Resources for parenting troubled kids who are NOT RAD - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-22-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking for resources for parenting very hurt children who are taking out their pain on everyone around them and make for challenging parenting.  The mainstream parenting books don't come close to fitting the bill and they are beyond the basic "just love them" because they are going out of their way to MAKE you react (yes, I know this is a very RAD trait and this is why I posted that it's not a RAD child).

 

There really just doesn't seem to be a lot of support for the middle of the road.  Foster, adopted or even bio (when parents have realized that their behaviors have done more harm than good and are trying to turn around a very nasty set of behaviors borne of a child's pain and feelings of worthlessness).

 

Anyone have resources?  Books?  Forums?  Organizations?  Links?


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Old 07-22-2012, 02:54 PM
 
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Have you read Beyond Consequences by Heather Forbes? I'm not sure I like her or her writing style but her viewpoint makes sense. Its all about brain chemistry and why a child responds a certain way and how the parents response can impact behavior. It worked like magic for us for about a month but I kind of fell off the wagon. The parent has to do most of the work in being very mindful. I would like to read more of the books she recommends (by other authors) about the brain and why people react the way they do.

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Old 07-22-2012, 08:26 PM
 
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One concept that can be helpful is to think about kids not in terms of RAD or NOT-RAD, but in terms of attachment patterns. All of us have attachment patterns and can have ways of connecting with others that are either positive negative. The main attachment patterns are anxious, ambivalent, avoidant and disorganized (these are googleable). If it's possible to sort out the attachment style of the child and to figure out your own attachment style (on a continuum from very mild trouble to severe) it can begin to make sense why a child and a foster parent are either connecting or having trouble connecting.

 

Other resources that might be of value that don't pathologize: The Circles of Security Project, and Mary Dozier's Biobehavioral Catch Up model.
 


 
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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Links for the approaches mentioned above:

 

Circle of Security

http://circleofsecurity.net/resources/treatment-assumptions/

 

Biobehavioral CatchUp

http://abcintervention.com/

 

 

Both approaches look at patterns on a continuum and do not try to label children as RAD, but as needing to learn new skills and approaches in order to be more successful in families.
 


 
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.  Any more resources welcome (although Googling the terms above don't help much as they seem to bring up a TON of unrelated stuff)


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Old 07-23-2012, 04:42 AM
 
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I know there is a lot of junk out there. Here is one, written for the lay person but describes the various attachment styles and how they "look" in kids and adults. It's 9 pages so the first page is general.

 

http://psychology.about.com/od/loveandattraction/ss/attachmentstyle.htm


 
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was about to write that I'm really not looking for attachment stuff, but then I guess most severe behavior comes back to attachment.  *sigh*


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Old 07-23-2012, 08:08 PM
 
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Well I guess my point was that the style someone does attachment can often cause trouble, even if they don't develop reactive attachment disorder which is a much more complex and less common disorder. So, attachment and trauma are usually the culprits and usually the root for kids that are in the foster care system. Not necessarily true for adoption at birth or international adoption, depending on the life story.

 

Sorry I'm not much help! I hope someone else shows up that can give you a hand!
 


 
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ha!!! Except I've seen it in both bio and newborn adoption (not RAD, but severe behaviors).

Regardless of how they got there, there does not appear to be an extensive amount out there for people trying to reverse it. And definitely no support community... kwim? Unless one of those links has a support forum. I will be digging into them to see, just haven't gotten to it yet.

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Old 07-23-2012, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh! And what I meant was that this is for kids who suffered "lesser" traumas--but traumas none-the-less (or perhaps multiple smaller traumas that equalled a larger problem). So parents that believed in spanking (not beating) and yelling on top of other (uncommon) life disruptions and maybe disengaged parents.... years o that kind of stuff as opposed to addict or full-on disappearing parents for years at a time. Not parents that were attempting to practice AP and just really didn't get it right. Does this make sense? I feel like I can't describe what I'm looking for. Not all kids come into care from the worst of homes. Bad, yes, but not always horrifying.

