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#1 of 104 Old 12-14-2007, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are lots of resources on attachment disorders: there is the Attach-China website, which has good information for people adopting from anywhere; there are books such as Parenting the Hurt Child/Adopting the Hurt Child by Gregory Keck, Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Grey, Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best, When Love Is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting Children with RAD by Nancy Thomas (as well as her website; she specializes in RAD), Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors by Bryan Post (well-known in the attachment disorder world), and Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children.
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#2 of 104 Old 12-14-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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I'd really like to see this (or at least the list of books) in a sticky or made part of the resources sticky.

Assuming it wouldn't go against the ToS, which I personally don't think it does, but I'm not in charge, so.

Thanks, DM. I too think it's really important that people know about this. Even if they never personally have to use that knowledge, it would at least cut down on the unintended damage caused to others.
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#3 of 104 Old 12-14-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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I agree with you DM - many will think that attachment parenting will solve attachment disorder issues. Hopefully your list of resources will help people sort that out.

Thanks for the list!

I also think that an attachment disorder TERRIFIES adoptive parents. And that many (myself included) would rather bury their heads in the sand or think that they can cure it with a sling, cio, diet, what have you. But we owe it to our children to look at all possibilites and educate ourselves the best we can.
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#4 of 104 Old 12-14-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
Attachment parenting is not a cure for attachment disorders.
Yes.

Thank you for posting this DM. Not only is AP not a cure for attachment disorders, there are some AP practices which are not at all appropriate for children with attachment issues.

Although I generally find MDC to be a very open and welcoming community, I have seen advice given on the adoption board that isn't very understanding of the challeneges that some parents face when it comes to attachement issues and disorders. Our family has never had to deal with RAD or severe attachment disorders. But I will admit that after posting about our experiences a few times, I am less eager to share our story and our experiences with attachment difficulties.

Attachment difficulties aren't pretty and don't make for a 'nice' story, but they're part of the process for many adoptive families.

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#5 of 104 Old 12-14-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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Thanks for the post dharmamama
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#6 of 104 Old 12-14-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing this. I'm sorry to you and others who have experienced a lack of support.

I won't repeat in entirety my post on another recent thread, except to say that I think that the word "attachment" trips people up, as well as this belief that somehow there is this one, all-purpose, superior way to parent (called AP) that will cure all ills. In my travels around MDC to other forums, I have seen mothers fretting that things like leaving their child to cry for five minutes, or using a babysitter, will cause "attachment" problems, and I feel like it is really trivializing to families facing the real deal.

I was fortunate to read some of the books you listed prior to our adoption, but I also ran into the unfortunate opinion that because our daughter was adopted young and from foster care, she was basically guaranteed to be free of "issues." Our first night together disabused me of that notion, and I'm glad.
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#7 of 104 Old 12-14-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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Lurking-- at some point, I got the idea that all good adoption agencies tell prospective parents to expect their new kids to have attachment disorders, as a matter of course. Is that not the case? Do they (agencies) tend to hide or downplay attachment disorders?
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#8 of 104 Old 12-14-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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Five years ago when we adpted our son from Russia we used a good agency.
One that made us do homework and write a report. So we were informed about attachment issues. My ds at ten months old had mild issues that we worked thru. Sadly many parents are not made to do the research and learn.
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#9 of 104 Old 12-14-2007, 08:28 PM
 
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Just as a reference, this was a conversation we all had about a year ago on the same subject. It's interesting to see how the discussion has changed in that time. , dm, I'm sure it doesn't feel like enough change has happend--but I can tell you, your experience has made me MUCH more aware about the truths of RAD and attachment disorders.

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#10 of 104 Old 12-14-2007, 08:38 PM
 
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Thanks for the great posts!! You are so very eloquent.
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#11 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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Do they (agencies) tend to hide or downplay attachment disorders?
My last agency was a private agency placing state wards, most of whom were older, had issues, etc. When i told my worker that the main issues that i hoped to avoid were FAS and RAD, she said that RAD was basically the new fad diagnosis, and that once kids get a permanent family and some love they are fine.


