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Attachment Disorders - Page 4

post #61 of 104
I understand that some parents here feel judged...and i think that really sucks.

But, as an "outsider" (not yet part of any triad, not yet parenting a hurt child)...i have to say that it took me a LONG time to really "get" issues like RAD (and i dont totally get it still!), and to not believe that gentle parenting would cure all ills. And honestly, i dont think you can truly wholly get RAD unless you are living with an attachment-disordered child.

I know some of the comments here really hurt DM, and i'm sorry for that...but i do truly believe that was not the intent of the poster(s), and that blessed (for example)doesnt think anyone here is a "terrible" parent, or that people arent usually doing the best that they can. I definitely think this should be a safe place for parents parenting all sorts of kids, including really difficult kids...BUT i also think this should be a safe place for differing points of view, for parents to question different techniques, different ways of viewing attachment, etc. I would hate to think that if someone has a different opinion, or an honest question, that they wouldnt want to post those views for fear of offending a mom here, or chasing off a parent. I know that its really hard not to take things personally, but i think that no personal offense was intended.

I think having moms here who are parenting kids with difficult issues is soooo vital. Sometimes i read the posts of parents with really young adopted kids, with few issues, and i wonder if any of that is going to apply to me. I'm going to be adopting out of the foster care system and even though RAD is right there at the top of my list of issues to avoid, i think its VERY likely that the child i adopt will have some type of attachment issue. I usually get my "RAD advice and info" on another site, but i would LOVE to get that same kind of advice from parents that i know are coming from an AP/gentle discipline background yknow?

Ack. I hope this post doesnt hurt anyone further. I just want us all to get along, no matter what our differing views!


Katherine
post #62 of 104
Oh, I am so glad you are adopting from the foster system, queen!!!! I am a huge supporter of that! We have so many US kids getting bounced from home to home. Our daughter was through two failed adoptions. Two families changed their minds and gave her back to the foster system. Very sad and very common!!!
I hear you when you say that you don't want to adopt a child with RAD. I can understand why. But I want you to know that it's really not that bad. There is a continuum, as Lauren explained. And you should go into adoption of any child with the assumption that there are attachment issues. The parenting for attaching adopted children is good for any child...really. And just about all children from the foster system, whether attachment or no, will have regression issues. They got stuck because they were busy surviving. So, going back to the younger ages and redoing those processes is really helpful. For example, my child (11) may not choose her food or fill her plate. She holds our hand in public. I choose her clothes and do her hair. And she is never without supervision. These are all things that help her redo the age of 4, which is where she is emotionally. She actually appreciates all of this because it takes a load off her mind. She hates making choices right now.
I cheer you on to adopt from foster!!!! Go, go, go!!!
post #63 of 104
I wanted to share a link about adoption and attachment parenting: http://foreverparents.com/

Forever Parents was created on December 28, 2002 in an effort to give adoptive and waiting parents a safe place to get and give support, share their joy and frustration and connect with others who are also on their adoption journey.

The forum owner has dealt with RAD with an older child. http://foreverparents.blogspot.com/2...r-parents.html


Pat
post #64 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
I wanted to let everyone know that I will no longer be participating in the Adoption forum. I do not feel that this is a safe space. I was told by a member here that maybe my child has RAD, but maybe I'm just a really terrible mom. I think that is entirely inappropriate in a space where we are supposed to be supporting each other, and I refuse to put myself out there to be accused and misunderstood in such a manner.

No one needs to rush in and ask me to stay or reassure me that I am a great mom. I know that, while I am not a perfect mom, I am a good mom to Desta and that her issues have little to do with me and very much to do with what happened to her in the 11 years before she joined us. I am not giving a dramatic goodbye as a way to beg for positive strokes. I am simply stating that I don't feel this forum is a safe space and, as such, I can no longer participate.

dm
Do what you need to do, of course!, but after a time please come back and check on us. You've always been such a help, such a clear-sighted person in this forum. So much of what I've learned in the past couple of years is from you.

Wishing you a lot of peace and comfort--and please know that you have the full, loving support of SO many people in this forum.
post #65 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
I wanted to let everyone know that I will no longer be participating in the Adoption forum. I do not feel that this is a safe space. I was told by a member here that maybe my child has RAD, but maybe I'm just a really terrible mom. I think that is entirely inappropriate in a space where we are supposed to be supporting each other, and I refuse to put myself out there to be accused and misunderstood in such a manner.

No one needs to rush in and ask me to stay or reassure me that I am a great mom. I know that, while I am not a perfect mom, I am a good mom to Desta and that her issues have little to do with me and very much to do with what happened to her in the 11 years before she joined us. I am not giving a dramatic goodbye as a way to beg for positive strokes. I am simply stating that I don't feel this forum is a safe space and, as such, I can no longer participate.

dm


NOOOO! Oh I am so selfishly sad. I look to you so often for your advice and wisdom. I am sorry you no longer feel safe here. I, for one, will miss you terribly, awfully, horribly. I hope you reconsider, if not now, maybe later.
post #66 of 104
dharmamama
That was a terrible thing to say to you.
post #67 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starr View Post
I'm taking a small break myself. There is just too much judgement going around. Your a great mom and I know you will do whats best for your family.
You mean small, as in very small right? Don't you be going anywhere while I'm waiting for a referral girl. You are another whose voice and kindness I treasure here. Take your break, and come back to us refreshed.

