Connecting Together

October 6th, 2013

3832156682_3ac3f3c5da_q My husband and I adopted a child from foster care earlier this year. She has been leaving in our home for over a year now. We have all grown closer together as a family over the past year. We love our child very much but at times we do not connect. I think back to when my husband and I met 12 years ago, we had to form a connection. I remember thinking when my husband and I was dating that he was a nice person but I didn't think that I wanted anything serious with him. We both laugh as we talk about that now as we could not imagine our lives without each other but that took time and… [more]

Attachment Disordered Children Will Suck a Stay at Home Parent Dry

July 11th, 2008

Sucking the air outI would like to address a comment made on a blog that I wrote on July 2, 2008 entitled “Place Older Adopted Children With Stay at Home Parent.” In that blog, I stated that older adopted children typically come to their new family with abandonment issues. I realize there are many other issues involved, but I am addressing just abandonment for now. In the summary of the article I stated, “Try to find a way to spend those first few months with your child. Give your child time to feel safe and bond with you. It could potentially save you many problems later.” A reader commented that attachment disordered children will suck a stay at home parent (SAHP) dry emotionally. This is… [more]

A Child’s Age at Adoption – and RAD? (cont)

January 28th, 2007
Categories: RAD

teenage girl 2 I have three daughters, adopted at ages 15-17. Our home was their first adoptive home in all three cases. In all three cases, the children grew up in a home with both birth parents. In all three cases, there were extenuating circumstances in the birth homes that prevented healthy attachments for the girls – parental mental retardation, severe/life threatening health issues from infancy on, parental mental illnesses, or birth parents who were completely emotionally unavailable. Yet, the girls remained in those homes until their teen years. Aside from birth parents, they all had siblings and extended family that offered varying forms of attachments for them. When the girls came to us, they were troubled to… [more]

A Child’s Age at Adoption – and RAD?

January 28th, 2007
Categories: RAD

teenage girl 2 “If we adopt a baby, we can avoid attachment problems.” “If we adopt an older kid, they come with attachment problems.” Two statements that I hear quite often. But, are they true? I don’t think so. True attachment disorder occurs in a span from conception to the first few years of life. So, anyone from babies thru adults can have a diagnosis of reactive attachment disorder. It’s the early experiences that the diagnosis is based on and not things that happened in a child’s life after those first few years. Worrying that a child may have a diagnosis of reactive attachment disorder (RAD) should not be about the age that a child is at his adoption. It’s much more about the age… [more]

Arrested Trying to Help an Adopted Child? (part 3)

January 26th, 2007
Categories: RAD

handcuffs Part 1 Part 2 So, what are the options? Some have suggested that we disrupt his adoption back to the state. We *could* do this, but we won’t for two big reasons. First of all, in our state, disrupting an adoption back to the state results in automatic legal charges for the parents! If he were a birth child that we turned custody to the state, we would not be charged. However, oddly, as adoptive parents, that is the law. Secondly, right now, we have a boy involved in the system with parents to advocate for him. If we disrupt to the state, we have a boy in the system with noone to speak for him… [more]

Arrested Trying to Help an Adopted Child? (continued)

January 26th, 2007
Categories: RAD

handcuffs Only 7 months later, John entered his first residential treatment center when his behaviors began to become serious safety risks for himself and the others. He was 6 years old. He had a long list of mental health diagnoses, none of which seemed to truly match this perplexing little boy. We had some home visits with John. At the last home visit, he somehow managed to get hold of some bleach (in spite of all the systems we had in place) and put it in the fish tank to “see if the fish liked to drink it” (They did; they died.). He pointed out poisonous bugs on our property and detailed a plan to use them to hurt… [more]

Arrested Trying to Help an Adopted Child?

January 26th, 2007
Categories: RAD

handcuffs How is it that a mother can actually be arrested FOR seeking treatment for her adopted child? A certified letter was delivered to my front door this afternoon. This letter was terminating the intensive level of residential services my adopted son now receives. I, of course, will be sending an appeal package first thing next week. And so it continues, the several year long battle for proper care for my very first adopted child. John arrived to our home at 3yrs old, our very first foster child. (Although we later adopted him, we had not then planned to adopt children, but only to foster.) He was as cute as can be, with gorgeous eyes, long eyelashes, and a pony tail down… [more]

The Alphabet Disorders of Childhood. Cont’d

October 10th, 2006
Categories: RAD

I definitely agree with the position paper referenced on Nancy's blog that RAD is wayyyyy over diagnosed. I don't think that nearly as many children who are diagnosed with RAD actually meet the formal criterion for RAD. I don't think nearly as many who receive so-called "attachment therapy" require that level of intensity for treatment. I believe that often conflictual relationships between parents and their children are just that, conflicts between parent and child...sometimes driven by the child's behavior and temperament, sometimes driven by the parent's, often times driven by a volatile mixture of the two. So, that's the yeah part of my yeah...but response to the position paper. Now, here's the but part. I don't think that there is any question that… [more]

The Alphabet Disorders of Childhood

October 10th, 2006
Categories: RAD

Nancy Spoolstra, who writes the Reactive Attachment Disorder Blog, is running an excellent series right now about a position statement that was recently issued on RAD by a national child welfare group. Please go to her site to read more. I don't think I have ever weighed in with my opinion about Reactive Attachment Disorder. I imagine that I always come off sounding like a centrist in much of what I write, as if I don't have strong opinions about anything one way or the other. That's not true, but where human behavior is concerned, and particularly where child behavior is the issue, I have yet to see a situation that could be clearly defined in black and white terms. That's why… [more]

Controversial Treatment Modalities

March 24th, 2006
Categories: RAD

Wow. I just read Debi's post on R.A.D.ically Overdiagnosed and I have to admit it scared the begeezus out of me! Imagine that. I, a licensed clinical psychologist ("trained and educated to perform psychological research, testing and therapy") with gezads of clinical experience in all kinds of settings, was rattled by the post. Why? (Here I go again. Being the centrist wimp in a controversy.) Because there are folks out there who engage in all kinds of untested, unproven, dangerous and, as the links reveal, sometimes fatal pseudotherapeutic practices for kids with and without formally diagnosed Reactive Attachment Disorder, many of whom are adopted or foster children. It is scary to be reminded that some adoptive parents will unwittingly find their way to these kinds of practitioners in their desperate… [more]