9M difficult child... I'm wearing thin fast.


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Hi folks. I'm so glad I found and joined this site. I know that each of you appreciates how challenging parenting a differently wired kiddo can be and I love that you maintain this soft place to land in my grief.

We are a large bi-racial family, I'm white, and husband is black. We have four children by birth, 19F in college and living at home, 17M junior in high school, 13M 8th grader, and 11F 6th grader. Additionally, we have four more bi-racial children by adoption thru the foster care system, 9M 3rd grader, 8F 3rd grader, and 5M identical twin pre-kindergarteners. When our youngest birth child was one, we decided to provide foster care for the state. We mainly cared for infants and young toddlers over an 8 year period. It was not our intention to adopt but soon found that some of the infants we cared for since birth were not able to reunify with their birth families. We got our 9M difficult child at 3 weeks of age, and our 8F and 5M twins from the hospital at birth. All adoptions were finalized by 18 months.

We have enjoyed a relatively chaos free life with our children and have a good marriage. I am a stay at home mom and my husband works fulltime close to home and is an involved parent. Like many big families, we have a lot of structure, routines, and rhythms that keep things afloat around here. Yes, we have the occasional moody teen or mouthy child, and consequences are predictable and just. Things are pretty normal... except with our 9M difficult child whom I'll call Rocky.

We got Rocky as a 15 day old foster placement. He was full term, substance exposed, mainly meth, crack, pot and alcohol, and spent about 6 days detoxing in nicu before he was placed temporarily with an extended family member who was already fostering his 5 year old half brother. Foster relative was also pregnant herself and was placed on bed rest so chose not to continue fostering Rocky after 9 days. After placement in our home, CPS facilitated weekend visits with Rocky's bio gma who lived only a few miles from us. She was to come to our home, pick him up and take him back to her home to stay with her from Friday night til Sunday evening, as she was considering adopting him. CPS also allowed BM to visit with him while in gma's care. We never did have the chance to meet her in person. Bio gma's interest quickly fizzled out and visits got shorter and shorter, until by the time Rocky was 2 months old, she just stopped by and held him for a few minutes and vented about her chaotic life and person BM. She described interaction between BM and Rocky as intense. Either manic and hyper-vigilant or detached and indifferent towards him. Bio gma didn't want to facilitate visit any longer in her home so CPS transported Rocky to BM's apartment for visits. Only two took place. On the first one, BM answered the door, invited CPS in with Rocky in his infant carrier, then poured herself a bowl of cereal and proceeded to just eat it and watch him. She only took him out of carrier to change his diaper at CPS's insistence at end of visit. At second visit to MB's apartment, she let CPS and Rocky in, then disappeared to her bedroom. After 20 minutes waiting in living room, CPS worker found BM had gone back to bed and was sound asleep. BM was awakened and asked to come out and interact with her baby. She dug around in her purse and produced a page of metallic Winnie the Pooh stickers which she stuck all over Rocky's arms, legs, and head, and then went back to bed. On the next visit, CPS found that BM had moved out of her apartment and was never able to be found again. She did not participate in any services and severance of parental rights was uncontested at 7 months along with half brother's case. No info on father was ever found or known. Half brother was ultimately adopted by relative placement later but they were not interested in adopting Rocky as they had their own bio infant 6 weeks after Rocky's birth. Both bio gma, extended bio family wanted us to adopt Rocky as he was bi-racial like our other kiddos. We decided to adopt Rocky and no more visits took place. We have maintained a wonderful and very supportive relationship with half brother's adoptive family as he too struggles with many issues that have been challenging to find help for.

