We adopted dd when she was 2 1/2. She is now 8 1/2. RAD has taken over our lives for years. She is now in a day treatment program, as well as working with several different therapist. We finally see some signs of healing.... Our almost 7 yo ds, we got 2 weeks after he turned 2 has healed from RAD, but still suffers from effects of the frontal lobe damage from shaken baby.
It amazes me how different kids react to different situations
Waldorf Mom to 9 blessings ~6 by birth and 3 by fost/adopt~
It really is amazing how different they are! Pre-kiddos I worked at a treatment home for seriously emotionally disturbed children with RAD. It's actually what really turned me on to 'attachment' model which lead me to attachment parenting and eventually Mothering.com I don't have a kiddo with RAD, but I can only imagine the struggles knowing those kiddos I worked with years ago. Resiliency was something we always talked about--why two kiddos, siblings even, could have the same 'history' and yet each would have such a different end result based on their own personal resiliency.
~Mama to my boys~ to a teen, a tween & a toddler and surro-mama to twins and their sister
Livin' in the sticks with my chicks and lovin' it!
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Hi Kelly- some of our resources on the resource page are helpful for parenting children who struggle with attachment issues. Hope you find them helpful!
Springshowers thanks for sharing that link. I think it is important to really understand the breadth of challenges with regard to attachment problems. Sometimes in the mainstream it becomes too easy to label kids "RAD" and bypass all the subtleties and complexities of these issues. This is a pretty thorough article that not only provides an overview, but notes the number of treatments that are not evidence based and can actually cause harm.
I agree Momsteader. The oldest child we got and the one that had been through the most "stuff" 5 years later is a happy well adjusted kiddo. Her little brother is our one with shaken baby.
I agree with some being quick to label RAD. In our case it took 5 years and a whole bunch of other dx first ( early onset bi polar, adhd, ODD, Conduct disorder ) Now that we know what it is we have finally started the healing process.
Waldorf Mom to 9 blessings ~6 by birth and 3 by fost/adopt~
I worked with a sibling group of 5 (fostered, nearly adopted 2, was considered to adopt 2 more). Each child was SO-O-O different, even the identical twins! In many ways, the youngest 2 were the most severely affected, even though they were removed from the neglect/abuse at an earlier age. I am not sure how to separate the PTSD from the RAD symptoms, but all these kids had both diagnoses. My 2 settled into my family fairly well (extreme behaviors gradually mellowed, although no one would ever confuse them with "average" kids).They were returned to the bio-mom, and are maintaining fairly well, I hear. The twins were adopted by another family, and have continued to be very high needs.
I work with several families with kids with RAD, and see such a spectrum of effects. There seems to be no predicting which kids will heal, and which will not. My agency works with many trauma-affected kids (not all have RAD). I see little correlation between the severity of abuse (as far as I can glean from the sometimes sketchy histories) and the long-term outlook. Resilience seems to be the unpredictable factor, and not necessarily genetic (like the twins above).
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
There are different patterns of disturbed attachment: anxious, resistant/ambivalent, disorganized. See this for description and this . Kids who are anxiously attached and ambivalent often can heal a little better because these patterns are more amenable to treatment. Disorganized attachment is the pattern that gets must frequently labeled as RAD, because the child has not developed a consistent inner working model related to the availability of caregivers. The anxious style is often caused by neglect or parental mental illness. The ambivalent style can be related to intermittent abuse and/or parental neglect/lack of support/substance abuse, etc. The child's experiences of these situations (neglect, parental depression, substance abuse, etc) is bound to be traumatic, hence the reason it is nearly impossible to tease out the trauma from the disturbed attachment. The disorganized style is most often caused by a mix of neglect and more intense abuse, usually with more severity in terms of frightening quality and frequency. The child who ends up with a disorganized attachment pattern has a much harder time healing, especially in the absence of ANY continuous stable adult. So a child that lives in intense abuse/neglect might develop some additional resilience because of the presence of a grandparent that keeps trying to step in to help, for example.
So many different factors affect resilience, including temperament, biology. But most kids that grow up as stronger survivors point to "that one person" that showed them an alternative version of themselves and their reality, that allowed them to heal. This can be why foster parents and adoptive parents are SO IMPORTANT! Also therapists and other helping professionals who have the opportunity to have a longer term relationship with the child.
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