Friday, November 21, 2008

When RAD does not respond to attachment therapy

One of the most heartbreaking things these last 10 years has been going through over a year of attachment therapy with Bear and seeing no change. After seeing the transformation take place in Taz and witnessing the day he "got it" I had fantasized over and over about the same thing happening to Bear. I was full of hope that this was going to take place in him too. Never did. As long as they are breathing there is still hope. It seems after each major effort I need a little time to step back, mend my heart a little, think things through and then dive into a different direction. This is what is happening with Bear right now.

Medically: This may be big. I took Bear back to the family doctor who said that he had just had a patient with low testosterone who reminded him a great deal of Bear. He drew blood to check. The average teen after the onset of puberty should have a reading between 400-600. Bears is 100. Bears voice has changed, he has had a growth spurt, is getting a little facial hair. He has gone through puberty. He is also a twin and the other twin has much more masculine physical traits. The next step is to draw more blood (Next Weds) to test the 2 ways testosterone is made and see what is deficient. Depending on how that comes out he may have some genetic testing done to check for Klinefelter's Syndrome. This can cause a lot of mood problems as it is a hormonal issue. Think: permanent PMS. It is strange to hope something is wrong with him physically but we have great hope this may help with his mood, which would then help him in attaching.

Therapy: After a long talk with our attachment therapist we decided to try something new for awhile. Bear is 16. He has 2 1/2 hears (hopefully) of high school left. We are trying to teach him what he needs for the next step after high school but he seems headed in the wrong direction. So I talked with a psychologist here who is willing to act as a "Life coach" for Bear. He is going to work on job interviewing skills, getting along with the other kids and some basic stuff to help him finish school and get a job. He is very willing to talk with and receive input from our attachment therapist for which I am eternally grateful! We meet Dec 1. I realize this is a band aid fix but it is an important one.

Attachment: Hopefully if we can get Bear's depression in control he will be ready to once again work on attachment. Our attachment therapist and I agree that I have been given the tools to work with him at home but that he is available whenever needed. He just had an evaluation with their psychologist for insurance so is good to return as needed for the next year.

It is not easy. It is complicated. One day at a time!! We can do this and so can you! Never never never quit.



Lisa said...

Oh Brenda, this would be great news if it helps. Yeah!
The mentor too. Awesome news!

Dinah said...

Someone close to me suffers from low testosterone also. Not Klinefelter's but he goes through the emotional lows and suffers from depression. It's not easy and it can't be fun for Bear either. But maybe this will give you some much needed answers! :)

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

Hey new here, I l♥ve your blog!

Brenda said...

Trying to stay calm,

Thanks so much. How did you do that little heart?

Torina said...

Interesting. Just goes to show that it is good to think outside the box all the time...hope you are able to find some answers. Some kids won't be receptive like we hope. We are trying a similar approach with Tara after two years of attachment therapy. We have made progress but know that she needs to learn how to be with people and herself before she can work on more family stuff. It is the journey of a thousand miles, step by step.

Brenda said...


If I feel like I have gone 999 miles does that mean I am almost there? : ) All we can do is try a variety of methods. Keep on keeping on.

Denise said...

I pray your findings will be able to bring you new direction and a new hope. I love how God continues to open doors for us with our troubled children.