Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It’s Really That Simple

untill you get board child

By Nikki Thompson

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

“Food is kind of the ultimate control."

Local case, common threads

The Trebilcocks deny they starved their children and are fighting the charges in both the criminal and child dependency courts. (See related story.)

But Meinig said the allegations in the case bear several of the hallmarks common in all the cases she reviewed.

The five adopted Trebilcock children, ages 8 to 14, told investigators they were denied food. Kitchen cabinets had alarms on them and the children were punished for "stealing food," they said. Other family members, though, appeared well-fed, according to investigators.

"There was plenty of food" in all the cases, Meinig said. "These were really purposeful withholding and punishment and control. ... Food is kind of the ultimate control."

The Trebilcock children also told investigators they were beaten and made to stand outside, isolated from the rest of the family -another commonality Meinig found in many of the cases. The Trebilcocks also were home-schooled, which some officials say can be a way hiding the signs of starvation.

"Food withholding as a form of abuse has been around forever, from its mildest form of a misbehaving child being sent to bed without dinner to really severe cases of withholding that lead to medical problems," said Dr. Chalmers, who helps train social workers to look for signs of abuse. "So I've been trying to think about ways we could identify these kids before they die or end up in the hospital for malnutrition."

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I have said it before, and I am sure I will say it again – access to available food is a basic human right. Food is not a reward or a punishment it is a requirement for survival. Children, adopted, fostered or otherwise cannot “STEAL” food in their own home. Withholding food, having an adopted/fostered child eat any diet other than the one shared by the rest of the family is about control and in my opinion unacceptable. Children who horde, gorge themselves and have other food issues are driven by a fear for survival limiting their food supply will only drive more fear and destroy their ability to feel safe or to trust in those entrusted with their care.

It saddens me to know that there are still “ therapists” and parents who advocate using food as a way to control traumatized children when it so obviously flies in face of establishing trust and the risks are so great.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Quick Catch Up

Forgive me blogger, it has been too long since my last post…

We have had a lot of beginnings since September rolled around.

My big, big girl started high school, tried a stint at Pom-Pom, found it was not a great fit for and after football season, moved on. I am glad she gave it a try and I am glad when she realized that it just wasn’t for her she was fairly mature about moving on…she is 13 so it is what it is. I think it is good to teach kids to follow-through with their commitments, but it is important to know when to cut our losses and free ourselves for something that will work better for us. Which brings to varsity gymnastics – a much better fit for her and she much, MUCH happier all the way around.

My middle girl started her public school career as a big first grader…started school in first grade because I did not send her to all day kinder garden last year. I swear the way they initially reacted you would thought I was trying to start my 5 year old in a master’s program without freaking high school, let alone KINDER-FREAKING-GARDEN. Oy-vey! In her teacher’s defense, as excited as she was to go to “real school” on about day 3, she decided that “real school” really sucked. (“She tells me to do something and I do it and then she tells me to do something else….just like that… ALL-DAY-LONG!”), and then she proceeded to try to figure out how to get sent home, which included throwing impressive temper tantrums and peeing her pants. And as much as I was regretting sending her to “real school” in the first place, we made it through, and she seems to have adjusted fairly well. But let me tell ya, all I wanted to do was get my sweet baby away from the rigid “system” and bring her home…who knows, I still may…

My little, little girl started pre-school 3 hours four days a week – and she LOVES it!

…And I started a new job doing patient registration in an inner-city urgent care. Oh, the things I see and hear…it has taken the first 90 days just to get me to the point where I don’t come home feeling completely hopeless and depressed about the odds the kids I see are facing… (but that is a post for another day!)

I am wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year! And goodness knows even if I never get it together enough to blog regularly, I need ya’ll to keep providing me good reading during my down time at work. ; )

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