Facts About Toddler age (18 months & 3 years)
There is a period of life in a child that falls between infancy and relative independence. This period is the toddler period, typically classified as falling between the ages of one and three. This is a time of great social, cognitive, and emotional development.
Toddler age (18 months & 3 years) Challenges
Toddler adoption presents unique rewards and unusual challenges. More and more adopted children are arriving home between the ages of one and three and many have been removed from a familiar setting and are grieving the loss of a known caregiver, have experienced neglect or other forms of abuse, and may have experienced multiple disruptions in their short lives. In many cases toddlers who have resided in orphanages have experience both environmental impoverishment and inadequate care.
Toddler age (18 months & 3 years) Treatment
A gradual and planned transition helps resolve grief, allows for transference of attachment, and assists development of healthy attachment toward the permanent parent(s). In the ideal situation, toddlers are introduced to their new parents via pictures, letters, conversations, and pre-placement visits that allow a gradual transfer of care from the former caregiver(s) to the adoptive parent(s). Toddlers need to witness the former caregiver's permission and support for the role their new parents are assuming to shift their love and loyalty without feeling guilt.
Attachment issues are central to literally every toddler adoption. If the toddler has enjoyed a secure attachment, the parents must support her through the task of transferring her attachment to her new caregivers. However, if the toddler has not experienced a secure attachment, the parents will be confronted with the challenging task of building attachment. Attachment problems are indicated by developmental delays, resistance to being comforted and cuddled, ambivalent or rejecting behavior toward parents, raging and aggressive behavior, extremely negative and controlling behavior, unorganized play, absent or extreme separation anxiety, and premature independence. The number of disruptions and the manner in which those disruptions occurred has a significant effect on the toddler's resistance or responsiveness to attachment strategies. Other factors that affect the attachment process include how long and when children experienced inadequate parenting, prenatal conditions, and individual characteristics of the child. Parents feel more secure if they focus on their role in fostering attachment and celebrate progress in that direction, no matter how slow it seems in developing.
Toddler age (18 months & 3 years) Prognosis
The majority of children adopted as toddlers who were prepared and gradually transitioned to their adoptive homes, and whose parents employ specific attachment strategies, grow up to lead healthy, stongly attached lives functioning within normal developmental ranges in both home and school environments.
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