Saturday, 24 May 2014

Research that Benefits Children and Families—Uplifting Stories

                I believe that a positive example of the effects of research on both children and families are the recent studies and awareness about postpartum depression. Until very recently, mental illness of any kind was a very taboo and a very hush hush conversation. There was a very negative stigma associated with mental illness and disorders and people often dealt with their problems in secrecy, feeling shame and embarrassment. It is very refreshing to see people talking openly about their difficulties related to mental illness. There are advertisements reaching out to help those in need, schools are providing information and support to students and members from the community and media are talking candidly about their experiences. Some light has finally been shed on issues that have been hiding in the dark for far too long.
                In 2006, Brooke Shields wrote a memoir entitled “Down Came the Rain” depicting her struggle with postpartum depression. It hit media sources full force, especially when she appeared on Oprah to discuss her story further. She received a lot of negative backlash even from celebrities and the media. She also received a lot of praise and positive feedback commending and thanking her for her courage in telling her story. As an advocate for the disorder, Brooke Shields wanted to spread awareness “so that women in her situation would get help sooner rather than later”. Research has since boomed and more and more women and families have come forward to share their stories. As a result people are more aware and help is more readily available than ever before. 

The following list of websites offer great information about postpartum depression and support:

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Your Personal Research Journey

For my research simulation and study throughout this course I have decided to focus on attachment theory. The subtopics I have chosen to investigate throughout my research are: ways to foster secure and healthy attachment, strategies to help children with insecure attachment issues and finally, the effects of abandonment issues on healthy attachment. In particular, I want to look at the effects of fostering and adoption on secure attachment bonds among children. As I mentioned in my application task this week, this issue is something that speaks to me whole heartedly because in my role as a teacher I have encountered several children with attachment issues and have struggled to help them and their families find strategies to cope with this problem. Many of my students are foster children as a result of neglect and abuse. I want to help these children and families access the healthy loving relationships that they deserve.

             So far I have found this simulation process challenging. I knew that I wanted to research the topic of attachment theory, but found it very difficult to break that topic into subtopics that would work well with one another and would be researchable. Dr. Todd suggested using a strategy to implement and then measure its effectiveness for helping the student with attachment issues. I thought this was a great idea but found it very difficult to find a strategy to use that would reach all of my students. Although we have studied attachment theory in this class, I am by no means an expert and didn’t feel comfortable naming a strategy to use because I still need to research this topic. Furthermore, I found myself asking about other issues these children may have other than attachment theory. How do I determine this? I am wondering if any of my colleagues can suggest strategies they have seen work with regards to insecure attachment. Have you taught children with this problem in the past? If so how did you help these children cope and manage their emotions in the classroom or center?

Any insight, support or ideas you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all very much!