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#12 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 09:12 AM
 
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Our classes touched on attachment issues but no where near enough to think anyone left the classes understanding what to expect. I think some of the people did believe love was all it took. One of the best parts of our classes was the day they had three sets of foster parents (all had adopted) speak about their experiences. They did not paint a pretty picture so it was good reality check. Also one of our trainers was a fp for about ten years with high needs children. She shared many stories to let us know it wasn't going to be a walk in the park.

I never thought about it until today, but it must be hard for a parent whose child has RAD come here looking for support and help.

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#13 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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dm, since it appears I didn't in our last conversation about this, I wanted to chime in that I do know what you are talking about, since I too have parented older children with attachment disorders (and my dfd, even though she came to us at 6 months, has an attachment disorder). With my oldest dfs, I rarely ever asked questions about parenting him here on Mothering because on this particular board, few of us are dealing with known attachment disorders and fewer still understand them.

And queenjane, our dfd's social worker must have thought the same thing about RAD because we too wanted to avoid FAS and RAD, and told her so, and she still placed a child with us who was at risk for BOTH (she actually lied to us about the history at placement). I am still very, very glad that dfd is with us, but what she did was unethical and showed a total denial. To make matters worse, she is not helping us access the services we need for dfd even now.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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#14 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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DM

I have always had, and continue to have, so much respect for you

Thanks for a few book titles i do not have to add to my reading list.

Also

I would like to make one comment without anyone thinking i am trying to argue


when it comes to AP parenting ...... i think ALL parents need to realize and accept that ALL children are diffenent and have diffent needs .... a very relaxes low structure house may work for a lot, but not for all, just as strict boundries and so on may not work for others .... no matter how the child joined the family .... and IMO or 2nd most importnat asjk as parents to any and all of our children is to provide them what they need and an envirmonet where they flurish best (our 1st task is to keep them safe and healthy ) .........The very goal of AP parenting is a respect for teh indivdual needs of each and every child as an speerate person ... and THAT is most importnat, not a check list of AP pratices

Again thanks

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#15 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alicia622 View Post
One of the best parts of our classes was the day they had three sets of foster parents (all had adopted) speak about their experiences. They did not paint a pretty picture so it was good reality check.
I had the opposite experience. I recently attended a training where adoptive and foster parents spoke about their experience w/ the agency. I asked about issues the kids may have come with, mentioned that many of the kids i've inquired on in other states have had significant issues...and most of the parents just kind of looked at me blankly like they didnt know what i was talking about. A mom who had adopted an 11 yr old boy, and went on to foster and adopt several more, basically said that most kids dont have issues, that any that do have tend to disappear once in a stable home, that her son stopped needing therapy as soon as he moved in and most of his socalled behaviors seemed to be made up by the aunt he was living with. I almost felt stupid for bringing up the idea it might not all be roses and sunshine.

On the one hand, i felt encouraged, that perhaps the vast majority of kids adopted out of foster care are "fine"...on the other hand, i felt like perhaps some of the less-educated (about adoption issues)prospective adoptive parents in the audience were going to be in for a shock if their child did come with challenges.


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#16 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#17 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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When it comes to attachment parenting vs. parenting the attachment disordered child, it seems to me (from what i've read)that the conflict doesnt come so much from the typical "attachment promoting activities" in AP (such as babywearing, cosleeping, etc)...those seem to be encouraged alot in adoption forums and by attachment experts to promote bonding and attachment. It seems (again, from what i read, so tell me if i'm wrong! ) that the conflict may arise when it comes to issues like "gentle discipline" which is promoted here.

