published Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Turning Point Camp on on Dayton Mountain to help adoption families with reactive attachment disorder

ABOUT THE CAMP

What: Turning Point Camp

When: Sunday through Oct. 26; March 9-15, 2014

Where: Fort Bluff Camp on Dayton Mountain

Admission: $500 deposit

For more information: Call Jennie Landreth at 423-667-6942 or visit www.turningpointcamp.com.

DAYTON, Tenn. — After Jennie and Mike Landreth adopted their eldest child, Abbie, feelings of helplessness overshadowed the joy they'd anticipated.

"It was a war zone at home," Jennie Landreth said. "She didn't trust me."

Mike Landreth said he'd had questions about his daughter's hysterics for nearly two years, and Abbie's failure to bond with the rest of the family was something he "couldn't fix."

Abbie eventually was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, which has symptoms that can include lack of affection for parents, avoiding eye contact and cruelty to animals.

The Landreths said they spent thousands of dollars on psychiatric medications, counseling and numerous therapies, including neurofeedback.

Attending a conference led by therapeutic parenting specialist Nancy Thomas in March 2012 revealed "glimmers" of a sweeter child, Mike Landreth said, and Abbie's behavior has improved greatly since then.

Jennie Landreth and Tobie Sehon now are co-hosting the weeklong Turning Point Camp at Fort Bluff Camp on Dayton Mountain.

Parents of adopted children who go will attend daily sessions taught by Thomas and learn techniques to help them better connect with their children, Jennie Landreth said.

Abbie, now 12, said she writes brief letters to express her emotions and paints. A painted, smiley face would best describe how she feels now, she said.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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