Jul 1, 2011

Weekend Away Anyone???

This is no fancy post with any funny antidotes or heartfelt moments.   This is a prayer post and a invitation post.

If you are the parent of a RAD kid then I am praying this prayer over you right now.   If you are not the parent of a RAD kid but you know one or even if you don't please join me in this prayer right now.  Summer months can be oh so rough for RAD families and RAD kids.

"Dear Jesus,
Please be with my sweet friends.  Hold them and love them and keep their hearts in your hand.  Please help these blessed parents whose hands are full to the brim but whose hearts seem to constantly be emptying.   Please Father, give peace to the hearts of all the moms and dads who are struggling to show their child that they love them.  Please give them strength to do what they need to do but also the knowledge to know their child's healing does not lie in their hands but in yours.  Give them freedom to say, "It's too much: and to let you take over.  Heavenly Father, tonight give them each rest physically and emotionally.

Second thing...anyone feel in need of some time away to get pumped up by other moms who get it?  If so comment on this post and let me know.  If you include contact information I will not publish the comment so your contact info is not out there for the world to see.  I know a few of you are in but am wondering if there is anyone else out there who would like to be included in a weekend away.  It seems like so many of the kids are having a hard time and maybe it's the right time for a get together so we can build each other up.

Jun 7, 2011

Leaning INTO Him

Tonight my husband was giving haircuts to two of our boys on the back deck.  The oldest went first and was continually leaning away trying to avoid the clippers.  My husband kept saying, "Buddy, stop leaning away from me."  But he kept leaning away anyway.
Then it was Clown's turn.  And do you know what?  HE LEANED INTO HIM.  He kept leaning his head closer and closer to his daddy.  He leaned TOWARD his daddy.  Do you hear that?  I know if you are a parent of a RAD kiddo you understand how huge that is.  He leaned INTO him.  Not away from him.
The child who has spent so much of his energy for so many years trying to get away from us...running AWAY from our love. That same child today during a haircut leaned TOWARD his daddy.
It's what we are all trying to get our RAD kiddos to do all day every day.  We struggle with our entire lives, every ounce of our beings to get our kids to learn to lean into us.
I know it was just a haircut but still...he physically leaned TOWARD his daddy instead of AWAY from him.  And that is a blessing we are seeing more and more of lately on our road to healing his little heart.  We are starting to see a bit more leaning TOWARD.
As my kids would say, "Hip, Hip, Hooray.  It's a Frog Croaking Day!"

May 15, 2011


Does anyone else think it's NOT COOL that our kiddo's diagnosis when abbreviated is the word RAD?  I mean, really....it is so NOT RAD....for us or them!

I've been trying to think of things to rename it.

Here are a few of my thoughts...feel free to play along.
If we can't laugh then we will cry right?

Crazy Reactive Attachment Psychosis     (CRAP)
Attachment Stunted pSychosis                  (ASS)

So, what do you think?  What would you name it if you had the chance?

Although I do have to say that it is kinda nice that when my husband comes home and asks me how the day has been I can say, "It's been a RAD day."  That is probably much nicer than saying, "It's been an ASS day," or, "It's been a CRAP day."

So, maybe there are two sides to this debate...but I'm just saying...RAD...it's a bit ironic isn't it?

May 13, 2011

Heaven's Very Special Child

A friend of mine sent this to me today and I just wanted to pass it along.  -Dawn

Heaven's Very Special Child

A meeting was held quite far from Earth!
It's time again for another birth.
Said the Angels to the LORD above,
This Special Child will need much love.

His progress may be very slow,
Accomplishments he may not show.
And he'll require extra care
From the folks he meets down there.

He may not run or laugh or play,
His thoughts may seem quite far away,
In many ways he won't adapt,
And he'll be known as handicapped.

So let's be careful where he's sent,
We want his life to be content.
Please LORD, find the parents who
Will do a special job for you.

They will not realize right away
The leading role they're asked to play,
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.

