Monday, April 11, 2011

Children from China

I had the opportunity to speak to an amazing group of parents and teens yesterday and came away energized and, as always when I have the opportunity to talk to families or educators, with new insights and information.

It was my third presentation in a week about the subjects covered in my book, Life After High School, and the second Sunday in a row that I had spoken. I was not previously familiar with the group that had invited me -- Families of Children from China. The meeting room was filled with both parents and students and I have seldom spoken to a more engaged, knowledgeable audience. My co-presenters had much to share and the interaction among us and the audience made for an exchange of information that covered every aspect of transition from high school and college readiness.

Families of Children from China is a national network of local groups that "support families who have adopted in China through post-adoption and Chinese culture programs, that encourage adoption from China and support waiting families, and advocate and support children waiting in orphanages in China." As noted by Kacy Ames Heron, LCSW, herself an adoptee from Korea, children of adoption with learning differences deal with issues of identity, control, loss, and multiculturalism in addition to all of the other issues that teens with learning differences need to navigate. Ms. Heron only spoke to the adults in the group for a little while, moving to another room with the teens in attendance to explore emotional issues and strategies for success with these students. I would have liked to have sat in on this discussion, which one student reported as "actually fun."

My co-presenters also included the Director of Admissions at Landmark College, Rachel Masson, who is herself a graduate of Landmark's two year program for students with learning disabilities, as well as Diana Nash, who runs the very supportive program for students with learning disabilities at Marymount Manhattan College. For all in attendance it was a day well spent.

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