At Optimal Edu Options, we believe in going above and beyond to ensure the next generation grows up to be happy, healthy adults. Gail Curran is a board member at the Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children. ATTACh is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping parents, professionals, children, and young adults learn healthy emotional attachment habits.

ATTACh has existed since the 1980s. The organization offers services, programs, and resources for those caring for adopted and fostered children, professionally and as personal caregivers. ATTACh also hosts an annual conference for parents, youth, and professionals involved in serving them, such as teachers, mental health professionals, social workers, and occupational therapists.

The conference includes programming for different types of attendees. For example, programming for parents helping their children develop healthy attachments will follow a different schedule from programming for clinical mental health professionals, well-established in their careers. For 2022, the conference will take place in Anaheim, Calif., from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. 

ATTACh has recognized the need to offer more resources for young adults in recent years. At 2021’s conference, Gail led a presentation with a former client. Jess is a Russian adoptee who spent the first 11 months of her life in an orphanage. For years, she struggled with borderline personality disorder, drug use, and poor behavior. Finally, Gail worked with the family and found Jess the resources she needed to begin healing. The presentation of Jessica’s story at the conference about her experience with adoption, attachment, and mental health struggles set the course for ATTACh, increasing its help for young adults. 

“Working with Jessica was an incredible experience that helped hit home just how much our teens and young adults need help with attachment and developmental trauma,” Gail said. 

As young adults who have faced attachment and mental health struggles age out of state support systems such as foster care, they’re at a vulnerable stage of life. This time is a period of significant transition; it is a time of becoming independent with jobs, school, romantic relationships, friendships, and independent living. Unfortunately, faced with so many new challenges at once, young adults with troubled lives can quickly fall down the wrong path. 

ATTACh’s work is vital to children and young adults who have already developed attachment issues. However, the path to healing isn’t limited to younger kids. ATTACh’s offerings for young adults include:

  • Conference programming, a panel that Gail will moderate,
  • Workshops that teach parents how to care for young adults,
  • Webinars featuring young adults’ stories and,
  • Adding young adult representation to the ATTACh board of directors. 

“I believe in ATTACh’s mission wholeheartedly, and that’s why I’m on the board myself,” Gail said. “ATTACh helps equip me to help young people as best I can in my role as an educational and therapeutic placement consultant.” 

If you’d like to donate to ATTACh to assist children and young adults in living up to their full potential, you can do so here. For example, suppose you are a parent or professional in developmental trauma. In that case, you can also join the organization at varying levels to better understand attachment issues for children and young adults in your care professionally and personally. 

Optimal Edu Options is an educational and therapeutic placement consulting agency. We work with families across Arizona and throughout the United States. Our experienced team has the expertise necessary to effectively support your family and child in finding the best educational and therapeutic options to meet your family’s needs. Reach out to us today for more information about our services and how they can help. We offer a free 30-minute consultation. Email or call us at (602) 904-1282.