And soon they'll know the privilege given
In caring for their gift from Heaven.
Their precious charge, so meek and mild,

by Edna Massionilla

Mar 2, 2011

Furious...or something like that!

Today is one of those days where I feel FURIOUS!
Today I have HAD it...and, yes, it's only 9:50 A.M.
Today my clown was just pushing my buttons and HE GOT ME.

What was it you ask.  What HORRIFYING thing did he do?  Who did he injure?  What has happened?
Well, let me tell you...







I know, right, of all the things!

You are ready to rip his head off with me aren't you?

Here is the back story:

Last week another one of my children went to see their psychologist and they spent most of the time talking about how he was just going to have to assume that every time he was around Clown that Clown was going to misbehave or do something to annoy him...EVERY TIME.  And do you know what?  That is exactly right.  He will, every time.  He loves to control his siblings emotions and make them mad (We can all relate to that can't we.)

So, I had that on my mind and I started the morning with a bit of a chip on my shoulder toward Clown for something that we all know is not at all his fault.  He did not ask to be neglected, abused, ignored, disrupted, or moved from here to there like he was a hand-me-down bicycle...but he was.

So, this morning I started off in not a great place.  When Clown woke up he was in a good mood.  He came into our bedroom to get ready as is his routine.  Then about 15 minutes into his getting ready our son who had just talked to his psychologist about assuming that Clown would misbehave when he was around walked in.  He went into the bathroom and immediately Clown started picking on him...making faces at him, whispering insults at him under his breath, etc...

So, that made me mad.

So, I called Clown to me and had him get ready in my immediate presence.  And he was fine.  And I had him stay with me the rest of the morning.  

So, as we are getting ready to go out the door he can't find his coat.  It is not on his coat hook.  We look for it together and can't find it.  I finally grab a different one and shove him out the door, which made him upset.

So, I tell him to put it on in the van and he refuses.

So, when we get to the school I don't let him get out of the van until he has the coat on.  He puts the coat on and then stands there fiddling with the zipper.  Meanwhile there is a huge line of cars piling up behind us.  I tell Clown not to zip it and just to head in.  He says that he needs it zipped.  I tell him NO and make him get out of the van.

So, he gets out, turns and looks at me, puts his backpack down, smiles, and starts to zip his coat.

So, I tell him to stop and go to class.

So, He picks up his bags and walks about 5 feet.  I start to pull away.  He sees me moving, turns and looks at me, puts his backpack down, smiles at me, and starts to zip his coat.

So, I put the car in park, open my car door, start to get out, and he starts walking again.

So, I close the door and start to drive off.  As I turn to look at him he looks back at me.  Just as I am at the point where I can't turn around. . . . he stops, puts his backpack down, smiles,
and zips his coat.  

So, I am FURIOUS.  But I can't go back.  I started to pull into the other parking lot and head inside when I realize HE WON!!  I can't go inside and get him because I have no shoes and no bra on.  So, that is how him zipping a coat made me Furious!!!  

JUST zipping a coat!!!

Feb 11, 2011

Attachment Webinar

Connecting Your Family Inside and Out:
Expert advice on how to develop a stronger connection with your child.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 7:00-8:00PM Central Time
Question and Answer Session: 8:00-8:30 PM Central Time 
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Secure parent-child attachments are essential to healthy child development, but often adoption can present challenges to the process.
Join world renowned attachment expert Dr. Dan Hughes as he shares family centered strategies on how to  form strong attachments and stay connected throughout your child's development.  Dr. Hughes will be joined by Lynn Wetterberg, Executive Director of ATTACh.  Lynn will discuss finding attachment related resources and provide information on finding adoption competent professional support. 
  • Advice on connecting with your child throughout their development
  • Expert insights into attachment and attunement
  • Information on finding professional support and resources
  • Question and Answer session 
Registrants will be contacted and asked to submit questions prior to the event.  We will address as many questions as time will allow.

