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4.8 out of 5 stars86
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 26 March 2009
I read this first when I was fostering my (now) adopted daughter. It was like being given a translation dictionary for a language I didn't speak. It helped me understand and communicate how much I loved her and wanted to help. I bought it again recently because I need it for continual reference. Buy it, read it, re-read it. No-one else told me this stuff! Everyone said the naughty step works (which it does for children who aren't disturbed). Children who have sufferred need a different approach. Thank you Dan Hughes.
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on 5 October 2009
If you are experiencing such problems, do read "Building the Bonds of Attachment" by Daniel Hughes.
Our daughter and her husband adopted a lovely two year old boy. They were given no information of the damage caused to him during his first year of abuse and abandonment by those to whom he looked for love, protection and sustenance, his parents. Eventually the infant was removed and Fostered, though sadly this was to a woman, poorly monitored and without the ability to cope with her own children let alone those Fostered by her. Neither his Parents nor his Foster Carer had the ability to give him the love, structure and confidence in adults that all children need to build bonds of loving trust with those controlling their lives.
Our Daughter and Son-in-Law spent five years in a desperate search to understand how they could help their loved but hugely demanding adopted son to control his rages and inexplicable behaviour. His school did try to understand him but still excluded him a day for bad behaviour.
Daniel Hughes's book was a revelation to them and to me. It confirmed that some things that they had tried were mistaken but others could be built upon. At last they and their son are to receive real Attachment Disorder Syndrome Counselling and find the hope of enabling their little boy to let go of his perception of being bad and in exchange learn to love and trust his new family in complete confidence.
Read this book with relief that, with the correct counselling, there can be a good future for such tormented children, avoiding the
life of crime and prison which would otherwise be their lot, to become the happy settled person locked inside.
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on 14 May 1999
Dan Hughes wrote this book with me in mind. I read this book while fostering a 9 yr old girl who had attachment disorder that, without proper treatment, would have destroyed her ability to function in a normal life. There were ideas and strategies in this book that worked (no matter how strange they sound). Dan Hughes knows what he is talking about. As a professional foster parent, I appreciate the straightforward language used in this book. I would recommend this to any person dealing with an attachment disorder child. It brings a much needed awarness to this overwhelming issue in surrogate parenting.
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on 13 September 2007
As a foster carer, this book has been critical in enabling me to understand the children I care for even though they are teenagers.

It documents in detail how one foster carer who works closely with Daniel Hughes, manages a difficult and traumatised child. This presents the concepts of trauma in the process of caring, and present practical methods without being didactic, that can be applied intelligently in other situations. The more theoretical analysis of the care that accompanies each chapter allowed me to use to the best possible extent, the information that I gleaned from the book.

I eventually understood the implications for traumatised children as they become adolescent and traumatised; because very few teenagers who come into care have resolved their early childhood trauma.

Dan Hughes' explanations also helped me a lot in understanding the timescales involved in this kind of therapy, which can be longer than you ever imagine. A must for anyone who is working with children.
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on 30 December 2012
I'd heard a great deal of praise for this book and wondered if it could possibly live up to the hype. Well it does, and then some. As a social worker with a great deal of experience working with foster carers, and with a background looking after children in residential settings, I can honestly say that Daniel Hughes' insight in to the experiences of abused and traumatised children is inspirational.

The book is easy to read. The combination of narrative followed by commentary makes it accessible in a way that many text books aren't. Katie, though herself a fictional character, personifies the stories of so many children I have known over the years. It is obvious from the very first page that Dan Hughes cares profoundly about these children and wants the reader to care too. One becomes immersed in Katie's story, willing her and those around her to heal the deep wounds caused by the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her parents.

The book shows how important it is we get things right from the outset. It demonstrates how when we don't we can compound the harm done to children in our care. That said, this book is about optimism. We can make a difference and we can work hard to ensure that children like Katie have a future. This book deserves to, and ought to, be read by everyone working with "deeply troubled children".
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on 30 October 2009
Must read for anyone thinking about adopting a neglected child. I was amazed to be reading about my little one. This book is now being passed to family members to enable them to understand why I handle my little one the way I do. I'm not going mad and I'm doing the right thing and it was nice to find a book that made me realise this.Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children
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on 1 December 2009
A really fantastic book. I have been fostering for five years and I think that all fostering agencies ought to give all their new foster carers this book to read before they begin to foster. A hugh insight to the 'life' these children have before they come to us and how their actions are a pure result of their past. It was easy to read although slightly Americanized with words like 'sweetie' & 'mom' but it has been invalueable and I really didnt want to put it down.
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on 20 November 2011
This is a really good read, worrying, as it reflects different parts of each of my two adopted daughters. Gives some good ideas on dealing with different situations. A really good resource and easy to read too.
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on 18 July 2015
Schools focus way too much on behaviourism as an explanation for what children do - basically suggesting our behaviour can be shaped by rewards and punishments. We now realise that feelings matter far more - a child who feels worthless and has not learnt to trust adults is never going to be motivated by stickers and detentions. This book is highly readable and gives a deep insight into the thoughts and motivations of a child who has not had the opportunity to form a trusting relationship with an adult. Behaviour that seems bizarre and illogical (such as flipping out and not being able to enjoy the fun activities most children enjoy) makes perfect sense as presented here. Further, children who are taught they are worthless experience real conflict when well-meaning adults try to show them love.

This explains a worrying number of the children I taught early in my career when I ignorantly followed the behavioural approaches popular in PGCE courses and promoted by schools.
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on 6 April 2014
my son is adopting a child of seven, and I hoped it would give an insight to the problems he might face, it did this and more, I so wish i had read it before I had my own family, I recomend it to every parent, especially those with difficult children, I have so often seen bad behavior and thought a sharp smack might put that right, now I understand there might be more to it than I can see.
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