I distinctly remember thinking that there was something odd about Rocky from the day he came to us. He would sleep from 6pm until 9am, hardly moving at all. I thought his little body must still be just detoxing and that it was going to take time to heal. He was always described as an old soul, always watching, and very low key. He sucked his thumb and liked a blankie but was not preferential about any special one. Around 6 mo he started to display odd behaviors and temperaments, even tho he hit all of his developmental milestones on time. For example, he would reach for me to hold him, then when I picked him up, he would immediately squirm to get away or be put down. He would cry or reach for his bottle but when given to him, he would immediately throw it down. He started to refuse to hold his bottle to his mouth or even touch it, waiting all day until he was starving to grab it, and desperately gulp it all down in seconds, and then sort of dissociate or fall asleep. By 8 months, he would crawl around after me, wanting me to sit on the floor, so he could sit in my lap or near me, but when I did, he would turn his back to me and refuse to interact with me. He would touch and explore me, my clothing, hair, glasses, jewelry, or toys I held, but as soon as I tried to engage in his exploration with him, he would shut down and turn away refusing to play or talk. By 9 months, his behaviors were becoming very obtuse. He would cry in a low energy kind of way, really more of a whine with out words, following me everywhere, because he wanted me to pick him up so he could put his thumb in his mouth. Yup, you heard that right. He now refused to or couldn't put his own thumb in his mouth without my picking him up, after which he immediately wanted down or away from me. He would sit on the floor in front of me, and only me, and hold his fist right in front of his mouth and act like he just couldn't get it in there anymore. He did the same thing with bottles and foods. He would cry for them but when given them he would throw himself backwards on the floor, hitting his head and screaming. It was like he would somehow unlearn or sabotage all needs getting met. We took him to his pdr repeatedly and were advised that this would likely look like a mood disorder or ODD, later in life. We were angry with doctors because it just seemed like the answers always were attributed to drug exposure, foster care, etc. No real help suggested. At 1 yr, two significant things occurs. We got another foster baby that was just a year and two days younger than Rocky, and we had difficult child evaluated by Early Childhood Intervention Services. This foster placement resulted uneventfully in another adoption, our 8F. Rocky seemed to really like new baby and our older kids provided most of her care as school was out for summer. difficult child didn't actually didn't qualify for any services at all but after spending several hours in our home, observing difficult child's first sweet, charming behavior, then cold, rejecting behavior towards her when she pushed his hand away from her cell phone or not allowing him to take her glasses off of her face, the Intervention Specialist agreed that there was something very odd about this baby. She pulled some strings for us and qualified him for one hour/week sessions in-home with a behavior therapist. Once therapy was under way, we really believed that things were going to get better. Boy, were we wrong! Every therapy visit netted the same result. difficult child would be very excited as soon as DSI would arrive, squealing, and coming right to her warmly. She would bring bags and boxes, different each time, with colorful interesting developmental toys. She would show them to difficult child and invite him to come and play with them. He would gladly accept but then as soon as gentle little social boundaries were given, like "not in your mouth please", "soft hands please", or "not yet" difficult child would withdraw and refuse to play, turning his back to therapist. No amount of coaxing would persuade him to re-engage. This was standard for all interactions with difficult child. Everyday ended with him mad and pouting. To be completely honest, my parenting, fostering, and home day care experience told me that difficult child was using maladaptive coping skills to manage some deficits in his social skills. It seemed like he was so sensitive emotionally or cognitively, that he simply could not recover from other people telling him no or asking for their wants to be considered too.

fast-forwarding thru the next few years, to age four, difficult child seemed to be determined NOT to do anything for himself. He never developed that normal independent childhood drive that says "I want to do it my OWN self!" He refused to undress, dress, and pick up toys. He would state that he "not can do it". He would stand in our driveway and cry that he couldn't walk the 50 feet to the playground equipment, but then when we left him behind and he finally dragged himself to the play area, he ran around like a maniac. He is thin and wiry, extremely strong and physical in play and sports. At 4.5 years, he still refused to have anything to do with potty training and frankly I had just let it go because I just didn't need one more conflict in my day. So the first day of summer, I explained that we were going to use the potty and wear big boy underwear. He explained that he could not and would not be using bathroom or underwear. He is still not dressing or undressing himself at this point at all. Not because he can't, because he won't. When we tried to place his very capable thumbs inside his waste band of his sweat shorts, he would go limp and stare off at the wall, refusing to even try. I decided to tell him that he could come out of his room and start his day when the pull-up was off and in the trash. I'll spare you the details... he sat on his floor, without moving for 4 days, yup, that's right, 4 DAYS!!! no food, no water, no toys, tho they were within reach, simply sat there telling anyone who would listen that "I not can do it and I not gonna do it!" Well, guess what, he could do it and he did, easily. This was the theme for EVERYTHING in his life. He woke up everyday determined to NOT do whatever was asked or required of him. And I waited him out. And it got ugly. Sometimes his emphatic protests to do simple things actually made some of us question whether or not we were asking too much or being to hard on difficult child. It has the only thing my husband and I have ever disagreed about in 20 years of marriage. It has begun to make me feel resentful of the unnecessary stress and standoff drama difficult child insists on daily.