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Old 07-23-2012, 09:05 PM
 
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I think I know what you mean-- so kids that may have intense temperaments and/or might be just wired differently, perhaps regardless of their home experiences? Or are grieving, or just plain confused. Or where there is just a tricky fit between the parents and the child?
 


 
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:04 PM
 
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I highly recommend Dr. Ross Greene's The Explosive Child

 

My agency uses a lot of Dr. Greene's priniciples in their residential treatment and TBS (Therapeutic Behavioral Services) programs.   And, I use a lot of his principles with my clients and their families.  All of my clients are CPS referrals (with some court mandates thrown in there) and have varying degrees of abuse/trauma in their history.  Oh, and I have also used it for certain issues with my own son. 

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Old 07-26-2012, 12:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I know what you mean-- so kids that may have intense temperaments and/or might be just wired differently, perhaps regardless of their home experiences? Or are grieving, or just plain confused. Or where there is just a tricky fit between the parents and the child?
 

 

Exactly.  And even more than just literature, there doesn't seem to even be an online community that really speaks to this... which is sad for those parents.


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Old 08-06-2012, 03:12 PM
 
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The last fp class we attended, the presenter, who was a therapist, had a real issue with RAD diagnosis, which was really interesting. She said she does not diagnose RAD, she says it's all Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I asked her some about it and I thought it really made sense. A person *may* have RAD, but not necessarily. They "just" may have been traumatized and acting out on those feelings. So, maybe look into someone who treats kids for PTSD.

 

My own v young biological child displays many of the diagnostic criteria for an ODD diagnosis &, you are correct, there is v little out there for parents of explosive, deliberately argumentative and annoying children. I really liked The Explosive Child, but my child refuses to participate in collaborative problem solving. Refuses. I am going to check out Beyond Consequences and also have her evaluated in preschool this year. Good luck. I don't really have anything much useful except for the PTSD thing.


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Old 08-06-2012, 06:26 PM
 
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The last fp class we attended, the presenter, who was a therapist, had a real issue with RAD diagnosis, which was really interesting. She said she does not diagnose RAD, she says it's all Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I asked her some about it and I thought it really made sense. A person *may* have RAD, but not necessarily. They "just" may have been traumatized and acting out on those feelings. So, maybe look into someone who treats kids for PTSD.

 

My own v young biological child displays many of the diagnostic criteria for an ODD diagnosis &, you are correct, there is v little out there for parents of explosive, deliberately argumentative and annoying children. I really liked The Explosive Child, but my child refuses to participate in collaborative problem solving. Refuses. I am going to check out Beyond Consequences and also have her evaluated in preschool this year. Good luck. I don't really have anything much useful except for the PTSD thing.

This is the direction the field is going in general; away from RAD and more toward complex trauma. There is a strong move to get a new diagnosis included in the next diagnostic manual for 'developmental trauma disorder' instead of RAD.


 
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:37 PM
 
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The last fp class we attended, the presenter, who was a therapist, had a real issue with RAD diagnosis, which was really interesting. She said she does not diagnose RAD, she says it's all Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I asked her some about it and I thought it really made sense. A person *may* have RAD, but not necessarily. They "just" may have been traumatized and acting out on those feelings. So, maybe look into someone who treats kids for PTSD.

 

This is along the lines of the info in Beyond Consequences. Its very clear with my daughter that she has a trauma response to even little things...and her response provokes negative response from me unless i stop and recognize it as a trauma response. It can be VERY subtle...like how she averts/rolls her eyes when i ask her a question, or how she will freeze when i ask her if she did something (then follow the freeze up with a lie)...her many food issues look so much like "manipulation" but i know at the root, its all trauma. It makes it a little easier to deal with when you look at a child as a traumatized child rather than as an attachment-disordered child trying to ruin your life. BC goes into great detail showing how the typical attachment disorder-focused response (labelling something as triangulation, or manipulation etc) just digs the child in further to their trauma response. I'm not explaining it well but its very interesting. Its basically figuring out the child's triggers and trying to change the way the child's brain responds to those triggers.


