I have always been amazed how so many of our kids areas of life are effected by RAD. Personal hygiene is one that is so apparent to everyone. It is easy to become very upset over this one because we can be worried about how others perceive as parents. Our children go out with uncombed hair, without brushing their teeth, with no deodorant and smelly and stained clothing at every opportunity. I think there are so many different factors involved here.
Self-worth: What difference does it make how you look if you see yourself as being of little value or worth?
Playing offense: It keeps people away. They don't have to be as afraid of physical or emotional closeness if they can keep people at a distance. This may also involve passing gas (which can be a whole post in itself), belching loudly, annoying behavior, and the fact that they cannot read social cues and have no cause and effect thinking. Very complicated stuff.
Mother rejection: Not just me as an individual but ALL mothers are dangerous and not to be trusted. Therefore any clothing we buy them MUST be too big, too little, too geeky, too scratchy, just too......
because mother's do not know how to take care of them. The only person they can trust is them self. How very frightened they must be.
So I am on a mission to make sure my child only has nice clothes because I am stubborn and like ramming my head against the wall. I have been sneaking icky clothes into the trash. The problem is I have no doubt the new clothes will become covered in marker, ripped, have pens broken on them. There could be a lot of reasons for this too. Sometimes it is a case of just being so distracted by life that they fidget and play with things until they've made a mess instead of focusing on what is going on in class. Sometimes it is a way of messing up the clothes so that they are once again "forced" to wear old ratty clothes by this mom who "does not know how to care of her children." And you can be sure you will hear "Can you go get me a new shirt? This one has ink on it." Of course I do not, but say no very nicely and inform him I will be happy to buy more summer clothes next spring!
It is hard to keep up and sometimes I don't. Remember these are all symptoms of RAD and not the main issue. Treating personal hygiene is kind of like taking medication when we have the flu. It may make us more comfortable but doesn't make the flu go away. The real issue is that our child does not feel safe around love. THAT is what we need to focus on.