      Dr. Dan Hughes                                  Lynn Wetterberg,
 Biography                                               M.S., C.P.A.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011 
7:00-8:00 PM Central Time
Q & A: 8:00 - 8:30 PM Central Time
Cost: $15
Register Now: click here
Sponsored by:

Tough Starts Series: Family Matters
The series is complete! Course four is now available

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Many parents with tough start kids feel guilty taking time for themselves.  Family Matters, part of The Tough Starts Series, helps parents recognize the toll raising a tough start child can take on them, their relationships and their other children.  The course offers expert, practical advice and shares real stories to arm parents with techniques they can use to support each member of the family, and themselves, through tough start challenges.
Questions?  Please drop us a line:   webinars@adoptionlearningpartners.org

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Jan 23, 2011

Did You Ever???

~Think you would raise a child who relaxes more in the arms of a stranger than your own?
~Think 10 seconds would be all the "Hug" your child could comfortably handle from you?
~Think that your child would feel your hug was something they would have to learn to "handle"?
~Hear someone yell the phrase, "I hate you and everything is your fault" at you?
~Wonder how long it would be until your child would realize that if he wants to really hurt you all he has to do is break something expensive like your glasses or your iphone?
~Imagine that your child would be able to throw a fit for a solid 45 minutes?
~Think you could hold your child for all 45 minutes of that tantrum.?
~Know that one child could control so much of your life?
~Think that you could want so desperately for someone to love you back?

Dec 18, 2010

Magical Moment

For our RAD kids, eye contact is challenging. A lack of security and trust in their relationships results in only brief episode of eye contact. Cutie would much rather look away and ham it up for the camera or anyone else watching, then stay "in the moment" with me.
My best chance at getting a few seconds of eye contact is to make a game of it (i.e. staring contest, funny faces, mirror me, etc)
However, this week we had a MAGICAL MOMENT of eye contact! A few weeks ago when Cutie was self-soothing, I held her hands and calmly told her, "Sweetheart, you don't need to do that to feel better. Look into my eyes and see my love for you. Then you will feel better." She glanced at my eyes and returned a blank expression....unable to see my love for her. I let it go (on the outside anyway, inside I was crying). This week, while Cutie floated in the bathtub, she searched my eyes for 20 sec. or so, then her eyes lit up. She sat up in the tub and exclaimed, "I see it, Mommy! I see LOVE in your eyes!" Oh, let me tell you...the tears came!
I told her "Cutie, my love is here every day for you. Anytime you aren't sure if you can trust me, look right here and see my love for you." We held hands and maintained a loving moment of eye contact in which my heart soared and I thanked God for the healing that is happening in Cutie's heart each day.

Dec 16, 2010

Surviving the HOLIDAYS with a RAD kid.

Since the holidays are quickly approaching I am going to take a minute to piggyback off of Andrea's post about the holidays and just give some examples of things that we do, friends of ours do or that I wish I did to help my RAD little guy out.  

We can often tell when our little clown needs to have some down time.  We start to see this face a lot.  Open mouth, and tension in the face that is masked as excitement. 

Others see it as him being happy and excited but we see it as the sign he is overstimulated.  
So, when we see this face or body language then we pull out our bag of tricks.

The first thing that we try is just pulling him to us.  We try and get him on our lap or take him off to another room and read a book or just chat or rest or play with the Ipod.  We try something that he likes to do but we get him in our presence and allow him to borrow our brain more effortlessly by giving him proximity to us.  We also try to shrink his world there.  We accomplish that by getting him in another room, or just focusing him on something that is just between the two of us.  It might be the ipod, a book or a conversation but it will be something that is just between the two of us.  

