Oxytocin is often referred to as the 'love hormone' because it's responsible for the love you feel when you spend time with your baby and that's why spending time with your baby makes you feel happy and the baby secure. Normally babies develop a close attachment bond with their main caregiver within the first months of life. If they are in a situation where they do not receive normal love and care, they cannot develop this close bond. The effect of not having this bond is problems with behaviour and in dealing with emotions and new situations. The end result of this is a set of difficulties which can affect the development of the child. This is known as attachment disorder.
There are two types of attachment disorder:
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD)
Children with this type of attachment disorder tend to be socially withdrawn. They do not interact much with their caregiver. They don't seek comfort when they are upset and they don't respond when comforted. They may be aggressive, or may be nervous and anxious. They may appear unhappy and may not grow and develop as well as they might otherwise do.
Disinhibited attachment disorder
This is also called disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED). Children with this type of attachment disorder are excessively and inappropriately friendly towards people they don't know.
How is child attachment disorder treated?
The main treatment is to make sure they feel loved by their primary caregiver and know the relationship is secure. Once this is achieved, most signs of RAD improve very quickly. Children with DSED may continue to have the symptoms even after they are well cared for. Sometimes psychological therapy is used for the difficult behaviours that children with attachment disorder develop. Strategies which may be used include:
At iKhaya we have a number of youngsters who need therapy to deal with their past circumstances. Seeking therapy privately is our heart’s desire as making use of our local government facilities has proven to be ineffective mostly due to irregular appointments, not always seeing the same therapist and appointments often being 4-6 weeks apart. Our caregivers would greatly benefit from support training and psychotherapy too. Child and Youth Care Training for all caregivers and house mothers would be most beneficial.
How can you help?
Luisa’s family came to South Africa from Germany and payed us a visit. They arranged an evening of fun and fellowship where we all braaied sausages on sticks and cooked bread dough over the flames. It has been such a priviledge to get to know our three German volunteers, Luisa, Johanna and Lea) over the last 11 months and to meet their families is always a treat. For the children it is about the fun of being outdoors after dark, cooking their own food and huddling under blankets around the bonfire to keep warm. For us grown ups it is great to join in the kids’ fun and be a share their hearty enthusasim.
Our school going kids joined in on our routine morning playdough time during the June/ July school holidays. Here is proof that there is so much one can do with playdough to make the activity fun and interesting all while exercising those fine motor skills and stimulating the creative juices!
Life is good. Life is full. We are truly blessed!
Our school break was fun-filled. We had 2 girls attend One Conference Christian Camp in Pietermaritzburg. This was an iKhaya “first” as this camp is for grade 7 and up and we have only 2 that qualified to attend... At last! To say they were over the moon to would be a complete understatement! Thoriso, a student and volunteer at iKhaya, hosted a sports day. We invited friends and teen volunteers for a soccer morning and are already looking forawd to having another social sports day soon! The school kids visited Bounce and enjoyed a meal at Mc Donalds. In between all the planned activities the home was abuzz with chatter and laughter, singing and music, bike riding, running about, sliding on cardboard boxes, going for walks and eating fresh sugar cane. Life is good. Life is full. We are truly blessed!
Saint Catherine’s Pre-School Fun Day has become a highlight on our annual calendar. Debby Brink, HOD, and her team do an outstanding job at creating a day for young kids to simply have FUN. Our kids look forward to this adventure with great anticipation and come home having spent every last drop of energy. If your littlies have not attended this event then you better keep an eye out for it next year! Thank you Saints for spoiling our kiddies with such a FUN-tastic morning!
School Sports Day
What a special day! We have 10 learners at Empangeni Christian School and they all participated in the athletics day. It was especially fun for the pre-schoolers who got to do sack races and other fun races. The Blue and Red teams (Team Alpha and Team Omega) cheered their hearts out in support of their paticipating friends. We had a great time, thank you teachers for a lovely morning.
Once again our community has pulled together to reach out and bless those less fortunate than themselves. Our children were each gifted with an outfit, a toy, snacks and a pair of school shoes. My heart is over-joyed to witness these occassions where our children are touched and loved abundantly. iKhaya relies on the partnership of individuals, families, churches, small businesses and corporates to meet around 50% of our running costs, which include groceries, nappies and milk, school fees, uniforms and clothing, educational equipment and pre-school teacher, housing and utilities, transport, daily care (staffing is required 24/7/365) medical and psychological care and entertainment. We are blessed to be a part of a generous community that “gets it” and pours their love into our work. There is nothing too big or too small to make a change and lasting impact in the life of another. Thank you to each and every person who connects with us.
Dear friends of iKhaya
Thank you to our awesome community for your support. We are grateful to partner with so many who catch our heart to care for vulnerable children and to bring hope and healing to the lives we touch.
Loressa, kids and team