difficult child went to a developmental preschool at three, where he essentially learned how to convince others to do everything for him. His IEPs were a joke and he quickly stopped doing many of the things that he did for himself at home. We held him back and started kindergarten late, foolishly thinking that he was maybe just very emotionally immature. difficult child has mastered the art of NOT learning and hindering the learning process. He is very smart and capable but instead exerts all of his energy on avoiding anything and everything he doesn't want to do. These include peeling his tennis shoes, getting lots of drinks, getting lost in the halls, chewing his clothes, books, and anything else he can get into this mouth and no one stops him. He's soft spoken, is small for his size, moves slowly and deliberately, with a very sneaky manner. At first, his k-3 teachers begin the year feeling like they can really connect, encourage and teach him. By the end of the first quarter he has them doing all of his work with him and spoon feeding him all of the answers, shortening or omitting his assignments, not because he can't do them, but because he is so needy and committed to looking helpless that they just don't have the stamina for the inactivity on his part. By Christmas, its always the same. "Rocky is not even trying in my class. He prefers to play with little objects that he has stolen for others and entertain himself instead of follow along with the class. He lies about what work he's done at home. He cheats on tests and copies other kids' work." So here we are today. Almost Christmas, and his third grade teacher is sick of him and I can't blame her. He is only doing a fraction of the work and applying no effort in her class that he did at the beginning of the year. He has repeatedly stolen items from her, chewed up her rulers, torn up all three books they've read as a class from misuse, stepping on them, throwing them, EATING them!

We had him tested thoroughly with a neuropsychologist and a neurologist just a few months ago. Results are that he has a moderate speech language disorder, under developed vocab,
working memory deficit, and a mood disorder not otherwise specified. He is basically an chronological 9 year old, a physical 7 year old, an emotion 3 year old and medications aren't likely to help. Testing was very expensive and not covered by insurance at all. neuropsychologist recommended bioneurofeedback for difficult child and for us to make every effort to keep him surrounded by high functioning peers. The neuropsychologist also validated my belief that he is not bonded with me or our family. He recommended that my husband do as much of the parenting and pushing with difficult child and allow me to be more of a giver and comforter. In a perfect world, maybe, but so far we haven't made that happen much. difficult child attends a small private school where kids attend school on Tues., Thurs., and Fri. and homeschools a common curriculum Mon. and Wed. It has been much less stressful than 5 days a week of homeschooling, or fulltime school where we spent four hours doing homework every night just trying to keep him up with the class skill level. Now on homeschool days we work on whatever life skill he's lacking most at the moment.

I think that the neuro psychiatric evaluation was helpful to show his teachers but I pretty much had a good understanding of his strengths and deficits. I think I've read every book on the topics of Execuitive skills, dyslexia, mood disorder, ODD, ADHD, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), giftedness, mental retardation, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), adoption, bad moms, victimized kids, motivational tools, etc. None of these are a perfect fit for difficult child. The Manipulative Child book came about as close to defining difficult child's emotional mindset, but the Late, Lost, and Left Behind book described difficult child's learning deficits. The struggle for me is to lower me expectations and do what I feel is enabling so that difficult child can be successful, right Well, he adjusts right along with me. I too believe that kids inherently do as well as they can do, but there is some other force at work here too. I just can't figure out what it is. I think that even tho the dr community has rejected Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for difficult child, I think he has a toe on the spectrum. He is very rigid in his thinking, all or nothing, over/mis uses the words always and never in almost every sentence. He does not speak about feelings or emotions at all in terms of others. His emo vocab is basically mad, sad, and like. He has no remorse for hurting others, stealing, lying, etc. He is good to pets but will destroy others' belongings if he feels they have wronged or embarrassed him. He is sneaky, plays dumb often about random things that he is an expert on. He has a very difficult time learning from mistakes, I believe because he is so emotionally vulnerable and avoidant of negative feelings that he dissociates and therefore has no hindsight or ability to reflect on the past. He tells me that he doesn't feel anything about me, love or like, but that I make him mad a lot because I let the other kids do and have things that he thinks I know he wants. The other kids in our family avoid him because he's either trying to manipulate them to do for him or argue baseless points with them about things that make no sense. He prefers younger kids than himself, and constantly takes everyone's inventory around him, pointing out how much better everyone else has it than him. We have been very blessed by 7 other kind, accepting kids who constantly model how to be functional, accept authority, earn privileges, and interact in a healthy manner with each other but he seems to be affected by none of it and intentionally does the opposite but expects the same rewards as others achieve.

Thank you folks for letting me vent here today as I struggle thru this rough day. Sorry the bio is so long but it comes with the big, weird, different family. : )

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I feel Im losing the forest thru the trees here!
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He was full term, substance exposed, mainly meth, crack, pot and alcohol,
This is not my area of parenting... but it could be something like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE).