However, as you know, with a RAD kid often that does not work.  
Often by the time we see that face... 
and these tense hands...

it is too late for that and he can't handle our touch just yet.  
So, one of my favorite things is this tent that we found at IKEA.  It easily collapses into something close to the size of a golf umbrella.  We pull it out and put it somewhere where he is close to our family so he does not feel rejected or isolated...just secure.  We put him in it with a book and a stuffed animal and then we sit or stay close by the opening of the tent.  It has holes in it so that he does not feel isolated.  For our little guy a book and a stuffed animal is just right but for your kiddo it could be whatever helps calm them.  Our Clown happens to love stuffed animals and books so that works for him.  With another of my friend's kids she gives him something to chew on and music to listen to.

If we do not bring the tent with us we make do with a closet.  My sister started to read to my oldest son in the closet with a flashlight years ago and we have just tweaked that a bit and just use the closet as a place for him to calm and re-organize his brain.  It's not as ideal as the tent for our little guy but if you have a sensory defensive kiddo then it should be better.  It does not provide the opportunity for them to still feel close to you but it can get them centered so that they can tolerate you without a big blowup.

I was thinking the other day when he was playing that this little pop up thing (I think it's a clothes hamper but we have never used it as one) could make an easy stow and go sensory tent that I could keep in the car all the time.  Seems a bit weird to put your kiddo in a clothes hamper but if it works to get him collected and avoid a hold then I am all for it.

A guideline we use with our tent or the closet is that we are the ones who control when he goes in the tent.  Clown is one who likes to control everything so for us it has to be something that we tell him that he can use and if he asks for it our attachment therapist told us to say no...it must be guided by us.  So, we have to stay on top of it and get him in there before he asks for it...not normally a problem!!

A few of my other favorite tools to take with me are these:

Our OT suggests these brushes and he likes to have one to clam himself with.  He is also sensory seeking so he needs more input and this can help him calm sometimes.  We brush his arms and legs only and i try to be the only one who brushes him so he can connect it as a loving thing being provided by mom rather than him providing what he needs for himself.

 This is something a friend of mine does for her RAD kid.  She brings earplugs for her son.  Drowning out noise can help him to keep from overstimulation.  So, she carries these everywhere she goes and thse cool ones are something that he thinks are cool.  It deadens the noise but does not totally drown it out.

Another thing that we did last year and may do again is write a letter to our family members so that they are in the loop as to what we are trying to accomplish with our kiddo.  Below is a copy of the text of that letter just to give you an idea.

Here is hoping that your holiday is a wonderful one.  :)

 As, you all know that we went through an intensive therapy with Clown a few weeks ago.  It has brought about some changes in our lives..specifically in the area of parenting him.  He is diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder and has been for a few years now.  It basically means "he absolutely never learned that there is anyone in the entire world that he can depend on for one single thing".  This year has been hard for Clown and he has not coped with it well....and it was making life hard for our family as a whole.  Anyway, we have known this therapist for a long time and have benefitted from his workshops and writings for years but we were to the point where we needed more help for him.  So, we were able to go through a week long intensive therapy with him and his staff that was great.  It would take forever to explain it but the thought behind it is that we need to take control of Clown's life for him as if he were a much younger child.  He needs to be made to rely on us so he can find out that we are trustworthy.  
The big things you will want to know for our christmas as the cabin are that we are "making his world smaller".  What he needs more than anything in the world is us.  So, Stan and I are going to be keeping him within an arm's length most of the time.   We are not saying you can't enjoy him...just asking that you take your cues from us as far as when he needs to be with us. A few other things we would like to ask you to partner with us in are these:  Please don't get him rowdy...it is so EASY to do...but it is not good for him at all.  Lots of praise for Clown for any little thing is GREAT but contests and competition are not so if there are competition things we will sit him out and have him cheer on everyone.  We are going to bring a pile of books...books are a great thing for you to do with him.   One last thing....a great line for you to use when you see us caring for him is "look at that, your mommy/daddy knows just what you need".  
Also, please know that we are bringing him to christmas outside of our house despite the cautioning words of the therapist.  So, if we get to the cabin and he is unable to cope there is a chance that we may have to leave earlier than expected in order to do what is best for him.  
Love Dawn

