Friday, October 26, 2012

Reader Request... Help for RADlet?

I just received the following email from a fellow foster momma at her wit's end, and wanted to get feedback and advice for her from those of you experienced with therapeutic parenting techniques and in dealing with young children with RAD.

I have a 3-year-old RADlet.  I was told they were going home today, but the judge said otherwise.  We could have them only another week or so, but the SW seems to thing they will be here for many more months.
I have NO IDEA what I am doing with him.  Nothing I'm doing is working and things are only getting worse.  The SWs either don't believe me that things are as bad as they are, or don't want to have to deal with it.  So I'm on my own here.  There is no one that will take him as a client being so young, so I have no help there either.
 What I need is to either connect with another momma that is dealking with a child with RAD, or even just some really good books that can teach me more effective ways to deal with him.  I won't disrupt the placement, but I also can't spend every of his waking minute pissed off or upset at something else he has done.  It's  gotten to the point that I feel I am failing his brother (the one he takes out his aggression and rages on).  I can't ever let them be alone together.  It's really hard when I'm alone with them most of the day and also have a 5-month-old to take care of.

I know this momma would appreciate any and all resources, support, and advice she can get right now, so please chime in with whatever you have!  :-)

Thanks so much, ladies!!!


Kathy of the HavinsNest said...

As it happens I have a friend who is an expert in this area.


Tell her I sent am making the referral.

Mama P said...

I have no idea what I am doing, but I have a 4 year old RADish and frequently feel like Im at my wits end for that very reason, and we are ADOPTING him.

Some days I secretly wish he was only a placement that would be leaving, but I definately can relate. She's welcome to email me as well. Im happy to give her my number if she needs a voice. is what saved my life when we first started figuring this all out with LS.

Outsider Looking In said...

There are two types of RAD, the inhibited type and the disinhibited type. In the inhibited type, the failure to connect and interact predominates. I am assuming that is what he has?

It seems crazy to me that no one will take him as a client because he is so young! This is just the kind of child I have the passion for working for and yet they won't provide services until the behaviors have compounded leading to more severe diagnoses such as conduct disorder, then in adulthood, anti-social personality disorder...

As a clinician I would work on attempting to repattern and make connections to him in ways I would to a baby. He needs attunement and mirroring. With another sibling and 5 month around, I don't suppose you have time to spend with just him where the two of you have the opportunity to connect to one another?

Realize that those feelings you have, the "every waking minute pissed off or upset" feelings are countertransference. He wants you to feel those feelings because they prevent him from connecting and being hurt again. And he feels those feelings himself.

The best advice I can give is to try and put yourself in his shoes. Try to imagine when the abuse/neglect started and think about what attachment opportunities he missed out on. He still needs the opportunity to attach even though it is a little late.

Hang in there, you can truly make a difference in his life.

Here's a link to another blogger who recently wrote about RAD too.

Anonymous said...

She should be able to find someone to work with him if she can just find the right people. I don't know where she is located, but I would try the child trauma academy, they should be able to recommend someone in her area even if she isn't located near them.
I've found Parenting the Hurt Child to be one of the more helpful resources out there, and has has good suggestions for finding appropriate therapy too.

NoMatterWhatMom said...

I have been parenting three children who suffer from RAD and PTSD for going on five years, now. I completely relate to the feeling of being worn down. Meeting the needs of traumatized and attachment-challenged children can be overwhelming. My children live in the no-man's-land between the fear of trusting us as parents and the terror that comes from realizing that they can't take care of themselves. Each of them acts it out a little differently. Their needs fall generally into the categories of comfort, safety, sensory, and dealing with adrenaline. The adrenaline rush associated with rage makes them feel momentarily powerful--even though they are out of control. We have to "feed the meter" frequently (almost constantly) to keep our kids from reaching critical mass and melting down or attacking someone. Feeding the meter means checking in and proactively meeting our kids' needs for comfort, safety, sensory soothing, and release of adrenaline.

For my youngest, that can mean calling him over frequently for a quick hug and a "five-pat" (five quick pats on the back while I give him his six-second hug). I do the five-pat the same way every time, trying to instill a calming reaction in response to the five pats. If I feed the meter often enough and don't over-react to the fifty smaller blow-ups per day, we can usually get through without a furniture-flipping rage. I also have to provide a way for him to blow off the adrenaline without harming anyone or anything.

Physical and emotional safety is the prime directive with my kids. Rules are tested non-stop because those boundaries are what makes my kids feel safe. My kids missed out on most of the things that would have helped them learn how to regulate themselves effectively. A non-punitive approach to helping my children regulate themselves seems to work best. There is no way to get it right every time, but focusing on understanding what your child is going through helps.

Kayla Lee said...

I volunteer at a place that does trauma couseling for children from ahrd places and they get their training material and technics from TCU and Dr Karen Purvis. website
remember your in this childs life for a reason and the fact your reaching out for help is true sign you care and he needs a caring person in his life. Praise you and I will pray for you.

kate said...

IS she in Ohio? If so, ABC--Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio is EXCELLENT.

Keep his world small and consistent. Time in's not time out's.
Keep breathing!

aka. Mimi said...

This is all great, ladies! I knew I could count on you guys!

All of this is helping ME too as Booger has been in rare form lately, and we're trying to find new ways of working with him in order to avoid the full-on rages. I sat and watched every one of Christine Moers YouTube videos the other day


and am excited to try some new techniques.

Thank you SO MUCH for all of the input!

Mandy said...

therapist said to me, "Give them what you can give them, don't even bother trying to give them what they think they need." With everything I found that it was never enough (in the beginning). It was never enough food, never enough holding, never enough playtime. To get my attention violence was common. Sabotaging when giving time to others and so much more. The best advice I can give is this... With a sibling group safety has to come first. If the boys weren't protected from one another things went from bad to worse quickly. Give the hugs and good attention in calm moments. In a sibling group positive attention can become just another thing to fight over and manipulate with and eventually they are hitting you and each other and the baby. Be firm and matter of fact when they are out of control. With some testing behaviors I would correct and then count. I started counting to three for me instead of just for them. I had to tell myself "I am acting on this behavior in 3 seconds." I would be matter of fact and they would get consequences quickly which helped them learn faster. Compliment the good like crazy. Compliment them in front of each other. It gets better. I promise. You are in my prayers.

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