A Question About Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    husband's brother and his wife adopted a little girl from China this past spring. I'll call her M. This is their second adoption from China. The first one went very smoothly and their older daughter is going to be 9 this coming January.

    Their second daughter's upbringing before they got her was a little all over the place. From what I understand, she was with her birth parents until she was about 6 months old. Then she somehow wound up in a Chinese orphanage and she was there for about 18 months. Then they felt that she was not hitting all of her milestones at the right times so she was sent to live in a foster home. Then J and A adopted her and brought her home to America. She is youngest of 4 (they also have 2 biological sons, the oldest of whom is 4 months older than my easy child and is a difficult child in his own right).

    A was telling me today and whenever they go out she is friendly and everyone thinks that she is just a wonderful little punkin. She'll talk to anyone. But when they are home she does things like smear poop all over the crib and her walls. She'll pee on the floor when she is pretty much potty trained, except at night. She is into everything. They are a homeschooling family, so there are times when A is busy with the two older ones and does not have her full attention on M. I told her that some of these things sound very attachment disorder-ish to me, but that I wasn't all that familiar with it.

    I know that some of you hear deal with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Does this sound like the beginnings of it? I was very concerned before they adopted her when she told her about how she was shuffled from one care giver to another.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Here are links about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). The first is the DSM defintiion/sympoms and reasons for it. The second is more for laypeople. This disorder scares the crapola out of me and she has had the perfect background for it. When people ask me, as an adoptive mom, for advice about adoption, I always suggest they adopt the youngest child they possibly can. There is such a difference between infant adopted kids and older adopted kids as far as how well they can attach to you as their parents. I've done both!!!! Orphanage adoption, which we once did, was also a very negative experience. I'd get her treatment early...she is still very young. It's probably possible to help her attach quite well with proper attachment therapy...just need the right therapist and lots and lots of motivation.

    http://behavenet.com/reactive-attachment-disorder

    http://www.helpguide.org/mental/parenting_bonding_reactive_attachment_disorder.htm




     
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I don't think she has been home long enough to tell. They should probably do some reparenting and see if that helps. She's 2?? I'd wait until she is 4 to really worry about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Piglet came to us at 2 with a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) label and she is fine -- it was the age + lack of parenting. We regressed her and reparented her back to her age (ie. held her and gave her bottles at night, didn't worry about potty training for a long time, etc)

    A good book is Toddler Adoption: The Weavers Craft
     
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    The nicest link I use is the attach China website. That site was started by parents who adopted from china and with the politics involved their orphanage procedures couldn't be talked about in the open very much. There is both a website and a forum thru yahoo.
     
  5. TheBoyHasArrived

    TheBoyHasArrived New Member

    It definitely could be related to attachment, but it doesn't necessarily have to be Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). My youngest sister (adopted at 1 yr with only one caregiver) has many attachment disorder-ish characteristics (had A LOT as a toddler), but definitely would not be considered to have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). My kiddo (adopted at 5.5 yrs with a pretty chaotic history) has many attachment disorder-ish characteristics, but would not be considered to have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) at this point. It's too soon to tell if my son will have on-going attachment issues or if it's just where we are in the process.

    BUT, we parent as if kiddo has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Obviously, it's something we worry about, but we are still hopeful.
     
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    The book jjj mentioned is great! The attach China site covers the whole spectrum from mild to severe and has parenting tips. One thing I did strictly is be the only caretaker. They have to learn not everyone cares for.them. I too put off toilet training (he had begun) and though hard on my family who wanted to love on him, I was the onlyone who held him, tied shoes, rocked, fed, comforted etc. It was important. Luckily I owned a daycare.
    I also rarely did time out. I did time in. He had to sit by mom.
    There are many tips for attachment parenting and they really helped us.
     
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Thanks, everyone. I'm going to send her the links that you posted and tell her about that book.

    JJJ, she's going to be 3 the third week of January.
     
  8. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    my step son may have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) along with probably Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) but is diagnosed adhd/pddnos and this sounds a lot like him, although he has other issues too, like rocking in the corners and being aggressive to the other kids. i was told when we got him that if we loved him and were consistant these problems would go away and yes, some of them have gone away but others show up to replace them. 4 is not too young to get this looked at by a professional. in fact i would recommend it. i would also recommend that this particular child might be better off being sent to public school because having her in the home all day has got to be a distraction from the other kids education and if she is good for other people then it could be a welcome time for mom and the other kids to destress and have a bit of much needed normalcy......
     