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Old 08-06-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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Also EMDR therapy is supposed to be quite helpful in helping a child process a traumatized past. My dd is supposed to start at our next therapy appt.


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Old 08-07-2012, 02:55 PM
 
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Are there any behavioral service providers in your area to go to?  I think our current sibling placement are similar;  they are certainly not RAD, but the oldest requires medication to function through the day without her 'dark' moods and emotions just overwhelming her.  Their background is of sever neglect/abandonment, and as previous posters mentioned, she just doesn't have healthy ways to develop attachments to people.  (sadly, she WANTS to, which often leads to these negative behavior explosions).  However, most of the time she is lovely, and the generally no one would guess she needs more intense support.

anyway, that was rambly.   The pont:   These two are getting services through a behavioral therapy agency, which has been great.  (monthly med. visits w/ psychiatrist and a weekly 3 hour visit with a behavioral therapist).  This is in addition to a child/family therapist she sees.  What surprised me is that we had a previous sibling set with behavior issues as well, and their social worker didn't seem to be aware that there were such behavioral services in our area.  (She wasn't the hottest). 

It would be worthwhile to ask the social worker about resources (ask, or pressure...).  A good friend of ours is a CPS social worker, and she is always reminding me that it is my social worker's job to research/find/set up service providers, even though it sometimes feels like the task falls to me.

Edited to clarify:  the service provider we work with prescribed her meds, but worked with her w/o meds first.  

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The last fp class we attended, the presenter, who was a therapist, had a real issue with RAD diagnosis, which was really interesting. She said she does not diagnose RAD, she says it's all Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I asked her some about it and I thought it really made sense. A person *may* have RAD, but not necessarily. They "just" may have been traumatized and acting out on those feelings. So, maybe look into someone who treats kids for PTSD.

 

That makes sense.

 

 

 

Quote:
My own v young biological child displays many of the diagnostic criteria for an ODD diagnosis &, you are correct, there is v little out there for parents of explosive, deliberately argumentative and annoying children. I really liked The Explosive Child, but my child refuses to participate in collaborative problem solving. Refuses. I am going to check out Beyond Consequences and also have her evaluated in preschool this year. Good luck. I don't really have anything much useful except for the PTSD thing.

 

Good call.  You are pretty much living my life with the part above that I bolded.  The pain is just so great that there is no interest in working together.  There's just "I need my pain to get out".  Poor thing.

 

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Also EMDR therapy is supposed to be quite helpful in helping a child process a traumatized past. My dd is supposed to start at our next therapy appt.

 

Oooo.... I need to see how young they can do that.

 

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Are there any behavioral service providers in your area to go to?  I think our current sibling placement are similar;  they are certainly not RAD, but the oldest requires medication to function through the day without her 'dark' moods and emotions just overwhelming her.  Their background is of sever neglect/abandonment, and as previous posters mentioned, she just doesn't have healthy ways to develop attachments to people.  (sadly, she WANTS to, which often leads to these negative behavior explosions).  However, most of the time she is lovely, and the generally no one would guess she needs more intense support.

anyway, that was rambly.   The pont:   These two are getting services through a behavioral therapy agency, which has been great.  (monthly med. visits w/ psychiatrist and a weekly 3 hour visit with a behavioral therapist).  This is in addition to a child/family therapist she sees.  What surprised me is that we had a previous sibling set with behavior issues as well, and their social worker didn't seem to be aware that there were such behavioral services in our area.  (She wasn't the hottest). 

It would be worthwhile to ask the social worker about resources (ask, or pressure...).  A good friend of ours is a CPS social worker, and she is always reminding me that it is my social worker's job to research/find/set up service providers, even though it sometimes feels like the task falls to me.

Edited to clarify:  the service provider we work with prescribed her meds, but worked with her w/o meds first.  

