Healing the Wounded Child: (re)-integrating the child into the family by Lark Eshleman, PhD

On September 24, 2009, 9:14 am

This presentation will give an overview of normal, healthy attachment development and what happens if attachment development goes awry. Healthy attachments are formed between infant and parent when the child learns that his or her needs will be met in a predictable way by a loving, trusted adult. What happens if attachment does not develop in a positive way? What if adults are faced with parenting a child who has needs they cannot meet? Many children on the autism spectrum are isolated not just by the nature of the disorder, but also by the fact that loving parents may lack the tools and support needed to help them function on a day-to-day basis, much less make progress over time. Families often feel shame, fear, and frustration in not knowing how to parent an autistic child or keep others in the family safe. Here are practical suggestions and insights that can help on a day-to-day basis.

Lark Eshleman, PhD is a child and adolescent psychotherapist. She is a certified school psychologist in Pennsylvania and board certified in domestic violence by the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. An expert in working with children who have experienced early emotional trauma, attachment difficulties, neglect and abuse, Dr. Eshleman is the founder and director of the Institute for Children and Families (ICF) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a leading treatment center for children who suffer from the effects of early trauma. Her international work is highlighted by her development of a treatment and training program to help children and families devastated in the war in the former Yugoslavia; that program continues to be used today in areas of crisis around the world. She is the author of Becoming a Family: Promoting Healthy Attachments with Your Adopted Child (Taylor Publishing Company) as well as other publications and has contributed family and professional magazines and journals.

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