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Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's been a while

I know it has been quite a long time since I have blogged. The transition of El coming home has been a tough road, and still has a long struggle ahead. A few months ago El was diagnosed with RAD (reactive attachment disorder). I have thought hard about how I would like to discuss this because I don't want to completely compromise our families privacy, but at the same time I want to break the silence of the unspeakable " What if your adoption doesn't quite work out the way you planned?" this is what I decided as I blog I am going to share experiences but not only mine. No names will be used. I have networked with several different people and read lots. My hope is to share with you a glimpse of what it is like having a child with these issues as well as give people the power to know they are not alone and can reach out.
What is RAD? RAD is the failure to attach to your primary caregiver. describes the following as signs and causes of RAD.

• Superficially engaging & charming This child makes friends very easily but has trouble keeping them because they are very manipulative. Often you will see this child playing with other kids and all the other kids getting in trouble when in actuality this is the child causing the problems.

• Lack of eye contact on parents terms
• Indiscriminately affectionate with strangers will go and hug on, sit on there lap yet
• Not affectionate on Parents’ terms (not cuddly) upon picking up your child from the orphanage they may act like they are the ones attaching the best, very polite, people pleasing, huggy, and happy.
• Destructive to self, others and material things (accident prone) Tearing up siblings homework, cutting electrical cords, peeing on things, coloring all over walls, breaking things in the car, breaking toys.
• Cruelty to animals
• Lying about the obvious (crazy lying) You can watch them do something and they will lie right to your face.
• Stealing Check their pockets, this also means getting into stuff they shouldn't, eating stuff out of the pantry, having little finger claws in the peanut butter and having peanut butter all over their face hand and clothes and swearing they didn't get into it.
• No impulse controls (frequently acts hyperactive)
• Learning Lags This may be playing games. One minute they know something the next they know nothing. (I'm talking about things they have shown they know) also one minute writing beautifully with great angle and spacing the next scribbling.
• Lack of cause and effect thinking None reward systems and token economies don't work well. Especially if reward are placed closely together.
• Lack of conscience Doesn't show empathy, likes to brag about the things they have, get to do in front of their sibling.
• Abnormal eating patterns Hords, doesn't eat, barfs
• Poor peer relationships
• Preoccupation with fire
• Preoccupation with blood & gore
• Persistent nonsense questions & chatter Never stops talking, has to monopolize the conversation, talks about cars for 21/2 hours straight with a 30 word vocabulary
• Inappropriately demanding & clingy Only to control you into doing someting he/she wants or stopping you from doing what you are doing.
• Abnormal speech patterns
• Triangulation of adults
• False allegations of abuse
• Presumptive entitlement issues big time
• Parents appear hostile and angry because of the constant effort it takes to keep this child from hurting others.

Any of the following conditions occurring to a child during the first 36 months of life puts them at risk:

• Unwanted pregnancy
• Pre-birth exposure to trauma, drugs or alcohol
• Abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
• Neglect (not answering the baby’s cries for help)
• Separation from primary caregiver (i.e. Illness or death of mother or severe illness or hospitalization of the baby, or adoption
• On-going pain such as colic, hernia or many ear infections
• Changing day cares or using providers who don’t do bonding
• Moms with chronic depression
• Several moves or placements (foster care, failed adoptions)
• Caring for baby on a timed schedule or other self-centered parenting

Many parents after even just a few months of having this child home begin to resent the way this child has come and turned their families life upside down, and how much hostility they have brought to the home and no matter how much love and patience you have shown to them they really want nothing to do with you.

Here are a couple stories I have run across lately

Was Our Adoption a Mistake? - A family's journey through older-child adoption _ older child, mistake

This is a blogger who lays it all out and has some great You Tubes
and another blogger who had to find a new home for her son


Jennifer said...

Wow, that first article was so educating. Years and years of work to save a child from being unloved/unloveable. What a hard, hard path. And it is hard for outsiders to see the issues, because, like E, they are so superficially charming and engaging. And it's a hard decision for some of the other families who have had to disrupt due to the harm to other children in the family.
Call me if you ever need to talk. You are doing a great job reaching out for resources and other families and talking about an issue that some people believe is not real. ("He's just taking longer to attach")

sageluv said...

Amazing... you have done your homework! I do believe that these kids can heal... but it's on their time not ours! I am blessed to have you as a friend and an advocate!