New Here, Beginning to panic...Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for RADs?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by OptimisticMe, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. OptimisticMe

    OptimisticMe New Member

    Hi all,

    I am new here, desperately looking for wisdom, advice and support. And hopefully someone to tell me what to do next.

    My 13 year old step-daughter has severe Reactive Attachment Disorder. Her mom abandoned her when she was 5 and I had been raising her with my husband. After a series of counselors, we finally got a severe Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) diagnosis about a year ago (yeah, it took THAT long). She has spiralled out of control. She physically and emotionally hurt my bios (strangling them, kicking them into walls, verbally berating them and calling them names, etc). We found her mom and she wanted to go live with her (I was DONE by this point) so we let her. Her mom sent her back within 3 weeks, moved and changed her phone number. We put her in a treatment center...they only kept her a week and put her on Abilify and Lexapro...which helped with the violence...or she just learned to harness it so she wouldn't be sent to the hospital again. Her behaviors still escalate. She steals, will not follow a single rule (I mean that, she purposely breaks every one of them). She has had police looking for her and been arrested for running away. Anyways, I told my husband he could find somewhere else for her, we could divorce or he could move out with school district. His mom took her in.

    Well, now after a couple of months, his mom has had enough. She wants us to take her back. I refuse! My kids and I don't deserve to have to live in fear. I honestly think she could kill one of them just to get at me. She hates me because I am the only one she cannot successfully manipulate, and she blames her mom leaving her on me.

    So my question. What do we do? Where can we send her? We are a middle class family and although we have good insurance, it won't cover a long stay in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). We cannot afford more than $500/mo for treatment (and that would be really job isn't even stable right now).

    I have already decided if CPS or the police try to make us take her back, I will threaten to hurt her. I am THAT serious about keeping her away from my kids!
  2. I am so sorry for what you are going through.

    I want to welcome you. I do not personally have any experience or knowledge about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) but there are many parents here that do. I am sure some of them will be along to help you with some ideas and advice soon.

    In the meantime - welcome and hugs of support.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Welcome. I'm sad that you had to join us but you have found the right place. Sometimes, if a kid is a problem at school, the school district will fund the residential placement. Does she have an IEP?
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I was.thinking the same is she in school? Unfortunately Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids can be charming and do well in other, non home settings but she sounds so far like she shows her challenges everywhere.
    Be careful about threats, you could end up with your bios being put in care away from a "abusive " mom. And trust me, I get that you are not the abusive one but many so called.professionals do not underatand Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).
    Have you ever tried using county mental health or court services? Some places you can file a chins or chips petition (or similar wording....child in need of protective services ) usually filed by a county but parents.can file and if.granted the judge could order Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Some here said their contribution was far less than private pay.
    I'm really sorry. Grandma should not have to suffer either. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids are so severely hurt sometimes they can't function in a setting where there is any expectation of family attachment. They may do much better in a structured and more detached situation. do go to the county or to the court system emphasize the danger by her to the other kids not what you'll do to her, smile ....not that we all dont have dark thoughts out of desperation at times.
    Let us know how you're doing. Im.sorry for you and for her that she is so severely hurt.
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I'm glad that you found us. While I don't have any experience with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), I can tell you that I understand your frustration. Does she behave well in school? difficult child does that, and honestly I think that it's what makes me the craziest. He's fabulous in school. Teachers LOVE him!. Then he comes home to me and he's mean and nasty towards me. He's cruel to easy child. He goes out of his way to be bothersome to everyone else if all of the attention is not focused on him.

    I agree with the suggestion that you call the county and see if they can help you. She needs help, but not at the expense of the safety of your other children.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.
  6. OptimisticMe

    OptimisticMe New Member

    She does not have an IEP. She got in trouble at her previous school (while living with us). She was in a lot of fights, but she didn't start them according to the school. She would call girls nasty names outside of school so they would start a fight at school. She then got away with jumping on them and beating the hell out of them in "self defense"...never got in trouble for that. She had a ton of detentions, but wasn't as bad as the "really bad" kids. She has not been in trouble at her new school yet.
  7. OptimisticMe

    OptimisticMe New Member

    Oh she can be charming all right. She does get in some trouble at school, but is usually successful in making the school think we neglect her to some degree.

