EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY SERVICE
Neglect,
anybody’s business?
May 2011
Alison Crossick
Senior Educational Psychologist
EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY SERVICE
Presentation overview
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Neglect – what do we mean?
Building attachment
Self-regulation
The impact of parenting
Intervention/therapy: what, when & why
What can we do?
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Category of Need 2010
64,400 children
2% 8%
12%
9%
4%3%
Abuse or
neglect
62%
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Impact of neglect on the
developing brain of a 3 yr old
The CT scan on the left shows an average developing brain.
The scan on the right is from a 3 year old suffering extreme global neglect.
From: Child Welfare Information Gateway
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The story of the 3 mice
• First mouse – Each time he pressed the
button a tasty morsel of food was delivered.
• Second mouse – Faulty button delivered
food inconsistently.
• Third mouse – Button didn’t work at all.
From:Pearce (2009)
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Maslow’s hierarchy
5 fulfilment needs
4 esteem needs
3 social needs
2 safety needs
1 physiological needs
Higher
level
needs
Basic
needs
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The continuing story…
• First mouse – Each time he needed comforting
his parent or surrogate mouse parent was there
for him.
• Second mouse – Sometimes his parent or
surrogate mouse responded with love and was
empathic to his needs, but it varied from day to
day.
• Third mouse – No-one was emotionally
available to him.
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Sometimes looking sad is met with
friendly concern, and sometimes you
are berated and punished. But you
just never know…..
(Cameron child, Jessica, 1978)
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What is attachment?
It is described as the dependency
relationship a child develops towards
his or her primary caregiver.
A deep, loving human relationship in early
life is at the very core of self-esteem.
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Why is it important?
• It is thought that the success or failure
of early attachments affect young
children’s beliefs & expectations about
relationships.
• This representation of relationships
influences the way children interact with
others & evaluate themselves.
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Secure & insecure attachments
Securely attached children
Insecurely attached children
• Generally view the world as
a safe place
• View other people as a
source of nurture & support
• View themselves as worthy
of attention
• When they encounter
difficulties, more likely to
seek help
• Often view the world as
unpredictable and threatening
• View other people as harsh,
unavailable or insensitive
• View themselves as unworthy
of being nurtured
• When they encounter
difficulties more likely to
become frustrated, angry &
give up
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Disorganised attachment
When a young child feels:
– physically or psychologically unsafe
– abandoned
– vulnerable
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Attachment as a Regulatory system
Emotion
Reflection
Regulation
Behaviour
Cognition
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Over arousal in attachmentdisordered children
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Anxiety/Over arousal
Fight
Anxiety/over arousal
Flight
Freeze
Aggression
Hyperactivity
Disassociation
Arousal
reduction
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What is a ‘good’ parent?
Over 75,000 different parenting books (Barna 2007)
•Importance of promoting a pro-active rather than a
reactive role.
•Providing a positive rather than a problem-focused
approach.
•Understanding parent/carers own background.
Question to parents/carers:
What were your hopes & dreams?
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Pillars of Parenting
S. Cameron & C. Maginn
3 Categories:
• Developing a sense of well-being.
• Managing life events
• Acquiring social competence.
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Developing a sense of well-being by
• providing quality care& protection
• building warm relationships
• promoting an appropriate level of selfperception/self-worth
• ensuring a sense of belonging.
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Managing life events by
• enhancing resilience
• teaching self-management skills.
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Acquiring social competence by
• improving emotional competence
• developing personal and social
responsibility.
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What can we do?
Playfulness – A lighthearted relaxed & playful attitude
to help the child experience fun & love.
Acceptance – Accepting the child’s behavioural
choices and his/her feelings. Show your understanding
and help the child with the consequences of these
choices.
Curiosity – Wonder together with the child the meaning
behind their behaviour. This can mean making a ‘best
guess’.
Empathy – Convey acceptance of the inner child.
Dan Hughes
EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY SERVICE
Attunement
• Coach parents/carers to recognise when a
child is actually hearing ‘Jaws’ rather than
soothing classical music.
• Learn the cues when a child is afraid, rather
than ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’.
• Match affect – rhythm & intensity of emotion.
• If there is a difference between verbal & nonverbal, always go with the non-verbal.
• Always repair.
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Therapy
Why
When
What
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So, when is an intervention/therapy appropriate?
Consultation: Behaviour Support
Tel: 01628 685662
Healthy Minds
Tel: 01628 683762
CAMHS
Tel: 01628 640300
Why a particular therapy?
Why will therapy not always work?
When it works, what does it look like?
Therapy is not (and cannot be) an exact science
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Making the connections…
“Children need to know they’ve got support otherwise how are they going to be brave
enough to say anything?”
Bella, 22, research participant. Child Cruelty in the UK 2011
• Education programmes designed to meet the child’s development age.
• Denial is linked to shame. Once you take the shame away, you can change
the habit (e.g. lying & stealing).
•Match the child’s emotions in a safe way.
•Always give a 2-sentence rationale for your request or behaviour.
•The ‘love’ step.
•Give suggestions as to how the child may be feeling.
•Show authentic warmth.
•The best predictor to decrease anger is to show comfort and support.
•Play & have fun…….
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References
Barna,G. (2007) Revolutionary Parenting: What Research Shows Really
Works. Ventura, C.A:Barna Group
Cameron,R.J & Maginn,C (2009) Achieving Positive Outcomes for Children
in Care. Sage Publications
Child Cruelty in the UK 2011. www. nspcc.org.uk
Child Welfare Information Gateway
DCSF: Children Looked After in England
Geddes, H. (2006) Attachment in the Classroom. Worth Publishing
Golding,K et al (2008) Thinking Psychologically About Children who are
Looked After and Adopted. Wiley
Hughes,D. (2006) Building the Bonds of Attachment. Jason Aronson
Pearce, C. (2009) Attachment & Attachment Disorder. Jessica Kingsley
Publishers
Perry, A. (2009) Teenagers and Attachment. Worth Publishing
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Thank you
Please do not use or copy any slides without prior permission from
RBWM EPS
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Neglect - anybodys business