Its taken pretty well for granted in gentle discipline forums, that when a child is exhibiting undesirable behavior (throwing a tantrum, hitting another child, that sort of thing)...they are trying to communicate a need to the parent, and dont know how to do it in a more positive way. With a well-attached or typical child, the need that s/he is communicating to the parent seems to be pretty well clearcut or at least somehow associated with the behavior s/he's exhibiting. So if a child is having a meltdown, maybe they are hungry or tired, and you can gently coax them to sleep or having a snack. Or if they hit their sibling, perhaps they are feeling needy at that moment, and you need to provide more positive attention as well as "words" for how to tell their sib they dont want to share. That sort of thing.

But it seems to me, that this type of "gentle discipline" doesnt work well with kids who have attachment issues, because the reason for their behavior may not have anything to do with the actual behavior. And what they are trying to tell you they *think* they need (such as needing to be in control of a situation)is not actually what they *do* need to heal (they instead may really need the parent to be in control, so they can feel safe, and begin to let down their armor)....so some of the things that a parent who has a child who has not yet learned to attach might need to do (such as providing constant supervision, to never trust the child until they know for certain they can, to give very limited choices if any, and to provide tons of structure and control, at least at first)....really flies in the face of traditional "gentle discipline" or child-centered discipline beliefs. It seems counterintuitive to most attached parents, to parent in this way right? Of course it would...but if the child is not acting in a typical way, you can't really respond with typical techniques.

As i had posted in the link that was provided in this thread, i think ALOT of typical AP practices *are* encouraged by attachment therapists in helping the child, so i would think an AP parent would already be a step-ahead in that dept. Where *i* would have trouble parenting a child w/ attachment issues is in the "trust and control" area....because i basically trust that my child knows to make good choices, and control very little in his life. But i can do that, because he trusts ME enough to make sure he has everything he needs and that i will take care of him. I think it would be so so hard to parent a child who doesnt have any sense of what it means to have a parent who will be there when they need you, and then actively tries to prevent you from proving that you will.


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#18 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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I understand what you are saying, and that may be the goal in theory, but in practice, if you come to MDC and say, "My child is supposed to unload the dishwasher, and she routinely leaves three things out on the counter instead of putting them away, and it's because that is her way of showing that she's in control, so I give her an extra chore for every chore that she does not do correctly," you can bet your hiney that people aren't going to say, "Hey, that's great, you found what works for your child, you're such an AP parent!" Oh, no, that is not what people say. People pay a lot of lip service to parenting according to your child's particular needs, but in the end, at MDC, it comes down to the idea that, if you're not meeting your child's needs via an AP checklist, then you are not a good/kind/loving/understanding/thoughtful/attached parent.
I know



and it makes me sad -- no one should speak without walking a mile in a mom's shoes.....all kids are differnt, birth, special need, medical special need, adopted -- the list goes on and it doesn't matter.

I have a few VERY basic questions, i knwo th reading list will help -- and i will read, but for now ....

1. what makes an attachement issue into RAD?

2. Is there a chance RAD is liek ADHS -- a reasl disorder that is being over DX as a scape goat for kid's behaivors IN SOME CASES rather than addressing the behviors of a chalalngeing child?

3. is RAD more common in:
children who loose the birth family later,
children who loose the birth family in certian ways
chilren who have longer between birth family abnd forver family

4. can RAD be overcome -- or is it life long?

5. how does RAD efect these kids as adults -- in marraige and with their own kids?

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#19 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
But then again, MDC is a place where time-outs are considered a violation of children's rights, so maybe I shouldn't expect a more nuanced understanding of parenting a child with an attachment disorder.

dm
I guess i just feel very conflicted about this. I don't think that most people know what it takes to parent a child with an attachment disorder. I dont know that a community of parents who don't have kids with attachment disorder, and who parent very "gently", is the very best place to get advice for parenting a child with these needs yknow? At the same time, i understand the desire to get input or advice from people who are coming from the same "place" as you are (that is, more AP, more gentle, whatever...there are alot of mainstream parents on general adoption forums)....i'm not sure what the answer is. I dont see how you can avoid having to educate the forum on attachment disorder every time you post, otherwise they will assume your child is more typical right?