Dec 13, 2010

Having a RAD Christmas

'Tis the season....for meltdowns, rages, and rejections of our love. The lack of a consistent schedule, large family gatherings, noisy class parties, and holiday performances make late November and all of December anything but holly and jolly for our RAD kids. I talked with our psychologist who specializes in attachment, Rick Sudsberry, about how to make this time of year go more smoothly for our RAD families. Here's his advice:

1. Avoid large family gatherings. Opt for meeting with a few family members at a time over the weeks before Christmas. For us, Christmas usually involves 25 people. This year we're going to celebrate with my husband's parents and a couple of aunts on Christmas Eve and keep Christmas Day just for our immediate family of 4.

2. Keep their world small. Avoid places like the Children's Museum, Bounce Houses, and arcades. The amount of visual and auditory stimulation in these crowded places is just too much for our kids especially this time of year. For us, we are staying home a lot playing board games, watching Christmas specials, making Christmas presents & cookies, and building gingerbread houses. If we go out, we choose a quieter, less busy place such as the gingerbread house exhibit at the Children's Museum, the Nutcracker Ballet at a small community theater, a holiday tea at Serenity restaurant in Zionsville, or winter activities at our local library.

3. Keep them out of busy shopping malls. I recommend shopping online, then YOU can avoid those stressful malls too! But, if you must shop at a store, leave your RAD child with your spouse, a grandparent, or hire a babysitter. The flashing lights, bright "Buy Me" signs, and hundreds of toys that your child feels he must have overstimulates him and stresses him out.

4. On the break from school, maintain a schedule. Our RAD kids function best when life is predictable. So, the times they wake up, eat meals, and go to bed should be consistent each day. Try to stay at home as much as possible.

5. Make 1-on-1 time a priority. Your RAD child really needs time with you every day. My RAD child is an early riser and so am I. We spend our special time together from 6:30-7:30 am before the boys in our house wake up. We snuggle (for about 30 seconds!), read books, sing, chit chat, and play a favorite game. I sneak in lots of touch and loving words during this time through tickles, nose touches, and "accidentally" bumping into her and giggling "Oh excuse me, sweetheart!" This time proactively sets us up for a good morning with the rest of the family.

6. Visit Santa at a less crowded locale. If you live on the northside, Clay Terrace has a small Santa house. You wait in line outside (so dress warm), but when it's your turn, you have the whole house to yourself and Santa's full attention. No screaming babies or feisty toddlers rushing your child's experience. The Santa has a real beard and is sweet as pie! (See pix at top.)

Dec 10, 2010

A Glimmer of Hope

The holidays are so stressful for RAD kids (and their parents). The busyness, school performances, and crowded households full of friends and relatives all contribute to the many bad days our kids have this time of year.

So, when our kids have a shining moment, it's cause for celebration. Last Sunday Cutie's class wrote their own version of the 23rd Psalm. My favorite line in Cutie's Psalm was "I am never alone when I'm with my mom. Thank you God for my family."

Celebrating this glimmer of hope with you!

Dec 8, 2010

My Nutso Moment

So, here is goes.  This blog is suppose to be one that helps others not feel alone, one where we can relate to one another, one that gives a face to RAD.  So, I was venting via email to Andrea (my bloggy partner) just now and I realized that this is the stuff that needs put out there.  This is the kind of thing that we RAD parents can all relate to and if I don't share it transparently  why would anyone else?  

So here it goes...

My clown is escalating again. 
I am stressed about it. 
I am having a pity party about it.  

 There have been a lot of issues at school lately. 

We had an appointment this week with the Geneticist (because he is lucky enough to have more than one diagnosis of course...YIPPEE).  That appointment did not go well for Clown.  

We also had an appointment with the pediatrician this week that did not go well. 

Then to top it off we had a dentist appointment and....


You guessed it...

So I just sat there and cried in the office wondering is there EVER a place that this little boy can go without bad news?  
Is there ever a place where his mama can go without hearing more bad news?  

