Educating your child's school about adoption

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Educating your child's school about adoption

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The best way to educate your child's school about adoption is to, as soon as possible, ask for a meeting with your school's administration and with your child's teacher. The bring a book called 'Safe At School Manual', which you can find at the Center for Adoption Support and Education Website. It's a great resource for both parents and school administrators. And make it clear to the school that you are comfortable talking about adoption. You are comfortable with your child talking about adoption. Acquaint them with the Wise Up Power Book, and why they might hear the things your child might say in response to questions about adoption. And specifically bring up the topic of class assignments revolving around family trees, family timelines, sometimes Student of the Week projects kids are asked to put together boards that tell their story. People don't realize that adopted kids don't always have baby pictures and they don't always know the time that they were born. So there are ways to modify those assignments that don;t disrupt what the teacher needs to do, that creates a way to include everybody in the class whether they are children by birth or by adoption.

View Maureen Donley, MA, MFT's video on Educating your child's school about adoption...

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Maureen Donley, MA, MFT

Adoptive Mom & Therapist

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Maureen's practice spans all ages and holds a focus in creative professionals, adoption and trauma work.  She earned her MA in Clinical Psychology with a Child Studies specialization from Antioch University in Los Angeles. She has also worked as a Counselor in both K-8 and high school settings and is finishing her third year as a Counselor at the Southern California Counseling Center working with individuals, families and couples. She completed the Family Training Program Certification there, and will hold both TRM and EMDR trauma certifications in July 2013. In addition, she is working with Jeanette Yoffe in a monthly adoption support group on the Westside, as part of her new non-profit, The Celia Foundation, dedicated to all members of the adoption constellation. Maureen also facilitates both parenting and adolescent groups at Dr. Bonnie Goldstein’s Center for Psychological Services on the Westside. 

Before joining the psychology field, Maureen's first love was the arts.  As a producer and studio exec, she was part of the Feature Animation team at Disney during the Renaissance years of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Toy Story. Maureen subsequently had a production deal at Fox under which the animated feature Anastasia was released. Prior to moving to Los Angeles to join the Mermaid team, she was based in New York City.  While there, she was on the faculty at The Juilliard School (Drama Division), and was a visiting professional for the Yale School of Drama. Maureen worked on many theatrical productions as a stage manager including the Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie with Jessica Tandy, the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Pump Boys and Dinettes and the 1st and 2nd National Tours of Cats in Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles. She says, "being part of telling timeless tales was great preparation for helping people discover the true stories of their own lives."

 

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