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The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family Paperback – April 22, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


" extremely useful parenting handbook... truly outstanding because of its numerous examples of scripts and phrases that parents can use... this book is strongly recommended." -- Library Journal (starred review), April 1, 2007

From the Publisher

A hope-filled resource for parents who have welcomed children: -- From other countries and cultures -- From troubled backgrounds -- With special behavioral or emotional needs

"A tremendous resource for parents and professionals alike." --Thomas Atwood, president and CEO, National Council for Adoption

"A must-read not only for adoptive parents but for all families striving to correct and connect with their children." --Carol S. Kranowitz, M.A., author of The Out-of-Sync Child

"The Connected Child is the literary equivalent of an airline oxygen mask and instructions: place the mask over your own face first, then over the nose of your child. This book first assists the parent, saying, in effect, 'Calm down, you're not the first mom or dad in the world to face this hurdle, breathe deeply, then follow these simple steps.' The sense of not facing these issues alone -- the relief that your child's behavior is not off the charts -- is hugely comforting. Other children have behaved this way; other parents have responded thusly; welcome to the community of therapeutic and joyful adoptive families."

Melissa Fay Greene Author of There is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (April 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071475001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071475006
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Karyn Purvis is the founder and Rees-Jones Director of the TCU Institute of Child Development and a passionate advocate for "children from hard places."

Dr. Purvis coined the phrase to describe children with histories of trauma, abuse and neglect. A noted author, scholar and popular speaker, Dr. Purvis holds a PhD in developmental psychology from Texas Christian University. She and her mentor and colleague, Dr. David Cross, co-founder of the Institute, currently lead the Institute in its triple mission of research, education and outreach on behalf of at-risk children.

Drs. Purvis and Cross co-authored "The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family" to help adoptive parents understand the needs of children from hard places. Within six months of publication, The Connected Child ranked as an Amazon bestseller among adoption books.

In 1999, Dr. Purvis launched The Hope Connection®, a summer camp that serves as a research and training lab for adopted children and their parents and students. Out of that experience and years of research, Drs. Purvis and Cross developed Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) ®, a step-by-step intervention designed to bring deep healing to at-risk children and their struggling families.

Dr. Purvis and her work have been cited in Newsweek, KERA Radio, Parents Magazine, Dateline NBC, Fort Worth Weekly, TCU Magazine and various newspaper articles, blogs and webinars.

She has served as an expert witness in court cases of child abuse. She has testified to the Texas Legislature as an advocate for harmed children. Texas Gov. Rick Perry appointed her to chair the state committee that set licensing standards for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Dr. Purvis has trained judicial and court personnel throughout Texas, and caseworkers and staff at Child Protective Services in Texas, along with caregivers at orphanages in Romania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Her lectures and trainings with parents and professionals have taken her throughout the US, Australia, and Europe.

Honors include: T. Berry Brazelton MD Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award; Heroes of Healthcare Award, Families Supporting Adoption Hall of Fame Award, the James Hammerstein Award, and the Judge Scott Moore Award. The National Council for Adoption named Dr. Purvis a Distinguished Fellow in Adoption and Child Development.

Dr. Purvis is a former foster mother, a mother of three sons, and a grandmother of nine, two of whom are adopted. Her life's passion is to empower children to overcome trauma so they may thrive and reach their fullest potential in life.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 101 people found the following review helpful By JMD on May 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are thinking about adopting a child from a foreign country or even a child who has been shuttled from foster home to foster home, you must read this book first if you want to raise a happy and healthy child.

There are dozens of parenting books on the market, but what makes this book so very special is the authors' ground-breaking, empirical research with adopted children. Their research has been done at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX ([...]) Their discoveries and methods are unique because they use a wholistic approach to healing the wounded child. The result is that they are quietly creating miracles as their methods are learned by others and spread around the world. Their research is also helping other at-risk children, including those with autism.