Will the day come that we go somewhere, anywhere, and hear a report that says "All is well. We will see you back next year."?
And if that day never comes for this little boy and this particular mama will we both be ok?

I am guessing that the answer is, "Yes"...

But it's just a guess.  

Do you have those days?  

Do you have those moments when, even though you are in a dentist office and received news that pales in comparison to the rest of the news you have gotten that week, you cry and make the people at the office think you are a nut for crying because your child needs two fillings?
But there I sat...my face in my hands, seemingly crying because my son needed two fillings.  
Once again proving that RAD parents truly are nutso!!!

Nov 25, 2010

RAD? ADHD? or Bipolar?

The charts above were created by our amazing Attachment Therapist, Rick Sudsberry. They compare/contrast symptoms of ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Reactive Attachment Disorder. Material was taken from the book Attachment, Trauma, and Healing by Terry Levy and Michael Orlans. To see an enlarged view of each chart in a new window, click on it.

Nov 24, 2010

You Might Be a RAD Parent If...

Have you seen Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might Be a Redneck If..." lists? Well, my list includes many of the comments and behaviors I've seen from my RAD Cutie. Enjoy!

...you've heard, "I hate you and you hate me...forever!"

...you've been hit, punched, bit, slapped, kicked, and head-butted before 9:00am.

...your child hugs total strangers with the same intensity she/he hugs you.

...you find candy wrappers under beds, behind the toilet, and between couch cushions and know your child has snuck most of his/her Halloween candy in the first week.

...your child picks the locks you've placed on the pantry and fridge.

...your child smacks siblings for seemingly no reason.

...you have developed cat like reflexes to avoid the scratches of your child

....you've seen bananas, flip flops, and pencils flying across your kitchen propelled by your child's frustration and anger.

...your child uses witty comments, smiles, and/or compliments to charm nearly everyone he/she meets.

...your child makes you laugh, cry, and want to scream all within 5 minutes.

...you love your child with all your heart and wish he/she knew it.

Nov 22, 2010

Do I have a RAD kid?

You may be asking yourself, how do I know if my child has attachment issues. What are the warning signals. Below are lists of characteristics of children who are either anxious or avoidant in attachment. These lists come from Dr. Rick Sudsberry's book, Relationship Parenting. It's one of my favorite books because it not only helps you identify your child's attachment style, it also gives wonderful ideas for activities you can do with your child at different ages to build healthy attachment into your relationship.

Characteristics of a Child that is Anxious in Attachment
  • Lacks playfulness, or is too silly, even in serious situations
  • Few smiles
  • Less eye contact than secure child, or makes eye contact only on his/her terms
  • Controlling or withdrawn
  • Often upset (angry or hurt)
  • Withdraws when in pain
  • Unenthusiastic
  • Anxious about new experiences
  • May cling or be needy for attention because of unmet needs
  • May become perfectionistic
  • Needy about friends or has few close friends
  • May deny need for love, has difficulty expressing personal feelings
  • Little sharing of thoughts and feelings or has excessively exaggerated negative feelings about self and/or others
  • More reactions or withdrawal than problem solving during conflicts
Characteristics of a Child that is Avoidant in Attachment
  • Lacks playfulness unless it is painful to others (hitting, mean laughter or play)
  • Lacks smiles, unless manipulating others
  • Avoids eye contact unless child is in control
  • Laughter is cruel and at others' expense
  • Avoids affectionate tough from others
  • As an infant may cry a lot, inconsolable
  • Child may cry a lot of not at all
  • Expresses "I don't care" attitude during conflict and stressful situations.
  • Avoids close contact with parents, but may appear charming to strangers
  • Aggressive or isolated; may feel anger at others
  • Has few close friends, or superficial friends who get in trouble and misbehave; loyalty to peers is based on fear and jealousy.
  • Dismisses loving or vulnerable feelings, and lacks sincere warmth
  • Doesn't process thoughts or feelings internally
  • Reacts to life and his/her control of it
  • Lacks problem solving in difficult experiences
  • May lack guilt or remorse
Dr. Sudsberry goes on to say, "Should you recognize any of the anxious or avoidant attachment characteristics in yourself or your child, do not panic. The list is simply meant to guide your understanding of how the child's behavior and attitudes may reflect unresolved needs in her life."

