Raising and Healing the Adopted Child
For some adoptive parents like Bill & Ann Delmedico, love is not enough to raise a child with challenges. “Raising and Healing the Adopted Child: Effective Solutions & Practical Strategies to Help Your Child Reach Their Highest Potential” is a special conference to help educate & train adoptive parents and the professionals who work with them. Led by nationally recognized expert Dr. Ronald S. Federici, the conference will take place on May 19th and 20th near Baltimore, MD.
When Bill and Ann Delmedico adopted two young children from Kazakhstan in 2003, they expected they could use their parenting skills to raise their adopted children, Anthony and Kat, much as they had raised their three biological children. How hard could it be?
It was the first lesson in parenting adopted children for the Delmedico’s, and they learned it the hard way. Their adopted 2 1/2-year-old daughter Kat was self-mutilating, self-destructive and unable to control her bodily functions. When traditional therapy and their existing parenting skills failed to meet this challenge, the Delmedico’s teetered on the verge of divorce, health failing, and contemplated ending their relationship with their adopted children. It was only after they hit rock bottom that Bill and Ann realized that, for an adoptive child with challenges, love is not enough. And, unfortunately they’re not alone.
That is why Bill & Ann — along with Robin Bartko, adoptive parent and founder of the adoption education & support website ThinkingOfAdopting.com — are presenting “Raising and Healing the Adopted Child:ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡ Effective Solutions & Practical Strategies to Help Your Child Reach Their Highest Potential”, a conference taking place on May 19th and 20th at the Holiday Inn BWI International Airport just outside of Baltimore, MD.
The conference is being led by Dr. Ronald S. Federici, a developmental neuropsychologist, psychopharmacologist and author of Help for the Hopeless Child: A Guide for Families. Dr. Federici is a nationally recognized expert in the field of adoption medicine and a father of seven internationally adopted children. He knows from experience what families like the Delmedico’s are going through.
Dr. Federici helped the Delmedico family and hundreds like them who have encountered challenging adoptions. Bill Delmedico said that after trying traditional therapy, he was skeptical about anyone’s ability to help. But after his first talk with Dr. Federici, Mr. Delmedico declared, “He was telling MY story! He gave us everything we needed to help our daughter succeed and also painted a picture of what her life would be without this help.”
“The most common mistake is that the families are told to ‘wait and see’ or that the child will adjust after a little bit of time. Just keep loving them — everything will be fine. But, love is not enough,” says Dr. Federici. The second most common mistake is families being told their child will never get better. “All children are workable,” says Federici, “even if children have low functioning skills, retardation, autism or multiple disabilities they can still be brought to their highest potential. Speaking as a professional and as a parent it is important to really get on the program early.”
Along with Dr. Federici, the conference also features Dr. Patrick Mason, M.D. PhD, International Adoption Medical Specialist and founder of INOVA Fairfax Hospital for Children’s International Adoption Center; Alla Gordina, M.D., FAAP, International Adoption Medical Specialist, East Brunswick, NJ; William Houston, Educational Attorney who is an expert in helping parents navigate the special education maze, and perhaps most importantly, adoptive parents like Bill Delmedico.
Many adoptive parents are understandably reluctant to talk about the challenges they face, but not Mr. Delmedico. “If there is one family that does not have to go through what we did, tell them my name. Let them know they are not alone, and that the child’s issues are not because they are bad parents. The tools Dr. Federici provided saved our lives,” he declared. “We have the happy ending, and we’ve done everything we can to make Kat successful. She is going to make it.”
According to Dr. Federici, “My experience in conferences of this nature and caliber, with excellent speakers that are very well recognized, most people find two days of training to be better than two years of therapy.”
For more information on the conference, “Raising and Healing the Adopted Child”, including a recorded interview with Dr. Federici, and to register visit https://www.ThinkingOfAdopting.com/AdoptionConference or call Robin Bartko at 410-916-1542. Adoptive parents, those considering adoption (especially those adopting older children), adoption professionals, educators, and medical professionals from throughout the country are encouraged to attend. Maryland social workers can earn category II continuing education credits.