I think its just a double edged sword. A post at a close knit adoption forum that i love, but i'm clearly a black sheep there (the single, liberal unschooling mom who has few limits in her home)...when posts about tv, or videogames, or limited sugar or a million other things pop up, i dont feel like i can really give my opinion. On another list the issue of limiting tv/videogames came up, and a mom told me "yes, i understand what you are saying, but its different when you are parenting older adopted children, the same rules dont apply" but for me...its hard for me to tell what is typical mainstream parenting attitudes (oh, and its totally accepted here at MDC too, it makes me cringe: referring to games or shows or food the kid loves as *crap* or *junk* etc., being very controlling about what a child watches, wears, eats, etc...it drives me crazy!!)....the thing is, i totally understand what she is saying, when you are parenting an older child with attachment issues. But alot of the parents on these lists/forums (adoption forums)have kids who are pretty well attached, so its not that. I generally dont post on mainsteam parenting sites, because i want to avoid hearing about punishment and control and disrespect...so i have to do alot of filtering on adoption sites, because those parents are there too.

So....whats the solution? For a well-attached, typical child i dont believe that most of the parenting that is best suited for a child with attachment disorder is appropriate. I dont think time outs, punishment, control, etc are good for most kids. And i personally dont think they are that great for kids with attachment issue unless you also have the "high nurture" aspect down, and that you employ these techniques not with the idea of punishment, but rather truly trying to help the child (which is what i think makes it different than just typical parenting techniques.) Sorry, not even sure if this makes sense.

Its kind of like...if a woman posts on the breastfeeding forum that she wants to wean, she is going to get certain advice on not doing that. Now, perhaps she has really "good" reasons for needing to wean...but unless she says that, she isnt going to get the advice she seeks, because people arent going to assume she has a "good" reason, they are going to assume she has a more "typical" reason (dr. told me to, i'm tired, isnt she old enough, etc etc)....i can't really fault them for that, since its true most of the time, i'd think.

I post over at Adoptive Parents Network (formerly happy mom anna forums)...its very small, close-knit, and they seem pretty accepting of different types of parents (even me! ) They dont have too many parents of internationally adopted kids, so you'd be especially welcome. There is a focus on kids with attachment issues.


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#20 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 05:13 PM
 
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maybe we need a sticky

with informationon RAD and resources -- books, websites, antyhing else -- to assist parents?

Or a sticky of some kind with suggestions -- again book, website, BTDT suggestions -- for adoptive parents facing challlanges / needing a bit differnt help / advice than the "Main Steam MDC"

(not in any way basking MDC, but something as PP noted are differnt in some kids than teh "averae" mom of the "average" kid here ..... yk?)

the SN Parenting has sticky such as "only in sn parent's world" and so on -- adknowledgeing that their parenting road is differnt than some other parents due to iusses / condition and so on ..... i don't see anything wrong with that applying to adoption .....

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#21 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#22 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 06:21 PM
 
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Yeah, I know, and I don't know why I keep at MDC by posting about Desta. I guess I have a sense of masochism, ya know?
dm
You continue to post here becasue you know how much I miss you when you are away

I wanted to add something about your original point. I kind of think information about attachment disorder is BOTH over and under emphasised in adoption circles. Everybody knows about it and nobody knows how to treat it. I know when we sought out an adoption specialist, she told us that most parents who bring their children for evaluation feel the problem is attachment. She said it almost never is. In those cases, specific therapy is used. But in most cases, some other underlying problem not related to attachment is found.
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#23 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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You continue to post because you know I will find you wherever on the internet you are and you can't hide!

