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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rad Resources

I wanted to share this post with you all that a person from or agency shared.
I just wanted to pass on (with permission) a list of resources compiled by one of the Mamas on my Guat Board. I have a 4 year old from Guat and my 15 month old is from ET. The Guat program (now closed) was the second largest adoptive country after China. Many of these kiddos are now teenagers or older. A lot of the issues seen in these children didn't surface until much, much later - after kids had been home for years even though these children were in Foster Care and forever home at 4 months of age. I've included her post in its entirety because of the struggle she had to identify issues and then seek help which wasn't readily available by her agency or her traditional therapists. I know there are several on this list living with challenges so I hope this will perhaps help in some small way. The field of Neuro Reorganization is getting a lot of buzz (I've been reading about it on just about every list I belong to!) and I think offers some real possibility not only for RAD but also for SPD, Autism etc. From Alison -

"With hopes that I don't overwhelm everyone, I'd like to share a number of links to some resources that are changing my family's life. Here's the quick & dirty version: 1) problems with your child's brain are likely at the root of whatever diagnosis your child may have received, and 2) there are ways to help your child's brain change that may eliminate the problematic symptoms and the need for medication and allow your child to develop to his or her full potential. (If you don't read anything else, check out the links on Neurological Reorganization below.)

First, a bit of background. When I first adopted, I remember hearing about the high rate of all sorts of issues among adopted kids - attachment disorders, ADHD, asthma, etc., and it pretty much infuriated me. I interpreted it as people looking for problems to "blame" on adoption. And my belief system was bolstered by the fact that my son was a joy as a baby, was seemingly securely
attached, etc. Fast forward several years, and things started to seem a bit off. Lots of anger that seemed directed specifically and only at me. ('Oh, it's just the terrible twos" said well-meaning but clueless people, or "He's just being a boy".) Low frustration tolerance, increasing number of explosive rages (with hitting, kicking, scratching, biting, unbelievably foul language, and
getting things hurled at me with increasing frequency both at home and while driving down the highway).

After reading (and ignoring) many recommendations on this list to check out Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control, about 18 months ago I finally took the plunge, visited the website, and bought the first book. That led to buying many more books, taking online courses, etc. Over the last year, and particularly over the last 6 months, this journey has led me to so many things I never knew
about, would have scoffed at or dismissed as hogwash, crackery, or worse, and yet, the changes I have witnessed in my son (and that I have learned about in others' children both online and from people I know "personally") have been amazing, I have enormous faith that he will continue to "heal" as we continue to work on specific things, and my reticence at exposing or revealing our personal story has been overtaken by a strong desire to share what I've learned with others who are struggling so hard to do what's right for their children and their families.

So, after all that, some things I've learned and resources I'd like to recommend (again, with apologies for the length, but I wanted to get all this down together):

1. First is the effect of trauma and stress on the developing brain - the most critical of which is that it can leave those traumatized in a heightened state of hypervigilance at all times and predispose them to interpret the most benign things as actual threats (leading them to a fight, flight, or freeze state). Obviously, this is not a rational or logical response, because such a response is precluded. These kids have very little to no access to those parts of their
brain; instead their behavior is involuntarily guided by overactive lower parts of their brain (like the amygdala) that words cannot reach. Some books and websites: (Attachment and Trauma Network)​sources.html (Connective Parenting) (Bruce Perry's site)

Listserve: dailyparentingreflections@yaho​ (many members of this list are also on DPR).

Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control Vols. 1 & 2 (not terribly well written, but full of good info)
The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis
Trauma Through a Child's Eyes and Waking the Tiger - both by Peter Levine
Building the Bonds of Attachment by Dan Hughes

2. But, as much as I believe in the Beyond Consequences and other
"therapeutic" approaches to parenting, I also believe that for some kids, it can only take you so far. Happily, the other really transformational thing I ...have learned more recently is that the brain is an amazingly plastic thing, and so much can be done (at any age!) to help it make connections it never had the chance to make (for whatever reasons) that can lead to all manner of problem
behaviors (including those usually diagnosed a ADHD, RAD, Sensory Processing Disorder, etc.). And the therapy that seems best able to help the brain is called Neurological Reorganization. NR is a movement based therapy that helps the brain build connections it is missing from the bottom up and takes it through specific developmental sequences that "normal" brains go through (with a huge emphasis on belly crawling and "creeping" on hands and knees).

The following websites give a lot of background on what NR is and what it can do.
(A more "generic" less individualized approach that still seems to get some fabulous results plus they do a great job explaining and presenting it and they offer online courses for folks to do at home). The videos are also fabulous - presented from a kids' point of view. They also managed to get this program instituted into the San Diego School System.​home.html (Sargent Goodchild's group - he was diagnosed with autism plus lots of other stuff as a kid and went on to become "cured" after doing NR work for several years.).

http://www.developmentalmoveme​ (Bette Lamont's site) (A Chance to Grow- for those in the Twin Cities area) . (Emily Beard's site).

(Very helpful site with lots of information about various disorders and therapies)

Listserve: (Many practitioners participate, and there are numerous posts and saved files of remarkable success stories, including this one (which I have permission to link to):​​uest-blo gger.html

We will be starting an NR program in a few weeks. There's no question that it requires a lot of time and dedication, but I am absolutely convinced that until we "fix" the foundation of my son's brain, all the other stuff will only get us so far.

3. The third piece of all of this is a bunch of complimentary therapies that I would have previously put entirely in the "woo woo" compartment and dismissed entirely. This includes things like Brain Integration Technique (or Crossinology), cranial sacral therapy, neurofeedback, and chiropractic. My son had about 6 hours of BIT just a few months ago and I saw an immediate reduction in the number, severity, and duration of his rages, a greater ability to control himself, and quick and sincere apologies following the times when he does still lose it. His teacher also reported that he was finally applying himself at school and made great progress right at the end of the year. (has a list of trained practitioners in various parts of the country).

There are still more therapies (amino acids, various other supplements (including Fish Oil and Probiotics), specific diets, etc.) that I won't go into right now, especially since those are the ones I have the least understanding of so far."

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