Special Considerations

Special Considerations

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Special Considerations
• Attributes and Evaluation of Discussion Contributions.
• Professional Communications and Writing Guide.
As with the other kinds of trauma-causing events and conditions we have looked at, natural disasters involve unique experiences for children. What are some of the special considerations with disaster victims?
Use the Capella University Library to complete the following:
• Read the chapter entitled “Posttraumatic Parenting: A Parent – Child Dyadic Treatment for Young Children’s Posttraumatic Adjustment.” This chapter looks at the relationship between the parent’s responses and the adjustment of children after a trauma.
• Read Snow, Dugan, and Crowe, 2010, “Working with Children Affected by Hurricane Katrina: Two Case Studies in Play Therapy,” from Child & Adolescent Mental Health, volume 15, issue 1, pages 52–55. The case studies in this article provide examples of play therapy interventions after a natural disaster.
• Read Baggerly, 2006, “Preparing Play Therapists for Disaster Response: Principles and Procedures,” from International Journal of Play Therapy, volume 15, issue 2, pages 59–81.This article provides the important considerations for therapists working as responders after a disaster.

Children Affected by Hurricane Katrina Show Signs of PTSD
Article I. Video purchased for use in this Capella course through NBC Archives on Demand
Launch Presentation
NBC Archives on Demand
• Click Launch Video to view Children Affected by Hurricane Katrina Show Signs of PTSD, an NBC news report first broadcast, on March 14, 2006, several months after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

Play Therapy Resource Portal
Launch Presentation

Child Case Study Backgrounds
Launch Presentation
• Click Launch Presentation to access Play Therapy Resource Portal. Additional resources on children dealing with natural disasters are included in the section entitled Natural Disasters.
• Click Launch Presentation to access Child Case Study Backgrounds.
Children Affected by Hurricane Katrina Show Signs of PTSD
Article II. Video purchased for use in this Capella course through NBC Archives on Demand
Launch Presentation
NBC Archives on Demand
The client that I am working with
Name Marisa
Gender Female
Age 9
Heritage Mother is French-Grecian
Spirituality Practicing Episcopalian
Presenting Symptoms Self-injury behaviors, self-depreciatory thinking
Strength Areas Over time has begun to respond to her adoptive mother’s attunement and empathic responses to her, although this is intermittent and inconsistent; loves to draw and play piano; strong musical skills
Developmental Delayed in all areas
Diagnosis NA
Family of Origin —-
Mother Catherine
Father Unknown
Caregivers Lives with adopted mother
Siblings None
School 4th grade, public school
Socio-economic Status Upper middle class
Interests / Hobbies Drawing, playing piano
Pets None
Other Marisa was adopted by Catherine, a single mother when she was 26 months old. She spent her first 26 months in an orphanage in Romania and Catherine had to wait for 10 months before Marisa was able to come to America. Marisa hits herself when she feels afraid and when she thinks that Catherine is upset with her. Catherine has been very nurturing and feel deeply saddened and frustrated by how challenging mothering Marisa has been. Marisa does do well in school and has learned to be proficient in English very quickly and easily.

Catherine grew up living with her birth mother and father, whom she still sees occasionally. She has one sibling, an older brother who lives across the country. Catherine describes her parents as fairly nurturing, though harsh at times and not at all understanding of her decision to adopt Marisa. Marisa has been in individual theraplay, while a therapist has worked with Catherine about coming to terms with the severe nature of Marisa’s challenges. Catherine is also in a support group for parents of children who have been adopted and have histories similar to Marisa. Catherine teaches biology at a university near her home, and is able to schedule her classes around Marisa’s school and appointments. She also has recently begun dating Leah, another professor at her school. Catherine has not yet introduced Marisa to Leah, and is beginning to wonder how she will manage this new development in her life with Marisa.

Mother, mother’s new partner

Marisa, who is now 12 years old, has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Catherine and her partner Leah have just moved across the country to where Leah has accepted a chair position at a new university in a very conservative area. Catherine has determined to work part-time as an adjunct professor in order to have time to help Marisa deal with the changes of the move. Marisa was placed in a self-contained classroom and is experiencing a lot of problems adjusting to the changes, at home and in school.

In addition to these changes, Leah and Catherine adopted a baby boy, Thomas, three months ago. Marisa was actually expressing some interest in the new sibling until they moved into their new community. Recently, though, she has been screaming at the baby when he cries. Lastly, Catherine and Leah have found it challenging to deal with the sometimes subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle responses they are getting from their neighbors and colleagues. They are feeling quite alone, isolated, and culturally marginalized in this new community. On the other hand, the family is now living closer to Catherine and Leah’s families, who are very eager to help out and support them. Catherine’s family, in particular, has really come to see and be with Catherine in ways that have changed greatly since three years ago.


Schaefer, C. E. (2010). Play Therapy for Preschool Children. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Zeanah, C. H., Jr. (Ed.) (2009). Handbook of infant mental health (3rd. ed.). New York, NY: Guilford. ISBN: 9781606233160

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