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    WIth their oldest son, who I think is on the Autism spectrum but she won't have him evaluated to find out, although she insists that he has ADHD and is a HUGE difficult child in his own right, there is no normalcy in their home. Tantrums, screaming. He's locked his family in the basement. This just adds another layer to an already complicated situation. She keeps threatening to send him to public school, but she never will. She doesn't want anyone else influencing what they think and learn.
     
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    If this little one is showing institutionalized behavior, and especially if not Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)(both need attachment parenting but if not Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) so hopeful!), but rather the often seen issues with orpahanage adoptions, it may be exactly opposite. She needs to be with mom specifically and a delay of entering public school could be needed. If she has special needs she could still receive services, but at home or at a center for one hour here and there. Private Occupational Therapist (OT) and ST could happen too. Kids from orphanage situations may have overall motor delays and sensory integration issues along with ptsd type symptoms even if in a "good" orphanage. If she is being subjected to a situation thats triggering trauma, I'm with you Bunny , the son is the one who would need out of the house schooling or she needs an ABA team at home etc. Youre so right as usual, this is a complex situation. Poor kids and their parents. I'm sure this isn't what their dream was and they probably aren't wanting to admit any of it.

    We have a fantastic international adoption clinic at our main university, they have MD's and neuropsychs.....does that exist around them in any way? They are well versed in the different effects of orphanage and foster international adoptions. Is she even seeing there are issues with this one or just thinks she's a handful?
     
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I wasn't super clear....age 3 especially. LRE is home. Most school districts push preschool settings but I refused given his adoptive status. He did go for a few hours after a year home but I knew he needed home more than education. Sp ed., Occupational Therapist (OT), and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) came to our home three times per week. But when I worked birth thru preschool and did both in home and a school based in more of a clinic model. Sometimes you have to fight for it in districts but around here options are pretty good esp. B-3.
     
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Doesn't sound like this family is very in touch with things like attachment disorders or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Not a good thing for either child. Maybe in this case, public school would be better???
     
  13. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    midwestmom is right, the kids need to be evaluated. why is the mother blocking anyone else from 'influencing' the kids? i mean i get monitoring who is in their lives and having to approve them but isolating the kids and refusing to get them help is not fair to the kids. i know with my step son there came a point where not medicating him would be almost abusive, in my opinion. if the kids had diabeties, they'd need treatment for that. same thing here. sounds like someone needs to intervene if moms good intentions are getting in the way of doing what need to be done. i'm all for homeschooling, i home school my 6yo because he has trouble in a public school setting, it needs to be done a certain way though, kids still need to see how other kids act and be allowed to access services and other opportunities. is she doing this for religious reasons?
     
  14. TheBoyHasArrived

    TheBoyHasArrived New Member

    Someone needs to intervene because the mother is keeping her newly adopted child close to home? And hasn't openly shared concerns, etc? I would tread very lightly. We have researched just about every possible diagnosis, had evaluations, practice attachment parenting, etcs...but 99% of my family and friends have no idea. With kids who are post-institutionalized, it's so hard to know if the behaviors are PI or attachment-related (probably both). I keep my son extremely close; he goes to school because we have to work outside the home, but I am hesitant to even leave him with therapists at this point, because so many just don't get him. He doesn't have babysitters, he doesn't spend the way with aunts, he doesn't have play dates. I would have eaten someone alive had they suggested I wasn't doing everything that I could for him. I had a similar incident recently, and it can really ruin a relationship quickly.

    There's a big difference between "Oh, Susie reminds me of my friend's child. He has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), have you read anything about that?" or "I read this really good book about adopting an older child, do you want to borrow it? Some of the techniques might help with DS too." and "You really need to get Susie evaluated. You aren't doing enough for her at home. And, by the way, you are really screwing up your older DS."
     
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I tend to agree. This child is only nearly three. Post institutionalization behavior has overlapping characteristics to Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), but does not mean the child has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Adopting a baby or toddler requires you almost going back to when they are newborn, when the focus is on building that intensive parent child trust relationship. If she can find someone who understands these issues like an adoption clinic, they can assess the level of bonding, and follow the family. But if she is holding the child close to home at this age it's appropriate. I personally felt assessments in that area were needed. But I followed directions to be the everything (as much as was realistic as a single mom) to him.
    I don't know if this is something more but with either condition at this age close bonding techniques are needed. They don't have that internal sense that one or two people are the primary people who love them and care for them unconditionally. Some had to compete from early days in shared cribs with other babies taking their propped bottles. More institution, as in school is usually contraindicated at such a young age. For therapies, mom's usually attend with the child.
    There could be more going on but I too think being cautious about judging the little ones being home still. There is time and there are other ways to socialize, church, mommy and me classes etc.
     
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