(That's a joke people-- DM "knows" me from another site and it's purely coincidental.)
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#24 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
3. is RAD more common in:
children who loose the birth family later,
children who loose the birth family in certian ways
chilren who have longer between birth family abnd forver family
I worked with a couple of children with RAD at my previous job. Without giving too many details, one was pretty much locked in the bedroom for years, another was parented by a very mentally ill person for four or five years and another was parented by someone with mental health, medical and drug addiction issues who would drop the child off with anyone for days/weeks on end for the first four or five years.

These three children were very challenging. They all were brought into foster care at about 4-5. I know one has had several failed adoptions and is in group home, another has been waiting for an adoptive home for 6 years and one is in a kinship home, waiting for the adoption to be finalized.

I worked with many, many children in foster care and the ones who were severly neglected during those first few years are the ones who suffer the most. (please understand I am only talking about my experience and not trying to imply this is true for all children with RAD)

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#25 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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For a well-attached, typical child i dont believe that most of the parenting that is best suited for a child with attachment disorder is appropriate. I dont think time outs, punishment, control, etc are good for most kids. And i personally dont think they are that great for kids with attachment issue unless you also have the "high nurture" aspect down, and that you employ these techniques not with the idea of punishment, but rather truly trying to help the child (which is what i think makes it different than just typical parenting techniques.) Sorry, not even sure if this makes sense.
No, makes perfect sense.

But what part of this makes child focused attachment parenting incompatible? It would be nice if people would be willing to talk about their parenting and how/why they think their approach must necessarily clash with attachment ideals. Because so far, I just don't get it.

I'm pretty well versed on the literature around AD. Certainly I've long ago read through the links you provide. I don't think my questions stem from ignorance about the subject.

Why are you not able to synthesize attentive, responsive, respectful parenting ('attachment' parenting being a loosely applied name for this) and rigid expectations, consequences and absolute consistency in your discipline? Because I haven't had to choose between the two. I find them quite compatable.

And what AP techniques are injurious to your child? And how?

If you want people to be educated, then let's talk. Honestly.
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#26 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#27 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 09:33 PM
 
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Dm, if you're still reading, BIG s. I mean, huge ones. Hugs as big as the snowbanks outside....but warmer.

I think we need to be very careful, in this discussion, not to challenge dm (or any other mother dealing with a child's attachment disorders) that if she would only do things *differently* or *the AP way* or *the right way*, then things would be different. Obviously dm has done a great deal to find out the right way to act/be/parent in her family. I think challenging that in any way is inappropriate in this conversation. We're trying to understand by way of learning what it's like to walk a mile in her shoes. Let her tell us about those shoes, and the walking--you know?

Not understanding is not the same thing as telling a mother that maybe if she were doing it differently, she wouldn't be having the problem.

s to everyone in this discussion, especially dm. You deserve a big ol' medal for putting yourself out there again on this.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#28 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 09:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blessed View Post
When you talk about Desta it's always in terms of seeking justification for your anger at her - sort of trying to 'prove' that your anger is warranted - or sort of venting about some situation. I've read your blog and your posts here, and I found myself thinking one time that I never recall ever reading anything positive.
I'm sure people would say the same things about me if they read my posts about my SN son/sons.

Living with, and parenting, a SN child (or RAD child) is VERY tough. Like grind-you-to-the-ground tough. You need to be able to talk about it, especially when you're in a place like dm is--where RAD makes mothers isolated, makes them get blamed, makes them seem like they're the only ones seeing the problem.

Honestly, in my case, there isn't a whole lot that IS positive about parenting a SN child. The things I need to talk about, and post about, are tough and sad and full of anger and resentment and frustration. I could post about the two hugs my child gave me, or the 30 minutes he WASN'T tantruming today, but really--that's not what my day is about. My day is about coping. My day is about one challenge after another.

I have a NT kid, and I can see why a lot of parents "don't get it." My NT (neurotypical or "normal") kid is a breeze. Pure enjoyment, even when he's being a typical little toddler brat. If I had only kids like him, I'd be posting fluffier posts, too. As it is, I'm in crisis mode most of time. Life is HARD.

