By Louise Michelle Bombèr, 2007
"The beauty of this unique
book is its simplicity and common sense. Louise has interwoven theory and
practice in a most effective way. Louise's visionary book makes a timely
contribution to making our present fractured society more humane for the
hurt and the healer."
Healy, Headteacher, Our Lady & St. Michaels, Abergevanny
"A great addition
to the literature for adopted and looked-after children"
Caroline Archer, Author
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Pupils who survive multiple traumatic
experiences of loss, trauma, abuse and neglect can easily be misunderstood
in our schools, despite our good intentions. Such children often underachieve,
at worst becoming excluded from the very place that could offer them an
opportunity for "second chance learning" and for reaching their potential.
These children do not respond well or consistently to behavioural modification
techniques, nor are they able to thrive in a system largely created for
those from a "good-enough" background.
innovative and easy to use strategies provide teachers and teaching assistants
with new perspectives, practical tools and the confidence for supporting
these children. Her work is based on the latest research from child development
and Attachment theory (Bowlby), as well as many years of solid practical
experience as a teacher-therapist working within education and social services
with children, families and schools.
how attachment difficulties can affect a child's ability to learn; providing
and 'additional attachment figure' in schools; the benefits and challenges
of getting alongside children who have experienced trauma and loss; transitions
during the school day; permanency and constancy; being explicit; regulating
arousal levels; handling conflict; wondering aloud; lowering the effects
of shame; working with transition from primary to secondary phase; developing
effective home/school partnership (includes a photocopiable initial meeting
prompt card); providing staff support; recommendations for future action.
Louise Bomber practices
as a Teacher Therapist for the Alternative Centre for Education - a special
school which houses a pupil referral unit (PRU), provides integrated behaviour
support for children with emotional behavioural and social difficulties
(EBSD), and full-time provision for pupils aged 5-16. She is also an Adoption
Support Teacher within social services. In addition, Louise works for Cornerways
Children's Services as a therapist to adolescent girls who are looked after.
She has been a teacher in both primary and secondary education. Under a
multi-agency team led by Dr Paul Holmes in Brighton, she was involved in
pioneering work on Attachment amongst children who were fostered or adopted.
She believes passionately in finding ways to integrate the worlds of education
and therapy from an attachment perspective to provide educational support
for teachers, pioneering innovative work built on this premise.
Review written by John Healy, Headteacher, Our Lady & St. Michaels,
"The beauty of
this unique book is its simpliity and common sense. Louise has interwoven
theory and practice in a most effective way. Support strategies are succinctly
outlined in such a way that can be easily implemented by staff working with
our most vulnerable children. The ideas are innovative and will surely be
the corner stone of future successful practice in our schools. One can only
admire and be inspired by Louise's compassion which radiates throughout
the book. Any school serious about inclusion must ensure it is read by its
entire staff. Successfully used the strategies will bring great joy and
fulfilment. Louise's visionary book makes a timely contribution to making
our present fractured society more humane for the hurt and healer."
written by Derek Wilson - Co-Founder, Inclusive Solutions
"Inside I'm Hurting;
Practical Strategies for Supporting Children with Attachment Difficulties
in Schools' by Louise Bomber (Worth Publishing 2007) is an outstanding new
book. The author is a teacher/therapist working in Brighton and Hove, UK
and her passion is to support schools in becoming genuinely inclusive towards
children who have experienced trauma and loss. One of the achievements of
this book is that it manages to write about this work without taking a `medical
model' approach to the behaviour of children who have had these experiences.
As the author says - `we don't want children to acquire more labels'. She
does however describe the children she writes about as having `attachment
difficulties' but crucially, notes that `their difficulties stem from relationship'
and it therefore follows that modification of their patterns of relating
can also come from relationship. This is a very different discourse from
that which sees these children as having various types of `attachment disorder'
each requiring it's own type of `treatment'. This shift of perspective allows
the author to then write about how the child who has experienced trauma
and loss is likely to view the world and the people in it and to give those
working with such children a wealth of insights and clues into what kind
of person they should best try to be to meet that child's needs and help
them learn and practice new ways of being in the world. Louise Bomber achieves
this with practical clarity and a complete absence of jargon - her translation
of the psychotherapeutic terms `transference' and `counter transference'
into everyday language are the best I have ever read. Each chapter is full
of quotes from teachers and support assistants who have used her insights
and, within each of the key themes she explores, there are examples of useful
scripts adults might use in difficult to manage situations. "
written by Karen Lomas, BA Hons, PGCE (Former teacher with 25 years experience
and adoptive mother of an 11 year old daughter with a severe Attachment
- Requested by Monica Duck, Director at PAC
book is an insightful, inspirational, clear and practical manual which entirely
fulfils its aims. Born out of the knowledge and skill acquired through her
experiences as both a teacher and a therapist, as well as a genuine desire
to improve the educational, social and emotional experiences of children
who suffer Attachment Difficulties, she emphasises throughout that all of
us involved in their support must be ‘gentle with our strength, strong with
our gentleness.’ She stresses the need for open , regular communication
and non-judgemental collaborative support between all the adults involved
in supporting and nurturing these children.
Her style of writing
is an echo of her watchword for how to handle this group of children: She
metaphorically takes the reader’s hand in a way which inspires and fuels
hope in being able to make a positive difference to the lives of children
who have suffered trauma and abuse, whilst at the same time being realistic
about the demands and stress which can occur in being the Key Adult for
one of these children.
After an explanation
of the three main types of Attachment Disorder and their possible causes,
she takes the reader, step by step, through practical ways of supporting
these children during all the key aspects of school, explaining when and
why these children may experience difficulties. She includes the day to
day access of the curriculum and gives a lot of emphasis to the all important
beginning of the day, particular aspects of the school year, year to year
transitions, including primary to secondary, as well as examining key events
in the child’s personal life in terms of their impact on potential learning
and the additional preparation needed to support the child at these times.
As well as strategies
for the person she describes as the ‘Key Adult’ assigned to work alongside
a particular child in lessons, she also includes sections on other areas
of school life : These include dealing with peer questioning about the extra
support being given to a pupil and the crucial task of supporting the child’s
social interactions which she recognises should be integral to the Key Adult‘s
work with the child and not simply an extra.
She makes an especial
plea to recognise the particular problems of the adopted child by placing
them on the SEN register and understanding that their trauma is far from
over once they are placed with a permanent family.
Her book is aimed
at teachers, learning support staff ,including learning mentors, but she
also makes reference to parents in terms of the home-school collaboration
as well as other agencies including CAMHS, Child and Family and Educational
Psychologists. I would recommend it to anyone involved in any capacity with
the support and nurture of children with an Attachment Disorder. Furthermore,
if such highlighting of awareness and these practical and clearly effective
strategies are not yet included as a part of the annual INSET programme
in schools, it is my belief that it is time that they were.