Sunday, January 17, 2010

Healing RAD

I know I haven't written much about dealing with and working on RAD lately. It is because I am seeing very few RAD behaviors.  Both of our boys are doing well.  We spent the day at a swim meet yesterday. In the past that would have meant the boys would fight, complain and glare at me almost constantly. We'd separate them but then one would go to the bathroom and never come back. The other would need to go and if we let them they'd find each other and fight. I swear there are some type of magnets inside that draw them together.  Trauma magnets. 

But yesterday they just sat there quietly.  They brought along hand held games and books as usual but this time they actually used them. I remember no complaints. I did not see one arguement or fight, not even in the car. Dancer and I ran and got Jimmy Johns. They ate their meals.  Well, Taz did complain a little on that one I guess, but normal kid stuff.

Never lose hope. Taz was 12 and Teddy was 15 when we went to attachment therapy.  Teddy has only begun showing signs of healing since age 17. If any one tells you your child cannot heal because they are older, do not listen.

Never, never, never quit. Loving eyes, gentle voice, empathy and loving appropriate touch.....consistency, regulate yourself before trying to regulate them, take care of your own body and soul...You can do this.


Julie said...

I have a question for you. How do/did you handle situations like church with your kids? Did they go to children's church or other children's activities?

The reason I am asking is due to a situation a few years ago with one of our boys. We enrolled them in Awana at my parents church and took them on Wednesday nights. One evening during Awana, my Dad who was the Awana Commander at the time came upon one of our boys in the kitchen with an Awana teacher. Apparently, he told her that he had not eated all day and was so very hungry. Thankfully, my Dad who knows our child very well was there to enlighted the teacher that he was very well fed - as could anyone that looked at him could readily see. He sent our son back to class and then let me know what had happened. I was mortified at this outrageous lie. In fact, on the way to Awana I had picked up McDonald's for the boys to eat on the way for dinner. I still had the sack of wrappers still in my car.

Sadly, we never let the boys go back to Awana . . . to think that a child could tell a horrific lie like that and another adult be sucked in is just too much to handle with people that we don't know.

This child has healed since that time and seems to have outgrown "food issues." I still struggle with the thought that he could tell this lie again to someone and they believe him.

Does this make sense to you?

Brenda said...

That makes complete sense. There are so many situations in which they can manipulate. You also have to remember that our kids do have some major food issues and that while being separated from you he may have felt tension which means "I have to eat to feel better." Yes. He did lie. When I see my kids do stuff like this they take a break from the activity and then try it again when I believe they will feel safe. I would tell him "I can see you didn't feel safe and so felt a need to cover your fear with food. You will stay home for awhile so you feel safe and we'll try again when I think you are ready". It is all a situation by situation call by mom which is tricky. Mine still miss many church activites becaues the lack of structure which is involved in those types of activities is really hard for them and their anixiety.

Julie said...

that totally makes sense. thanks for the reassurance.

Life's Mom said...

Julie - this is how we handled the church situation. Now it certainly helps that I go to a wonderful church, but there are many great churches out there. Very early on (first week we got Life I believe), I met with the children's pastor and explained RAD. He recruited an aide for each event. The children's pastor wanted me to be able to go to church like normal. So when Life goes to Sunday school, there is an aide there who knows her (and her lies and other antics). That aide walks her to kids church to another aide who also knows her. At AWANA there is another one. In kid's church, they use a lot of lighting and loud music which were a PTSD nightmare early on. The Aide would take her out to get a drink of water if necessary. Just someone to sit with was wonderful. Life LOVES to go to church because she gets so much personal attention. Now the aides pretty much back off so she attends pretty normally, but if she is being disruptive, the aide swoops back in. I realize I am very, very blessed, but there are many churches out there who do special needs quite well. Don't be afraid to recruit help either. Most people want to help, they jsut don't know how to be helpful.

Last time I wrote, Life was doing wonderful. She is regressing right now. But the therapist told me several months ago to put "brace yourself" on the January calendar. I can think of at least 5 triggers that are added up (post Christmas blahs, school started back, hubby on 2 week trip, upcoming birthday (HUGE trigger) and multiple foster care moves in January prior to living with us.) RAD is back in full swing now, but I am banking that previous progress really was progress and we will return to that in the near future.

PS - even with an aide with her, she once mooned her Sunday school class. Often we just have to apolgize to the other parents and say "I'm so sorry, we're still working on that."

Brenda said...

THANK YOU Life's mom. We had some problems at youth group last night too. The two of them will get a little vacation for a couple of weeks and talk about what has to happen before they go back. So thankful, too, for gracious workers who still work with them even when they act out.

marythemom said...

We were asked not to bring our son to Youth group anymore because not only was he aggressive and tended to wander off, but he also shared WAAYY too much personal information (some of which was even true) that other young teens just did not need to hear or try to handle.

I talked to the Youth director and she understood, but they just were unable to handle it. Now I make sure before we bring our child to a program (we changed churches) that the people in charge have at least a general understanding of his issues (bipolar, C-PTSD, RAD, abused, drug issues...). Since treatment he has been doing fairly well, but there were many nights I sat outside the door to make sure he wasn't wandering off. I tell him and his sister often that they cannot talk to their friends about their issues because it's not fair to the friends. Still I worry and get called freakishly overprotective. I'd rather err on the side of caution.

Hugs and prayers,

Mary in TX

Dawn said...

Thanks, I needed to hear that.

Kathy said...

Thanks to you rad moms for the church reality check! I look forward to worship, but not to the temper tantrums, whining, and accusations that I'm forcing religion on my child! ( This is only from my 14 yr. old. The younger ones actually do much better.) Here's looking to another peaceful sabbath...