was totally appropriate.
I am proud to say that with Dr. Federici’s help, my son is a healthy boy today who can handle his emotions as developmentally appropriate.
Recovery is possible.
My son was a worst case scenario of complex diagnoses-and he overcame it with the help of his therapeutically trained parents and professional help from Dr. Federici.
Monica Pignotti is slandering a person who she does not know and does not understand, clearly.
It’s offensive to have such behavior from a person who claims to be a professional social worker.
If left up to Monica Pignotti, my son would live in a group home where the staff would have no choice but to restrain him and THEY WOULD NOT BE DOING OUT OF COMPASSION.
Love goes along ways. I pray that parents of adopted children with severe mental issues and attachment problems find professionals-such as Dr. Federici who can help them to help their child.
It’s understandable that this is an emotional issue for you, but that’s just another reason why approval or disapproval of interventions should not be based entirely on the personal reactions of people who have been involved with them.
Jean Mercer, Ph.D.