Addicted in My Development. An Affirmation of Sorts.

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The process of creating a paper that reflects your own personal journey throughout your life course requires deep thought.  I found that starting from my introduction and further on into the assignment, certain affirmations came to light.  As I began with childhood, detailing the life experience of being raised by my grandparents and the reasons as to why and not by my biological parents, self-diagnosis became somewhat of a curiosity and venture.  I began to research facts relating to my behavioral patterns over the course of my life.  Although I am a child of addict parents, I was not raised in an environment of drugs and alcohol.  What is surprising from my reflection and research is that I have learned that my temper, anxiety, and learning disabilities were a result of genetic factors placed upon me by my biological parents as a result of their drug abuse.  “Studies have shown that exposure to cocaine during fetal development may lead to subtle but significant deficits later on, especially with behaviors that are crucial to success in the classroom, such as blocking out distractions and concentrating for long periods.” (National Association for Children of Alcoholics)  My grandparents provided a loving home and the tools to help me develop into the person that I am proud to be today.  I honor them in everything that I do.

Throughout my personal journey, I have learned many things about the long lasting effects of having drug addicted parents and what it does to children, along with the weight it bears throughout adulthood.  Certain areas of development are interrupted in many cases which puts us at risk in the future.  Certain risks of having emotional problems, personality defects, and slow cognitive development can be a result of being a child of an addict.  As a child, I was given an IQ test upon entrance to a private school.  The results showed a score of 128 for a 4 year old.  Once placed in a classroom environment, the problems began with my learning.  “One study comparing children of alcoholics (aged 6-17 years) with children of psychiatrically healthy medical patients found that children of alcoholics and elevated rates of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) measured against the control group of children.” (National Association for Children of Alcoholics)

Genetic consequences suffered by many children of alcohol and drug addicted parents plague our society today.  My joy lays in the fact that my grandparents raised me is not a surprise to me or anyone who hears my story.  The fact that in school I often daydreamed, needed instructions repeated by teachers in order to understand, and was easily distracted makes sense after going through the process of writing this personal journey paper.  I grew up in a non-addictive home and I believe this saved my life.  I had an abundance of support throughout my life to nurture my growth.  “Children of addicted parents are the highest risk group of children to be alcohol and drug abusers due to both genetic and family environment factors.” (National Association for Children of Alcoholics)  This assignment can be helpful when working with clients for if you know yourself, it leaves you open to understand and get to know others.  How else would one relate to another person without being true to themselves in dealing with both the positive and negative aspects of their lives?  Understanding your own development is a helpful tall and attributes to have when helping clients.  Sharing your own journey with clients can prove very helpful when applicable.  That type of openness must relate to the specific needs of the client.  Clients want to relate with someone and this type of interaction can give some sort of common ground.  On the other hand, there is no room for getting personal if there is no relation to the subject or treatment of the client.  There is a code of ethics for all practices and it must be followed.  All matters are sensitive in nature solely for the rehabilitation and diagnosis of the client.

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