So if dm, or other moms, aren't posting about the warm fuzzies, that's why I'm guessing. Warm fuzzies are great, but when you're dealing with big/sad/scary/isolating challenges, you need to talk about the challenges, vent about the challenges, post about the challenges.

You need support and understanding.

Blessed, you're a sweetie, , but dm is a GREAT mom. Really. Her posts reflect her world right now, and that's what all our posts do. I can see how she got upset.

Again, s to everyone.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#29 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 09:42 PM
 
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[QUOTE=dharmamama;10020284]Mainly, it's because my child doesn't trust me. My child does not trust that I will look out for her best interest and take care of her. So instead of acting out of trust, she acts out of fear. She fears that if shes does not control every interaction, her needs will not be met. Her relationship with me is based on controlling me. I cannot respond to her desires in the same way that I respond to my other kids' because she does not desire things in their own right. She desires control. She wants to be able to make me jump whenever she says jump just so she can see me jump and know she's in charge. So I have to force her to 1) realize and 2) understand that I am in charge, not her, and that she will be safe even if she gives up control.

Until she can give up control and allow herself to be nurtured, we will not have a reciprocal relationship. At this point, I am only useful to Desta if she can control me. If I defy her (and by defy, I mean something like refuse to get off the pot RIGHT NOW and get her a glass of water) then she has no use for me and is enraged at me.

The only way she will learn to trust and give up control is through structure and predictability. I am literally reprogramming Desta.

An example of life with Desta is what happened today. Yesterday, Desta asked me to take her to the store today so she could spend some allowance on Christmas decorations for her room. I told her that I would take her IF the weather allowed; she knew (and I reiterated to her) that we were expecting an ice storm today. We got the ice storm. She asked whether we could go to the store. I said no, because the ice storm had come. Desta went to her room and stayed there for five hours because she was so angry with me. (And this is huge step forward; six months ago she would have followed me around the house for the rest of the day, alternately haranguing me and giving me an active cold shoulder/silent treatment.) Not only is that not a typical reaction from any child, but I also had to tell her recently that if she displays any of several concrete signs of anger (sighing, frowning, turning her back to me when I am speaking, etc.) and she can't get it under control in five minutes, she must go to her room until she can. Desta doesn't hit or kick, but her seething anger is every bit as destructive and toxic to live with when you are the target of it every day.


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This sounds like my sil, who through many traumas in her life has continued to act out in this way, which is mainly destructive to her brother,(my dh) unfortunately...it doesn't get better in adulthood, unfortunately... (she's almost 40 years old) Those behaviors are EXACTLY what she does, which leads to a great deal of frustration and pain on the part of anyone involved with her. Unfortunately. It's either what she wants now orelse. Thanks for the example, it was so spot on. I don't know if this sort of thing can ever be truly addressed, no matter how much we try.
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#30 of 104 Old 12-15-2007, 10:56 PM
 
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When Families and Friends Don't Understand

excerpt:
Since many of the symptoms associated with attachment problems look like normal childhood behaviors, it can be very difficult if not impossible to explain to friends and family. Some, in an attempt to be helpful, try to dismiss the problems. You hear, “Oh, my son has temper tantrums all the time,” all the while thinking to yourself, “Not like these, lady!” Others try to generalize, “He looks perfectly normal to me,” while you roll your eyes, knowing that he is at his worst only when he is home. Alone. With you.

And then, there are the friends and family who, in the spirit of helpfulness, begin to question your methods, or even worse, your sanity.

A low point in our attachment road came about nine months after we first identified the problem. After months of progress, we plateaued, which felt at the time like a major upset. For support, I turned to a close friend. From the beginning, she supported our journey through regular contact, prayers, and listening sessions. I divulged more to her than most, feeling that she truly accepted what I’d been teaching her about the attachment process. After sharing the latest struggles, I was shocked to receive a note from her asking if my child could sense my love for him as he was, rather than as a project that needed to be fixed.