    I know threats probably aren't a good idea...I just don't know what to do to keep her out of my home. I am researching!
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I adopted a child with severe reactive attachment disorder. Of course, he hid it before we got him and nobody knew the atrocities he was committing, including us, for quite a while. At any rate, after we found out he had been having sex with my two younger kids (he was 13 and they were 5 and 7), we flat out called cPS, told them, and said we wanted to relinquish custody and that this was why. We got a lot of cooperation. Although we were not allowed to relinquish custody at first, the boy never lived in our house again and the state paid for the RTCs. I would call CPS and tell them how dangerous she is. Has she killed any pets? This kid killed two of our dogs too.

    If CPS still won't take her, I would move out with the other kids until hub can find a place for her. It is not worth the risk to you and the other kids to keep them there. It is probably unlikely that she will get better. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is very serious, takes tons and tons of expensive one-on-one therapy, and the kids don't have a conscience. They are the equivalent of adult psychopaths. in my opinion an IEP, regular therapy, or any sort of parenting is not enough for kids that are THAT damaged. Unfortunately, there are children that are so damaged that they are dangerous and can not be saved.

    In the end, it is your decision, but the horror of what happened to us has happened to others too and I always feel a need to share with anyone dealing with a fully Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) child. (((Hugs))) I know this is really a hard decision!
  9. OptimisticMe

    OptimisticMe New Member

    Yes, she killed her miniature least I think. I found him dead with his nose in his empty water trough when it was hot. I kicked myself for forgetting to make sure she did her chores the previous day. She didn't care he died. I have witnessed her kicking my horses in the head for absolutely no reason (she is not to touch my horses anymore) and also beating the dog.

    I cannot imagine what you dealt with...that is my main concern...that she will hurt my bios worse than she already has. I bought a gun safe with a keypad entry because I was afraid she would find keys to the old safe and kill us in our sleep. I have a real fear that she could kill me or one of the little ones.

    Thanks for sharing your story, it helps to know I am not alone. One issue we have is how "normal" she appears to be. She can make most think she is an ordinary teenager and I am a crazy evil stepmonster!
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Being able to hide it from the outside world is a can be their survival technique and why people who are not truly trained in Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) can hurt more than help. They buy into it.

    I had a student adopted from Russia to a single dad once. He was in grade K and had some behavior at school and he had only been in the USA for less than a year. From the description of home life, in a child study meeting I suggested we consider Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and having extra outside support to learn and help. The psychologist and social worker said he can't have attachment disorder. THEY saw that when dad came to visit school the boy ran over and sat on his lap.

    OH, ok, then....I guess its not. (duh, clearly they had not even read one thing about it)

    So, I ...without trying to put htem on the defensive said, oh, since I was looking for X I found this interesting thing on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and kept giving them info. They never got it. It was sickening. and it hurts the kids in the long run because they learned to manipulate to survive long ago. (at least that is what they felt without consciously knowing it) and until they have all that power taken away there is no chance.

    For many there is no real answer but to house and supervise them but for some there is hope of improvement at least to some degree. IF people who really treat Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) are on board.

    We have a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) treatment center here...they are not easy to find. Do you have anything like that around you? You might want to call adoption resources because many kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) are from adoptive situations so they often have more knowledge (depends on the organization of course...but post adoption services often do know about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)).

    Here is one in the usa that maybe has contacts in other states....just to use as a resource...I'm not saying it is a place to go to or anything, just a place to ask questions.....
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Everyone, including husband and me, thought this child was an angel. Of course my younger kids and any other young kids he came into contact with and obviously our animals were terrified of him, so terrified that nobody told on him. "He said he'd kill us and we believed him!" Get her away from your poor animals as well as your children. I'll bet s he plays with fire too...that's another big symptom of absolute Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).

    I have a friend who did foster care. Her foster son, age elevin, burned the house down. While the house, with all their treasures, was burning and the fire fighters were there, he turned to her and said, "Can we go to McDonalds?" He was not disturbed at all by what he had done.

    I met this child's caseworker one day and we were talking. She wouldn't give me his name, but did mention that in her caseload she had a child who had burned down a family home. It was a coincidence that I knew the family. I asked her how he was doing. She shook her head and said, "He has no conscience at all and laughs when he talks about how he burned down this family's house." He is living in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    Please....go save yourself, your kids and your pets. This isn't mild attachment problems. This is full blown Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). If you decide to try to treat him, and there is no guarantee it will work, I would still move out of the house and take the pets with me. Let husband work on it with her while they live in a different place entirely. It's too risky.

    Keep us posted!
  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Any updates?