I'm sticking it out. I seem to have oddly thick skin these days.
post #68 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermonttaylors View Post

I'm sticking it out. I seem to have oddly thick skin these days.
Me too.

I think for me, the thing is, I *know* how easy it is to think you understand RAD and parenting a kid with RAD, and how much you really don't get it, until you do it.

Before I had kids, I worked as a post-adoption case manager with families who had adopted from foster care. Many of the kids on my caseload were dx with RAD, most of the families had participated in attachment therapy at one time or another. I read all the books, I went to seminars (I saw Dan Hughes several times), I had professional supervision with a team of adoption and post adoption social workers (some of whom were also adoptive parents)...

I really thought I got it. I was pretty frustrated and quietly judgemental at times with some of the ways the parents I worked with talked about their kids, or reacted to things their kids did. I had one family disrupt an adoption after 8 or 9 years. They disrupted and basically wanted nothing to do with that child anymore (they had also adopted 2 of that kid's siblings). I was VERY judgemental of them.

Then, my (now former) foster son moved in. I was still working part time, and all I wanted to do was to ask *them* to help *me*. I realized I had NO idea what I was doing, and worse, I realized how useless most of the "advice" I'd been giving was. Now, maybe I just sucked at my job, but I don't think so

There really is no way to fully understand what it is like to parent a child with RAD unless you've done it. And while I still wish the family that disrupted their adoption had done some things differently and with more grace, I no longer judge them. My ffs was with us for 3 years when he left our family and went back to residential. I think I handled it with more grace and love than that family did (we are still in contact with him, and we were his family while he was in residential, until the agency found a new foster family for him), but I don't know how much difference that makes to him.

So while I totally get why dharma is so hurt and frustrated, I also get where blessed (and others, not trying to single you out blessed ) are coming from.

I am so thankful for this thread. Like I said in my last post, I really think we *need* to keep talking about the hard parts of adoption.

post #69 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by gus'smama View Post
Me too.

Now, maybe I just sucked at my job, but I don't think so


There is NO part of parenting that you suck at and no part of anything I have ever seen you do that hasn't been with grace and kindness and the kind of patience that leaves me speechless. You are, literally, the mother I aspire to be.

I am lucky enough to know and be friends with gus'smama IRL so I know of what I speak.
post #70 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermonttaylors View Post
You mean small, as in very small right? Don't you be going anywhere while I'm waiting for a referral girl. You are another whose voice and kindness I treasure here. Take your break, and come back to us refreshed.

I'm sticking it out. I seem to have oddly thick skin these days.
Yes, very small. I have a lot of big questions going through my head right now about our adoption, and how to approach certain things. But, at this point its not something I feel safe posting about. We'll see I might pick people's brain via PM's...
post #71 of 104
Thread Starter 
You know what? I've decided to stay. I was very angry and upset last night when I decided that this headache isn't worth it for me.

However, on further reflection, I've changed my mind. I am parenting a young child who was adopted as a toddler and with whom I have done extensive attachment work. My son definitely shows after-affects of being institutionalized in his first years of life, but attachment problems is not one of them.

I am also parenting a child who was adopted as an almost-teen and with whom I have done extensive attachment work. My daughter definitely shows after-affects of her multiple, multiple traumas, and attachment is definitely one of them. My daughter came to me with an attachment problem. I did not cause it and I am not making it worse. In fact, we are seeing progress now that we have sought the help of a trained attachment therapist. Going it alone was NOT working.

I don't think I am the all-knowing font of adoption/attachment wisdom. Indeed, I think that my posts here (both in the Adoption forum and in the other forums I frequent) make plain that I *don't* have all the answers and that I struggle every day to be the best mom I can be. I do, however, know at least one or two things, and to me, if anyone reading the Adoption forum benefits from my experience, putting up with a bully or two is probably worth it.

Yep, I'm feelin' feisty.

dm
post #72 of 104
Glad you're sticking around. Hopefully, we are all learning from each other.

I always appreciate your posts. Although I am not personally experiencing the challenges of raising an older adopted child, I have some good friends who adopted a 6 year old from Ethiopia who has experienced some similar challenges to your daughter's. Reading your posts and others is helping me be a better friend and support to them.
post #73 of 104
Quote:
I don't think I am the all-knowing font of adoption/attachment wisdom. Indeed, I think that my posts here (both in the Adoption forum and in the other forums I frequent) make plain that I *don't* have all the answers and that I struggle every day to be the best mom I can be.
none of us have all the answers ... you however have a lot of BTDT to offer and that is worth its weight in gold ....

Quote:
I am parenting a young child who was adopted as a toddler and with whom I have done extensive attachment work. My son definitely shows after-affects of being institutionalized in his first years of life, but attachment problems is not one of them.

