The National Council for Adoption (“NCFA”) maintains an excellent website with valuable adoption resources and information. This can be found at www.adoptioncouncil.org
Every month, the NCFA publishes the “Adoption Advocate”. You can subscribe to this publication by email. Last month (September 2013) there was an excellent and well-researched article titled, “Children of Trauma, What Educators Need to Know.” Many adopted children have experienced trauma in their lives in various forms and levels of severity (including mental, physical, emotional, and even prenatal). This article does an excellent job of outlining the various types of issues in an understandable manner, explaining types of behavior that may occur and offering suggestions for crisis prevention, treatment, and stress management.
I found the statistics about childhood trauma particularly enlightening. Adults discussing their own childhood experiences have reported that 11% were emotionally abused as children, 30% physically abused, 20% sexually abused, 13% witnessed their mothers being battered, 24 % were exposed to family alcohol abuse, 19% were exposed to family mental illness, and 5% exposed to family drug abuse.
I highly recommend this article to educators, any parent, (not just adoptive parents) and to any adult who has suffered childhood trauma herself/himself. Most importantly, the article acknowledges the pain that is involved and offers suggestions to deal with problems with empathy.