Alanis Morissette on being an “attachment” parent; Docs don’t ask about childhood trauma because no remedy; Australian hospitals misdiagnosing child abuse victims

Musician and actress Alanis Morissette weighed in on Huffington Post yesterday about the “attachment parent” frenzy prompted by the Time Magazine cover featuring Jamie Lynn Grumet breastfeeding her three-year-old son. Morissette takes her parenting seriously. “Sign me up to add to the fever-pitched overnight education about attachment parenting,” she writes.

She reviews the important first two stages of a baby’s life: attachment and exploration. During the attachment stage, she says:

The speed with which we can consistently meet our child’s needs for emotional and physical nurturance and sustenance is paramount. He or she learns, through consistent and responsive physical nurturing touch and care, to trust life

and to love and to connect: with other, with god, with self… This stage of development tells children that not only can they trust life, but that THEY EXIST, and that it is okay, maybe even great, to be here.

I personally believe that the attachment stage, done well, can circumvent countless addictions later in life because many of these addictions are often a temporary attempt at feeling this sense of connection. If a child’s needs during this stage of development are not met, he or she will be staving off a haunting sense of cellular disconnection and loneliness for a lifetime. they will not have effectively internalized a loving nurturance as their own love-style.

It’s well worth a read.

PHYSICIANS DON’T ASK ABOUT CHILDHOOD TRAUMA because they don’t have a cure for it, according to one physician who was interviewed for this interesting post by Robin Urevich on HealthyCal.org. She reported on a panel discussion in which Dr. Vincent Felitti talked about the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, of which he was co-founder. The ACE Study revealed a strong link between childhood trauma and the adult onset of chronic illness, violence, being a victim of violence, and suicide.

Urevich quoted Dr. Paul Lyons, a family physician and senior associate dean at UC Riverside School of Medicine, which will open soon. He says that physicians aren’t uncomfortable asking questions about childhood trauma because of their own pasts, as Felitti believes. Instead, he says, physicians don’t know what to do when they learn of a patient’s childhood trauma:

“At least if I discover a patient has gonorrhea, I know what to do about it…If I look for child abuse, at least I have that phone number in my pocket…Physicians are very uncomfortable feeling at a loss. We are control-oriented individuals.”

Felitti thinks that just using the questionnaire helps patients, who express an “enormous relief to find people are interested and willing to listen.”

He said researchers found a 35 percent drop in doctor visits and an 11 percent decline in trips to the ER a year after a group of Kaiser patients had taken the ACES survey and discussed it with a physician.

HOSPITALS IN AUSTRALIA ARE MISDIAGNOSING child abuse victims, according to research that was reviewed by Sydney Morning Herald reporter and columnist Adele Horin on WAToday.com.au. Almost one-third of the children brought to the emergency room with injuries that the medical staff couldn’t identify as blatant abuse had a record with that community’s child protective services. Debbie Scott, a research fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies explained:

A parent might not have hit a baby but rather the baby fell off the change table – perhaps because the parent was dependent on drugs or alcohol and needed help. But staff often did not know the right questions to ask. “We know there’s a link between child maltreatment and children who make repeated visits to emergency departments,” Ms Scott said.

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