Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Teen RAD

Have your child's RAD treated while they are young. Our boys were 12 and 15 before we found an attachment therapist and decided to drive an hour and a half. It has really helped the youngest who is now 14. It made no difference for the 15 yo who is now 17. The younger they are the less settled they are into patterns of behavior. I'm sure you have heard the phrase "He is set in his ways." Everyone can change but we must desire change before it can generally happen. With younger kids it is easier (still difficult with RAD) to pull at those little heart strings so that they want it.

As Bear has grown older our plan has changed from working on attachment to working on preparing him for adulthood. He has a psychologist here in our little town who is now seeing him more in a mentor/life coach type roll.

I keep my distance most of the time as any connection...ANY....results in an unleashing of hurtful words. I remind myself constantly to, as a mom, remember that my roll is changing. Prepare him for life.

I pray for him daily and hope that some day something will happen to cause a light bulb moment for him. It will probably not be while he is at home. In Nebraska legal age is 19 so we do have a couple of years left. Whether that is good or bad I do not know but that is how long we have. We just pray and do our best.

Never, never, never quit.


Mom 4 Kids said...


peggysue said...

You're doing the best you can with the resources available and with the knowledge you have, who can ask for more than that? You're a good mom, keep up the hard work.

peggysue said...

I have a question, not exactly related to this post. I read your posts from the past labeled 'school.' I gave the school a letter about RAD. I met with the principal before the school year began.

Today I had my first call from her teacher about a behavioral issue (we're on school day number five). I said yes, I met with the principal and this is related to her RAD. The teacher said, "No. I don't see this as being related at all."

Then when I went to pick up DD from school, because she was not paying attention and missed her bus, DD was clearly 'terrified' of me and her teacher was consoling her and reassuring me my daughter is 'such a sweetheart, I just love her."

I know you say to form an alliance with the teacher and be a unified team. . . we're already off to a poor start in terms of helping my daughter and triangulation is in play. What do I do?

Brenda said...


Thank you for your kind word and encouragement. They are mean a lot.

As for school, I would say "This is a serious diagnosis given by a professional." Here is the information. Give her some basic information fromt he web or a book on RAD. I would not worry about the hugging and such for 2 reasons.

1. I found if I asked the teachers not to do that they thought I was a cold mom who did not show affection toward my children and would not let them hug him when they hug all the other kids.

2. Your child WILL turn on her. It is only a matter of time. Let her enjoy the honey moon period.

marythemom said...

Your Bear reminds me so much of my Bear (age 16). He didn't come into our home until age 13 so we didn't have a lot of options. We decided to only do attachment therapy with his sister (then 11), because the only thing I knew about RAD and attachment therapy was from Nancy Thomas and I couldn't imagine trying to get my huge (5'9" 200lb+) teen to comply with things like strong sitting or treating me like a queen.

He's backsliding now and I realize how far we'd come. We started with a therapist who also specializes in attachment therapy and when he asked Bear if he was attached to me (and defined the word), Bear said no. Not angry, not defiant, just a flat no. I know we never really had a chance to develop a relationship, but it still hurts to hear.

Guess I need to pull out the Katherine Leslie books and focus on coaching instead of loving. What do you do to deal with this?

Mary in TX