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#61 of 104 Old 12-18-2007, 02:48 PM
 
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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

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
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#62 of 104 Old 12-18-2007, 03:23 PM
 
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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!!!
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#63 of 104 Old 12-18-2007, 04:50 PM
 
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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

I have a blog.
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#64 of 104 Old 12-18-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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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.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#65 of 104 Old 12-18-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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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.
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#66 of 104 Old 12-18-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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dharmamama
That was a terrible thing to say to you.

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#67 of 104 Old 12-18-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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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.
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#68 of 104 Old 12-18-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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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.

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#69 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 09:01 AM
 
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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.
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#70 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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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...
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#71 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#72 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 02:38 PM
 
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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.
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#73 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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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

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#74 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 03:09 PM
 
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Yep, I'm feelin' feisty.
Good!



RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#75 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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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

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
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#76 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 03:50 PM
 
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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

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#77 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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You know what? I've decided to stay.
dm
Oh goody, goody, goody, goody, goody!
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#78 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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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.
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#79 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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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.

 
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#80 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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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)

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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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#81 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 07:13 PM
 
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This has been such an interesting thread to read. I, too, got beat up last time I posted in the adoption forum (for discussing changing my dd's name), and have been away for a while. But, lurking on this thread has actually given me some insight into what (I think) we've been dealing with for a while.

Tell me what y'all think, whether these sound like attachment issues or just 2yo issues:

DD is very reluctant to look us in the eyes when she is being corrected;
She is extremely sensitive about us touching her (particularly relative to diapering and touching her feeding tube);
She pretends not to hear us calling her;
She doesn't want to be snuggled - ever;
Although she have limited communication skills (because of a trach), she

does have some sounds. However she will not say "I love you" or any verbal approximation of it. She only will blow kisses;

At the grocery store, or any time she's riding in a cart, she will try to touch EVERYONE;
Whenever she is corrected, she just says "Hi" and waves

I don't know if I'm being too sensitive, or if it is just that she's in a stage of preferring my husband or what, but she is very eager to see me leave and throws a horrible fit when he does. She does seem to like me, but it just feels like something is missing.

Backstory, briefly: DD was taken in to foster care at 16mos for inorganic failure to thrive and systematic neglect, she is our niece and we gained full custody of her at 22 months (she's 30 months now). She has quite a few special needs and was left alone for much of the first year and half of her life.

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
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#82 of 104 Old 12-19-2007, 08:15 PM
 
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I'm not DM, either, but I can tell you how we found our therapist. I started down a long list of therapists in general, interviewing them. Finally, one said that she knew who I was looking for and put us in touch. This therapist, on top of being extremely smart, having a PhD, also parents a RAD child. She gets what kinds of systems need to be in place.
In therapy, I craddle our daughter during tough subjects. But most of it is teaching her that, regardless of her background, her behavior has to be appropriate. She needs to express herself in constructive ways. Being a member of this family is what is going to help her heal....not necessarily dredging up the past. I can tell our therapist is going to get to dealing with the past in a matter of time. But right now, she's focused on healthy choices.
It's going very well. Our daughter is responding to it...really internalizing what it means to live with a strong, healthy family...and how to be part of that. She comes home and recants it all for her brothers.
Our therapist is tough and demanding but very kind and compassionate. Love her! I get shored up by her every week.
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#83 of 104 Old 12-20-2007, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
At this point I don't feel comfortable divulging information like that because I was recently eviscerated here for sharing information about parenting a child with RAD that was not all soft-focus fluffiness.

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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
We started with a therapist who is not an AT, but she did not buy into the manipulation. She advocated very clear boundaries and lots of structure along with lots of nurture, which is the RAD way of parenting anyway. But that was not the focus of her therapy, and Desta wasn't responding to the main thrust of the therapy. We have since moved on to that woman's supervisor, who has worked with the county dept. of social services for almost 30 years. While not an AT, per se, she has been trained in AT and has lots and lots of practical experience and a lot more practical suggestions than the previous therapist. However, she is moving us on to Catholic Social Services, where they have a specific attachment program for adopted kids. We are just waiting for information about when we can get in.

Quote:
I've heard that some parents have had trouble finding ATs because they dont exist everywhere
True

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and that it can be very expensive and sometimes insurance doesnt pay??
True. Insurance will pay for 20 visits for us. Visits are defined as 50 minutes. For the Catholic Social Services program, we will use up those visits in 2 weeks (the initial week is 15 hours, the second week is 10 hours, then it's an hour a week after that). We are applying for something called Post Adoption Special Support Services (or something like that), which is a program to help pay for services for families who can't afford them for their adopted children ... the kicker is that the service must be addressing a need that existed before adoption or is related to something that happened before the adoption. We are also applying for Bureau of Children with Medical Handicaps.

dm
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#84 of 104 Old 12-20-2007, 12:29 PM
 
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OT

Quote:
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
That is an awsome idea for ANY kid who is feeling a lot of peer pressure at school to be cool or act out or whatever ....

ok back to the thread


Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#85 of 104 Old 12-20-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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I forgot to address cost. The beauty of adopting through the state is that the child comes with insurance. I don't know anything about what is supposed to be covered but apparently therapy is. We go once a week for two hours. I never pay a cent or see the bill. I was told by the SW to have a therapist in place before we picked up our daughter.
We happen to be living in a great state that has pushed to make adopting US kids more "do-able" for people. The feds have picked up the rest.
Suebie
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#86 of 104 Old 12-20-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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Sort of OT, but I am have been talking with another Mama elsewhere about PTSD in children who are adopted recently. These are the kids who often act out similar to kids with attachment issues, but seem well attached to their parent/famly otherwise. Anyway, the picture idea is one that we used successfully with our bio child who probably had PTSD, undiagnosed, that was called an unspecified anxiety disorder, when he was having issues being in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people such as his SN preschool.

dharmamama, glad to see you back. I value your wisdom an observations on so many things, and I was sorry to see you go.
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#87 of 104 Old 12-20-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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I have a question -- very basic -- about RAD

Who dx it???? I mean i hear a lot of parents talk about looking for a therpist to work with the RAD, thus the DX is already in place, so it is not the threpist who is making the DX ....

??

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#88 of 104 Old 12-20-2007, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hurray! I heard back from Catholic Social Services (I didn't expect to hear from them until after the holidays) and it's all good news!

1) The woman laughed and said, "Oh, yes, yes, certainly" to everything I said when I described our issues. They know what I am talking about!

2) They are interested in working with Desta.

3) They are sending me the paperwork and ...

4) Best of all! They have a grant from the Human Services Levy that will pay for the therapy ... so it will be FREE!!

Finally I feel like I'm catching a break!

dm
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#89 of 104 Old 12-20-2007, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post

Who dx it????
Our first therapist's supervisor suspected it from the things the therapist told her in supervision. When we started seeing the supervisor, she made the dx.

dm
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#90 of 104 Old 12-20-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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Finally I feel like I'm catching a break!
:::

GOODY for your family -- I am sooooooooooooooooo glad

it is a real pet peve of mine when mental health care that is needed has to be a money isseu .......


Aimee

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