According to the authors, structural changes take place in the brains of infants who were abused or deprived prior to adoption. Unfortunately, it is common practice in some foreign orphanages for babies to be laid on their backs for 24-hours a day, with a bottle propped into their mouths, and lying in soiled clothing. They are never cuddled or talked to because it makes them cry for more attention. These orphanages become eerily silent as babies eventually give up their voices. Similarly, toddlers beg for food from their cribs, only to be ignored. Many children are sexually abused in these orphanages.

Many adoptive parents believe that all they have to do is adopt the baby, and love and nurture it, and everything will be fine. However, the authors' research shows that these parents are about to face the biggest, and perhaps the most expensive, challenge of their lifetime.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By chop123 on August 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Brilliant!! The wisdom in this book has made our stressful house a home full of laughter and peace. We saw changes in our internationally adopted children within days. I especially appreciate that they write from a stand point of hope not despair. I have read 20+ books on adoption, attachment and behavior - this is the best resource available. Very practical advice for how to parent at-risk kids. Every adoptive parent should read this book.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Erica Manfred on June 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I adopted a child at birth who is now 9. She has since been diagnosed with a mood disorder--probably bi-polar. The Connected Child was as helpful to me as Ross Greene's books about the Explosive Child. I learned something new from every chapter, especially the last few chapters on Dealing with Defiance, Nurturing at Every Opportunity and Proactive Strategies to Make Life Easier. Simple suggestions made by the authors, such as watching for signs of overload, speaking with authority, rehearsing the child for what's coming, helping your child identify emotions, among many others have stuck with me. I've even used them successfully. The book is written simply and clearly, easy to skim through to find sections that apply to your situation. I highly recommend this book. Erica Manfred
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64 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Myles Falvella on September 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
We're the parents of a couple of adopted kids, and have continually searched for specific information about adopted children with broad-spectrum diagnoses (ADHD, ODD, RAD, Bipolar Disorder). At one time or another, our kids have had all of these diagnoses attached to their issues/behaviors.

It's become clear to us -- and other parent of adopted kids with whom we speak -- that these broad-spectrum diagnoses are "convenient" terms in which to bucket our kids. These kids frequently show the same issues and inappropriate behaviors. Unfortunately, the standard process for addressing these issues (positive reinforcement, drug therapies, structured responses, diet modifications) never seem to work. This appears especially true of those kids, such as our daughter, who are adopted from Eastern European insitutions/orphanages.

We're read all of the general literature regarding these broad-spectrum diagnoses and tried every guideline in these books on how remediate these issues and bad behaviors -- all with little or no success.

"The Connected Child" speaks directly to the behavioral issues and unique emotional requirements that these adopted children require. Their approach -- based on the TCU Institute of Child Development methodology --is more a process for modifying parent behavior than addressing the child's issues and behaviors. Specifically, the book suggests that all of these kids exhibit behaviors based on perceived threats and fears established/learned during their earliest years in institutions. It recommends that parents develop -- and consistently reinforce -- a loving, affectionate, trusting and safe environment for these kids so that they can grow away from viewing people and life situations in a fearful or threatening way.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Debra Jones on June 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
"The Connected Child" is a MUST for anyone considering adoption or foster care of children and is great for families with any child who has experienced the trauma of abuse, neglect, abandonment, loss of parent, divorce, or other intensely emotional circumstances. It seems some people think because kids still "laugh and play" that they are o'kay after some of these events. This book explains that brain function and chemistry are effected by trauma. Behavior and learning are effected by neurochemisty, and the authors' research showed signifiant improvement in neurotransmitter activity with children who participated in their study.

I consider the expertise of Dr. Purvis and Dr. Cross to be the best I've found in 16 years of searching for answers. Furthermore, their book gives practical strategies for dealing with sensory dysfunction, learning/language issues, and behavior problems. Once a parent better understands these approaches, many power struggles between the child and parent can be avoided, lessened, or altogether prevented. As a "horse whisperer" tames the wild stallion so Dr. Purvis calms the troubled child and has been affectionately nicknamed the "child whisperer." Our family will be forever grateful.

Debbie Jones
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