For my cutie, she demonstrates 11 of the 14 Anxious Attachment characteristics and 7 behaviors from the Avoidant Attachment list. Fortunately, our cutie was diagnosed with Attachment Disorder at a relatively young age (8). Our family participated in an Intensive Outpatient Program with Dr. Sudsberry for 36 hours over a period of 2 weeks. We are now about 3/4 of the way through his follow-up program. We meet with him biweekly for 2 hour treatment sessions. At Dr. Sudsberry's recommendation, I also opted to home school my cutie (I took FMLA from my job) for the first 3 months of this school year. By having this concentrated time of one-on-one interactions, I'm starting to see signs of healthy secure attachment in our mother-daughter relationship. Below are the characteristics of a Secure Child.

Characteristics of a Secure Child
  • Maintains eye contact, even on others' terms
  • Frequent smiles, laughter
  • Playfulness
  • Usually complies with adult direction
  • Is comfortable initiating activities on his/her terms
  • Resilient in new situations and solves conflict in stressful circumstances
  • Plays well with others (Preschoolers-parallel or cooperative play with peers; Elementary School Age-friendships from neighborhood, school, and activities; Teens-male and female friendships, and sustains healthy peer relations)
  • Willingness to engage in physically active play and to take risks emotionally
  • Affectionate and enthusiastic
  • Participates in new experiences
I hope this post helps you identify your child's attachment style and helps you determine if it's time to seek out an attachment therapist. I recommend Dr. Rick Sudsberry. He's an expert at reaching our attachment challenged children. He has brought our Cutie further along in 4 months than the general practice psychologists/ counselors she had seen for the past 2 years. I remember the first time I read the list of characteristics of a secure child. I cried as I realized our Cutie only had 2 behaviors that demonstrated healthy attachment. If you're in tears right now, I want to encourage you that change is not only possible but probable. Our kids need us to love them in very intentional ways. The methods I use with my Cutie are much more creative. They're more of a back-door approach to love and affection when compared to the direct front-door approach I use with my securely attached son. For me, none of these back-door approaches was intuitive. It's only been through books I've read and notes taken during our sessions with Dr. Sudsberry that I have begun to understand my Cutie's needs and how to best meet them. I pray you will find these answers for your child too.

Nov 4, 2010

Here We Go...

Well, here goes.  I am starting this blog as another way to connect with all of you out there who are parenting a child or children with Reactive Attachment Disorder.  Over the last year I have received so many phone calls, messages and emails from moms with kids who have RAD who just want to know that they are not alone.    I myself am blessed with one such child and I know how very isolating it can feel.  Wanting desperately to feel like you are not crazy or a bad parent and wanting even more desperately to know that you are not alone...that SOMEONE...ANYONE understands.  And wanting so desperately for your child to be healed that when you think about it for too long you literally can not breathe.  
I have been there...many days I am still there (though our son is finally beginning to heal).  I get it and I want others to know that they are not alone.  So, here it is. . . one more place where you can come to find others who can say those words you so desperately want to hear, "I UNDERSTAND".  
If you are not a parent of a child with RAD please know that you are welcome to lurk here too.  I would love it if even one of you were able to read the posts and comments on this blog and gain enough understanding of what life with a RAD kid is like enough so that you could support someone who lives it.  To me THAT would be a huge blessing.  However, as a word of caution.  Please remember that this can be a delecate subject and it is like many things in life.  It is something that you can NOT understand unless you live it.  So, if you choose to comment please keep your comment positive and uplifting.  This is not a pity party, it is just TRUE.   Parents of RAD kids are yelled at daily if not hourly or more so the last thing any of us need is someone else yelling at us or being unkind to us.