It can be difficult to know what to do when a child is acting out. For international adoptions we know that for everyone month a child is in an orphanage expect 3 months delay. An adopted child is expected to have a “range” of delays, which includes behavioral. More often than not, in the early phases of adoption we see that CONSISTENCY & TIME are the greatest treatment. Likewise, the more familiar you are with your child’s past, the more likely you will know whether their behavior is rooted in sensory problems. Important questions that adopted parents wonder are: What messages is my child trying to communicate through her behavior? Is it a tantrum or a meltdown? How should I handle them differently? Is my child’s behavior developmentally “normal” or is this because he is adopted? Is this a just a phase that will HOPEFULLY pass? Is my child at higher risk for having Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?
One tip we suggest if you do have concerns, make sure to keep a thorough record of your child's behavior. This can help you spot patterns, such as triggers, length, where and when the outbursts generally occur. Likewise, it is important to understand your personal parenting and discipline style, which is a dyadic relationship with your child’s behavior. We have many tools to help in this area under the sections: Attachment, Abuse, Neglect, & Trauma, Grief & Loss, Discipline, Developmental & Milestones. This resource guide is not an all-inclusive list, but rather a tool to help you access the information you need. If you have major concerns, please contact your AAPA caseworker directly. We encourage parents who have major concerns to also start with the following resource for (children 0-5): If You Are Concerned: Learn the Signs. Act Early.