 

I'm not talking about foster kids and/or older adoptees (who were old enough to be more aware of severe neglect/abandonment.  I'm talking about bios or newborn adoptees (I realize that they still endure stress and trauma of abandonment, but I personally have a hard time equating that with a 3yo left alone for 9 hours/day to fend for herself and can tell me stories about being punished for eating pudding because it was what she could reach despite it being "dessert".  mecry.gif That 3yo has clear memory of her abandonment and neglect... kwim?  The newborn taken home by the adoptive family from the hospital suffers, but I feel like it's different--feel free to set me straight on that)


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Old 08-08-2012, 07:18 AM
 
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I am a big believer in temperament, having seen lots of challenging children (including my own!) that never suffered anything in their lives. The traits that they have identified as being part of temperament are traits we all have--just with a higher or lower degree of intensity.  May be worth a look. I have argued (playfully) with a major attachment theorist about this topic and I'm sticking to my opinion, that some kids have temperaments that actually resemble children with major issues--only they have not had an challenges in their life or development.

http://www.temperament.com/clinical.html


 
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a big believer in temperament, having seen lots of challenging children (including my own!) that never suffered anything in their lives. The traits that they have identified as being part of temperament are traits we all have--just with a higher or lower degree of intensity.  May be worth a look. I have argued (playfully) with a major attachment theorist about this topic and I'm sticking to my opinion, that some kids have temperaments that actually resemble children with major issues--only they have not had an challenges in their life or development.

http://www.temperament.com/clinical.html

 

Wow.. that is absolutely awesome.

 

But even I'm getting off of my original point: there's no real COMMUNITY for these parents--is there?  I mean, there really just doesn't seem to be somewhere they can go and vent where they're not going to be instantly pounded with one extreme or the other... one side yelling "Try 1-2-3 Magic!  Worked like a charm for us!"  or  "Get a great attachment therapist and these meds to hold you over!"... kwim?  There doesn't seem to be a place for the grey in between.


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Old 08-08-2012, 09:09 AM
 
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Wow.. that is absolutely awesome.

 

But even I'm getting off of my original point: there's no real COMMUNITY for these parents--is there?  I mean, there really just doesn't seem to be somewhere they can go and vent where they're not going to be instantly pounded with one extreme or the other... one side yelling "Try 1-2-3 Magic!  Worked like a charm for us!"  or  "Get a great attachment therapist and these meds to hold you over!"... kwim?  There doesn't seem to be a place for the grey in between.

 I agree that there is no inbetween.  After years of looking help, we ended up using a RAD/attachemtn/trauma therapist things have gotten much better.

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Old 08-08-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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Wow.. that is absolutely awesome.

 

But even I'm getting off of my original point: there's no real COMMUNITY for these parents--is there?  I mean, there really just doesn't seem to be somewhere they can go and vent where they're not going to be instantly pounded with one extreme or the other... one side yelling "Try 1-2-3 Magic!  Worked like a charm for us!"  or  "Get a great attachment therapist and these meds to hold you over!"... kwim?  There doesn't seem to be a place for the grey in between.

Yes I agree that there isn't a great community or forum. There used to be a forum as part of the Transforming the Difficult Child website (which is another place for some interesting information, but they are also selling stuff) which helps parents with difficult children of all stripes, but I can't find the forum anymore. I got a lot of support from it at one time.


 
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:35 AM
 
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Here is an interesting forum for parenting by temperament. I don't know anything about it (and of course they are also selling a book!) but it might be intriguing to check out.

 

http://www.forum.parentingbytemperament.com/


 
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:03 AM
 
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The forum above is not very interesting actually because as far as I can see there is no content......
 


 
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A void that needs filling.  Although I'm currently spread too thin to attempt to create such a community.


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Old 08-08-2012, 12:45 PM
 
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Very interesting stuff.  My oldest (bio) DD would fit somewhere in that gray area.  She swings quickly from one extreme to the other and can be extremely destructive.  I've hunted and hunted and not found a lot of help. 

