My daughter is 10, has lived with me for more than two years, and still refuses to say anything bad/negative about her past. She might offer something good up, like a vacation she went on, or some other fun thing...but she has never volunteered anything about trauma, ever. Bringing it up puts her in a stress mode, which is nearly guaranteed to be followed by negative behaviors. We are working on it in therapy, very slowly. Today we had therapy and the therapist simply asked her to write down five traumatic things that have happened to her, could be anything from something in a foster home, birth home, whatever....she wasnt asked to talk about it but simply write down briefly some things that happened. She bacame visibly agitated and uncomfortable. She just sat there, then drew a couple of pics, the therapist said no, i said write it down. She didnt know what to write. I suggested something like the time she said she was hit with an extension cord in a foster home. So she wrote that down. Then she wrote down she saw scary movies. Thats it. She couldnt come up with anything else and didnt want to proceed. She will not allow herself to do to a dark place and prefers to keep a superficially happy persona. She says she "doesnt like to think about bad things." (well, who does really?)
Oh, and a book that may help you understand his responses better is calle "Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control" by Heather Forbes. My daughter's new therapist basis a lot of her therapy around the principles and had me read the book. It has changed EVERYTHING for us. Almost like some freakish miracle cure. Its all about the brain chemistry of a child who has been traumatized, and what may look like manipulation, or control, or lying, or whatever else to us is really a response to stress on a subconscious brain level. I didnt think it would "work" and it did. My daughter has not had one tantrum in WEEKS, and i have not felt one overly negative thought about her in weeks (whereas before i felt angry and irritated all.the.time.)
Foster son now has a play therapist that will come to our home twice a week for an hour at a time, along with his regular child psychologist three days a week. We had a court date on Monday and were given Primary Physical Custody. The only issue now is the grandparents rights in PA. He did live with his grandparents for 12 consecutive months so they are entitled to visitation, but would they still be entitled to it if the grandparents were involved in why CPS took the measures to remove the children from thier home? We are just worried about the grandparents getting unsupervised visits and having foster son, soon to be adopted son, being in an abusive situation again. I have googled the grandparents rights for Pennsylvania, but it didn't say anything about if there is proved abuse, or unsafe circumstances.
Katherine: that's great news about the new therapist!
LovingMyKids, also great news! This much professional help, this early in your boy's life, is the best possible chance you can give him for long-term healing.
I wouldn't worry too much about the grandparents in another state. If you ignore or deny their attempts at contact, they would have to get a lawyer in your jurisdiction, go to trial etc. to enforce their putative right to visitation. I doubt that you will have trouble with them if this case goes to adoption.