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New Book: in praise of The Trauma and Attachment Aware Classroom by Rebecca Brooks

Simon September 29, 2019 12:48

As an adoptive parent of two siblings now in high school (12 & 11), I just had to share this fantastic new book with you, by Adoption UK’s very own Rebecca Brooks. Rebecca is education and policy advisor for Adoption UK and has been closely involved in the brilliant “Adoption Barometer”. (We were discussing the merits of this book at our local peer to peer adoptive parents support group on Friday evening and we were all wondering how Rebecca had found the time to write the book and put together the Adoption Barometer – amazing!)

This is the book I wished I had when our children first came to live with us aged 7 and 6. Really easy to read and dip in and out of in moments of panic and crisis in school. This book is equally good for both parents and teachers. In fact, the book is a really good adoptive parenting tool, packed full of reminders as to why our children sometimes behave the way they do e.g. trauma, attachment, toxic shame, and PACE etc.

I particularly like Rebecca’s “real life” classroom examples of how things could be in all our schools for adopted children. In every chapter Rebecca uses examples of practices of some of the UK’s truly adoption friendly primary and secondary schools and head teachers; like Stuart Guest and his school, Colebourne Primary here in the West Midlands. Each chapter includes “approaches to try” e.g. if your child is struggling with peer relationships, Rebecca will give you and your child’s school some “approaches to try!”

My top tip!

This book will really help you as a parent to strengthen your home-school relationship (something all adoptive parents wish for!) It will also help your school to become more “adoption friendly”. Buy two copies! One for you and one copy for your child’s classroom teacher &/or inclusion lead. Last week, both my children had a bit of a wobble at school. Mercifully, their school is very adoption friendly, but the book was invaluable. I needed some ideas on approaches to suggest and try on “toxic shame” and “separation & loss”. The book was a life saver.

Thank you Rebecca Brooks and thank you Adoption UK.

Simon

The Trauma and Attachment Aware Classroom by Rebecca Brooks, published by Jessica Kingsley. Priced £14.63. Available from Amazon Books https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trauma-Attachment-Friendly-Classroom-Practical/dp/178592558X

Safia September 29, 2019 15:30

Looks like a really good book - I might buy it as a present for the school I’m doing a placement in when I leave - I see Sally Donovan has written a new book too about the teenage years which I’m sure is worth getting too

Kazzie September 29, 2019 17:20

Is Rebecca's book useful for post 16 colleges as well as schools? I'd recommend the Sally Donovan book Safia.

Rosiebo September 29, 2019 22:04

I haven't read Rebecca's book as my dd has now left school; though it sounds very good.. I would recommend the Sally Donovan book about the teenage years too.

Lettice October 1, 2019 09:38

Kazzie, this one is useful for 16+:

Teenagers and Attachment: Helping Adolescents Engage with Life and Learning by Louise Bomber and (lots of) others....

It's not such a brilliant book as some of Louise Bomber's other work, but it does put across the same messages and practical strategies in a form that works for an older age group.

Kazzie October 1, 2019 22:11

Thank you Lettice. I will look out for it.

BeckyAUK October 8, 2019 13:20

Ah Simon, thanks for your kind comments and wonderful support 😄

The book is really aimed at primary/secondary education, but I think there are aspects in there that would still be relevant at post-16. The first few chapters give a theoretical underpinning for why so many of our children experience difficulties in education - attachment, trauma, FASD, developmental and cognitive delay, shame, stress and anxiety etc. Then the rest covers common situations that might arise, explains why children's responses may be unexpected, and suggests approaches to try for each - these include challenging curriculum content, coping with unstructured time, managing transitions and change, coping with tests and exams, maintaining supportive home-school communications etc. So I do think that there will be things in there that would still be relevant at post-16, although it is not specifically about adolescents or college-based education.

Simon October 8, 2019 13:48

Hi Becky

Such a great book. It has already become a bit of a "bible" for adoptive parents. Published at just the right time i.e children returning to school, after the summer hols. Sadly, may adoptive parents seem to be desperately trying to cope with tricky issues at school at the moment. Your book is proving a great resource, support and help.

Take care

Simon

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