I am also parenting a child who was adopted as an almost-teen and with whom I have done extensive attachment work. My daughter definitely shows after-affects of her multiple, multiple traumas, and attachment is definitely one of them. My daughter came to me with an attachment problem. I did not cause it and I am not making it worse. In fact, we are seeing progress now that we have sought the help of a trained attachment therapist. Going it alone was NOT working.
this is what i am talking about ......

i fear it would be a dis-service to hear only one side -- the story of your son -- OR the story of your daughter .....beacuse it is not an issues (attachement in adoption, or adoption in general) that is one sided

AImee
post #74 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
Yep, I'm feelin' feisty.
Good!


post #75 of 104
Quote:
In fact, we are seeing progress now that we have sought the help of a trained attachment therapist.
Can you talk more about this (either now or in the future when you have been going for awhile...)? Obviously, i wouldnt expect you to divulge anything private or anything you don't feel comfortable discussing...but i would looooove to hear some "eyewitness accts" of attachment therapy, what it entails, how the child responds, how the parent responds, etc. Even in general terms.

I've read that some parents have gone through many therapists before they found a true attachment therapist, and that non-ATs just make a child with RAD worse, because they buy into the triangulation, manipulation, etc....but that ATs nip that in the bud right away. I've also read that its very hard for a child with RAD to heal, without the help of an attachment therapist. I've heard Theraplay (not play therapy)is very helpful, and also EMDR can be helpful too....have you tried any of that?

I've heard that some parents have had trouble finding ATs because they dont exist everywhere....and that it can be very expensive and sometimes insurance doesnt pay?? I did a little research, and feel lucky that there is a group of ATs relatively closeby to me, who trained under one of my favorite authors (now i can't remember if it was Kupecky or Hughes?!), and so at least i have a resource at hand if i would ever need it in the future...but i hope they would take medicaid!!


Katherine
post #76 of 104
i was just wondering how you found someone, did THEY evulate DD or meet with you all as a family, or meet with you as parents alone? did they have to evluate and dx on their own (again) or did they accept the dx when yo walked in then just evulate to "get to know" your dd personally?

did they assing homework -- such as stuff to do as a family, or reading for you.

did they help you with "house hold policies" (rule, consequences or what-have-you) in specific terms, or leave you to work that out on your own.

What background does the / did the professional help have.

ALl office workor did they come to the home

sorry ...................... again, as jane says, we don't want to make you uneasy ....... but this is such an oppertunity for us to learn ...................

Aimee
post #77 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
You know what? I've decided to stay.
dm
Oh goody, goody, goody, goody, goody!
post #78 of 104
FWIW, DM, you could do what I do, which is not post anything specific about your own children/life. That way, the prejudices that come up don't feel so personal.
post #79 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
i was just wondering how you found someone,
As a possible step, go to the website of the organization called ATTACH. They have a list of some clinicians with expertise in attachment. It is still extremely important to do your homework and get references for a therapist you are considering, as there are still some questionable practices taking place in the name of 'attachment therapy.'

http://www.attach.org/

Go under Resources to find some therapists listed.

There are other good resources on the website as well.
post #80 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermonttaylors View Post
There is NO part of parenting that you suck at and no part of anything I have ever seen you do that hasn't been with grace and kindness and the kind of patience that leaves me speechless. You are, literally, the mother I aspire to be.

I am lucky enough to know and be friends with gus'smama IRL so I know of what I speak.
Awww, thanks, April
(gus asked for those)

Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
Can you talk more about this (either now or in the future when you have been going for awhile...)? Obviously, i wouldnt expect you to divulge anything private or anything you don't feel comfortable discussing...but i would looooove to hear some "eyewitness accts" of attachment therapy, what it entails, how the child responds, how the parent responds, etc. Even in general terms.



Katherine
I'm not dharma, but I did attachment therapy w/ my ffs. He and I would sit on the couch together, and the therapist would encourage him to sit right next to me to let me put my arm around him, or sometimes he would lie down with his head in my lap. In that postition, we worked on eye contact, particularly eye contact as I talked to him about how I much I loved him, or the ways I would have taken care of him as a baby or small child, I sometimes held a sippy for him to drink from as well. He was not into talking, so the therapist and I did a lot of talking to each other about things that had happened to him, and how it was not his fault, and how scared he must have been etc etc. It was often very difficult for him to listen to (more difficult to hear that it was not his fault and that he is a fundamentally good person, less difficult (although still difficult) to hear us talk about his early experiences).

We also read board books with I love you themes, played in the sand tray together and played some therapy themed board games.

When I was working some of the families I worked with did get some homework type things about spending fun time together as a family (or using respite and the parents having some fun time together!!). Therapists often had ideas for the kids and parents to use at home and school. For example, one therapist had a child tape a picture of his mom and dad to his desk at school, so that even when he was away from them, he could see them, and think about behaving in ways that would make them proud. This worked for him, because he was at a point when he was doing pretty well at home, with lots of structure and supervision, but having a lot of trouble at school, usually trying to impress peers with clowning around/acting out.

HTH. I'm happy to answer any specific questions. I've got thick skin
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