Attachment/Adoption Therapy

on Monday, 18 February 2013.

Some children who receive therapy at Functional Kids Clinic have co-occurring issues related to traumatic events.  Whenever and however these came about we have learned that they can affect emotional and cognitive development, as well as affect sensory processing.  All these factors can work together to block progress.

We have received in-services, training, and consultation from Holly Van Gulden and Claude Riedel.  They are directors of the Adoptive Family Counseling Center.  Holly has also co-authored the book Learning the Dance of Attachment.  The information they have shared has helped us to understand the developmental level of our clients in these many areas, whether or not they were adopted.  We have come to believe that severe sensory processing difficulties can also be a traumatic event and lead to delays in these areas. 

The attachment work that Holly and Claude do is centered on the use of basic sensory information to establish: a) self / other identity, b) self permanence (I will still be here when I’m asleep), c) other permanence (mom is still here because I can feel her, even when I can’t feel her I can smell her perfume and know that she exists), d) constancy of self (I’m still me when I’m happy or sad or make mistakes), e) constancy of others (dad still loves me when he is upset at me).

Holly Van Gulden hollyvang@aol.com

Claude Riedel, MA, LP, LMFT riede006@umn.edu

Metabolic Therapy

on Monday, 18 February 2013.

In order for our bodies to be functioning properly, the metabolic system needs to be working properly.  Metabolism is the complex set of chemical reactions that the body uses to maintain life, including energy production.  This system ensures a healthy gastrointestinal system and autoimmune system, and allows healthy growth and changes to occur neurologically.

When children have sensory processing difficulties, progress through OT can be blocked by metabolic problems.  As part of our desire to help the child recover more fully we may recommend that the family address possible metabolic concerns.

Two steps that a family can take right away include 1) increasing water consumption, 2) decreasing processed foods, especially sugars and simple carbohydrates like white breads and pasta.  The next step would be to be evaluated by a professional who can look at possible imbalances in the digestive system including bacteria levels and/or food sensitivities to things such as wheat (gluten) or milk (casein).  The immune system is strongly linked to digestive functioning, so is an excellent place to start to improve whole body functioning.

There are many practitioners who complete metabolic workups within the Twin Cities area, including, yet not be limited to functional medicine physicians, chiropractors, neurologists, nutritionalists, naturopaths, DAN (Defeat Autism Now) physicians.  If you would like additional information and resources regarding these concerns, please discuss them with your therapist.