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Foster Fridays: On Memory



I jotted down some thoughts a while back as I was reading The Whole Brain Child. I was helped greatly by learning more about long-term memory. Someone asked me to share.

"Two types of long-term memory: Explicit memory (recollection of events or details) and Implicit memory (what your body will remember without conscious thought.) The fetal brain and early infant brain only form implicit memories. They constantly develop associations. This is why children who are removed from dangerous situations at birth or in young infancy already have trauma. The brain connects certain sounds, sights, smells with feeling happy and safe. It connects others with hunger, pain, and fear. Hunger is a HUGE trauma trigger. I had to take my son to a nutritionist when he first came to us, and she wanted him to stop eating baby food pouches and move on to solid foods. She suggested withholding food until he was hungry enough to try the solids. This is a great example of why society as a whole needs to be more trauma-informed. I hear a lot from well-meaning people that my son doesn't have trauma because he was removed at a young age. His body remembers being scared or hungry, even though there's no explicit memory formed."

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