And this, a Do's and Don'ts list for Family and Friends that includes information about general attachment, and suspecting attachment disorders:

DO:
2. Trust the mother's instincts. Even a first time mother may notice subtle symptoms that well-meaning family and friends attribute to "normal" behavior.

3. Accept that attachment issues are difficult for anyone outside of the mother to see and understand.

4. Be supportive even if you think everything looks fine to you.

DON'T:
1. Assume an infant is too young to suffer from emotional issues related to attachment. Babies are not immune.

2. Underestimate a new mother's instincts that something isn't right.

3. Judge the mother's parenting abilities. What looks like spoiling or coddling may be exactly what the child needs to overcome a serious attachment disorder. Parenting methods that work for many children can be detrimental to a child with attachment issues.

4. Make excuses for the child's behaviors or try to make the mother feel better by calling certain behaviors "normal". For example, many children who suffer from attachment issues may be labeled strong-willed by well-meaning family members. While being strong-willed can be seen as a positive personality trait, this type of behavior in an attachment-impaired child may signify problems.

5. Accuse the mother of being overly sensitive or neurotic. She is in a position to see subtle symptoms as no one else can.

7. Put your own timeframes on how long attachment should take. One mother was hurt when she was chastised by a relative who couldn't understand...after all, the baby had been home six months. It could take weeks, months, even years. Every child is different.

9. Fall into the appearance trap. Some babies/toddlers with attachment issues can put on a great show to those outside of the mother/father. What you see is not always a true picture of the child. Even babies as young as 6-months-old are capable of “putting on a good face” in public.

And this, Red Flag Phrases.

Red Flag Scenarios

You notice something one day, something you'd taken for granted. You realize your daughter never faces you. Hmmm, you think. You notice she always takes a hug with her back to you. Not only that, she doesn't like it when you two are face to face. You mention it casually to your husband who says:
"She's probably just more comfortable that way."

Your daughter is the sweetest child in the world--everyone says so--your playgroup, school, church. Sometimes you wonder how you got so lucky. You realize that at home, she is very directive. You're glad though, because you want your girl to be strong. It's just that sometimes you wish she'd listen to you without so much opposition. She tells you what she wants to wear, what to play, how to play, whether she wants pretzels for a snack. But, you remind yourself:
"She's just strong-willed."

You child is in the "I'll do it myself stage." All children go through that, right? You just didn't think it started this early or was this persistent. If you help her with something, she flies into a rage! Your cousin says:
"Independence is good. Consider yourself lucky!"

You go to the playground with some friends. Your son takes off across the grass toward another family. He allows them to pick him up, laughing and chatting all the while. Your friends reassure you, saying:
"He’ll probably be a politician!”

Your toddler has started hitting. He occasionally smacks you in the face. Nothing seems to deter him from hitting his siblings. Your neighbor says that, just like her son:
“He's all boy!”
(Adoptive mom's note: "all boy" should apply to the fact that my son would sleep with a matchbox car if I let him. It doesn't apply to him hitting me or being oppositional.)

Ever since your child was very young, he would play quietly by himself. In fact, he doesn't seem terribly interested whether you come or go. He pays attention to a toy for long periods, playing it over and over again. You secretly think he must be highly intelligent. Something nags at your heart, though, but the nursery school teacher says:
“He's just the quiet type."

Your 10-month-old throws fits. He pitches food from the highchair and screams. Your mother-in-law, a teacher, says:
“He's just frustrated because he can't talk to communicate what he wants."

You call your son and he doesn't respond. This is happening so frequently that you begin to wonder if he's hearing impaired. You take him in for a hearing test and he passes with flying colors. Yet the minute you get home, it appears that he can't hear a word you're saying. Your mom says:
"Selective hearing. All kids are like that. It's payback time for when you used to do it to me.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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