 

I think some of it may be trauma induced in her though, albeit not from a foster/adopt situation.  She had undiagnosed Celiac disease and has intense neurological symptoms when she consumes gluten.  We didn't get her gluten-free until she was around 2.  I wonder how much of her current personality is a byproduct of 2 years of pain and feeling out of control.
 


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Old 08-08-2012, 08:46 PM
 
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I found this forum yesterday or the day before & it is active. It's for conduct disorders of all types, including adhd and asd. Pretty much for anyone w/ a challenging child haha. Just reading the young children section helped me b/c there are a lot of experienced parents on there. http://www.conductdisorders.com/forum/f4/

 

Are you a part of any local mom's groups? In my one that meets face-to-face regularly, I'm in the minority as far as the challenges go. In my local fb group that has a lot of moms with a wide age range of kids, I have found real-life advice and commiseration. We do not meet up, but we could. I can put faces of real people to the convos. It helps a lot.


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Old 08-09-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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Sorry I didn't read your OP close enough!

Our older little one has clear memories of her neglect, but her little brother does not.  He was removed early enough that he has no real memories, but has an overwhelming feeling of anxiety.  However, the services he receives through the behavioral therapy agency really do nothing in the way of counseling. 
The behavioral therapist who comes here works with both of them on how to handle feelings of anger and frustration, not so much where those feelings come from. 

Though she remembers the trauma, in some ways, I think it is worse for him.  She has something she can talk about and work through, and I think she may be able to eventually identify that there were specific people who hurt her and she couldn't trust, but she can trust others.    He has a constant worry that no one will take care of him and will abandon him.  He doesn't really remember who hurt him, so he sort of assumes anyone will.  That's the way I see it, anyway.

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Originally Posted by lauren View Post

I am a big believer in temperament, having seen lots of challenging children (including my own!) that never suffered anything in their lives. The traits that they have identified as being part of temperament are traits we all have--just with a higher or lower degree of intensity.  May be worth a look. I have argued (playfully) with a major attachment theorist about this topic and I'm sticking to my opinion, that some kids have temperaments that actually resemble children with major issues--only they have not had an challenges in their life or development.
 

 


Our own bio-son (4) has a very difficult temperament.  He was an extremely colicy baby, and, as it turns out, is very lactose intolerant, so, was living with pretty constant tummy troubles for 3 years before we really figured out what was going on.  He cannot handle change, is very concerned when things are out of order, HAS to have a written schedule... his tantrums can the rival the excess and violence of our older foster daughters (and now that she is on meds again, they are more frequent), and he certainly has never been abused/neglected.  Sometimes my husband gets really worried that he is ODD or OCD... but I tend to think personality/temperament lies on a continuum or spectrum.  He is just a little skewed that way.  The things that help him, early bed times, naps, regular routines, a written schedule, 'team meetings,' quiet time in his room... etc. all really help our foster daughter as well.

I am going to look up Parenting the Explosive Child and Beyond Consequences for our own household. 

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Old 08-12-2012, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dogretro View Post

I found this forum yesterday or the day before & it is active. It's for conduct disorders of all types, including adhd and asd. Pretty much for anyone w/ a challenging child haha. Just reading the young children section helped me b/c there are a lot of experienced parents on there. http://www.conductdisorders.com/forum/f4/

 

Are you a part of any local mom's groups? In my one that meets face-to-face regularly, I'm in the minority as far as the challenges go. In my local fb group that has a lot of moms with a wide age range of kids, I have found real-life advice and commiseration. We do not meet up, but we could. I can put faces of real people to the convos. It helps a lot.

 

Thanks for that forum.  Will check it.  I'm part of multiple mom groups but I relocated 2 years ago and still don't feel like I fit here.  Suffice it to say that there are no doctors that share our mindset and most of the area is of a single religion--so I get the impression (based on things being said directly to me) that things that are "off" about us is kind of blown off to "how we live" (aka "not really having faith based on where we moved from--which is a heavily NOT religious area of the country).  It's been interesting.


Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices...
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