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We adopted a few kids who were substance abused but one also had Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and all I can say is watch your younger kids and never let him alone with them. If you have pets, same thing. medications can't fix Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and these kids, for reasons that make sense...very unstable beginnings...do not have normal emotions toward others and can not love or attach. There ARE therapists specific to reactive attachment disorder. I don't know how much they can really help. The child we adopted was so damaged and dangerous that we had to tell CPS to take him from us. He was sexually abusing our two youngest kids (also adopted...I have NOTHING against adopted kids, just that some adopted kids are too damaged to save).

Watch your younger kids. Put an alarm on his door at night so you know when he gets up. We had no idea that this child was having sex with them. He was sneaky and he scared the two younger kids into silence. I still feel guilty that I didn't know, but he had fooled a string of foster parents before him too. He had offended in every home he was in, we found out after he was taken to a residential facility. He confessed there. To this day I don't think his foster parents before us believe he did it.

He also killed two of our dogs, stole a knife that he used in secret on the two youngest, and had no remorse for anything he had done nor did he understand why he had done it. I think the drugs his birthmother had used plus his unstable beginnings ruined him at a very young age, far before we'd met him. He is now a registered sex offender. He was tried at age thirteen for sexual contact with my daughter, who was very young. He was found guilty. We didn't ask for him to be tried in court. The county just did it. So he is a sex offender for life.

I am not going to say that your son is doing sexual stuff for sure. I don't know that. But I would not take anything for granted. Many Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids act out sexually on younger siblings, harm animals, and try to do harmful things to others. I spent years in an adoptive parent support group and while my experience was extreme, there were other Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids who had done the same things. I would quietly ask your younger kids if difficult child has ever been in their room at night or scared them by touching them in ways they didn't like. They may or may not tell the truth, but at least you are letting them know they can and should come to you if it happens. I wish we'd done this, but we did not feel that our child would EVER sexually act out because he acted asexual and was very obedient around all adults. Please don't take anything for granted.

I am just a Mom who has adopted kids, but I disagree with your therapist. I doubt if surrounding him with normal peers will help him. I think it will just give him more ammo to hurt them and they won't see it coming. Kids who have trouble attaching do not pay attention to nor care about how their peers behave. My opinion is he should be within eyesight of a caring, but watchful adult at all times and that requires a smaller group of kids. You usually don't get that in a group of "typical" kids.

I'd say you need to protect the younger kids and pets first and then look for a therapist who specializes in Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Most therapists have no idea what it is or how to treat it.

I feel for your hurting mommy heart. This experience was a nightmare for us and I reach out to you with love and prayers. Nothing he does is your fault...it happened before his birth and just after...I hope you check in with updates. by the way, congrats on your wonderful family. Sounds like you and your husband have done a great job with the kids. This child is NOT YOUR FAULT and I'm so happy for you that you have so many wonderful children.
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So sorry you had to find us but glad you did! While I wish I could help, I have absolutely no experience dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). The only advice I can offer, while it may sound impossible and ridiculous at the moment, is to make sure that you take care of yourself in the process of caring for your family. As a very wise member used to say quite often, "No one is happy unless Mama is," or something similar to this. I wish I followed this advice when I was going through the worst times raising my difficult children.

Thinking of you as you continue your search for answers... Hugs... SFR


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I agree that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) or even MR due to brain damage during one or several of BM's overdoses. About the only assessment tool we haven't utilized is an MRI on his brain. He has had a EEG and it was normal. His eyes are EXTREMELY light sensitive and he is visually defensive while having perfect vision. We have also considered taking him to a neuro opthamologist who can test how his brain receives visual info. All that would be well and good, buy none of it really explains the bass ackwards logic he uses to navigate this world. Its like he needs some updates in his software that would enable readjusting to what is not working for him. He is very frank in sharing with us that he just really wants what he wants. One of two things can happen... he can get what he wants or he will be mad at whomever he feels, usually me, blocked his gratifying himself. So far, we have been very fortunate that he is a bit of a chicken and has not really ventured out and acted very violently or outright rebellion. He retaliates more with withdrawl and inactivity. He can sit and look inept, looking like he's thinking and doing absolutely nothing, when actually he's waiting and watching intently. In fact, its his constantly watching us with sneaky eyes and lurking around that drives me INSANE!!!


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He probably has attachment disorder too and, if so, he thinks differently than you and I. Bascially he does not attach to humans because he doesn't trust anyone so it's up to him to take care of him. This gets hardwired into his brain at an early age. All the love you have given him since the fiasco with his pre-birth, birth, infancy and visits with birth grandma and birthmom, back and forth, and then to you confused his developing brain. He is afraid to love and I'll bet the only time he is nice to you is when he wants something. I lived with a kid who had attachment problems on top of pre-natal drug/alcohol abuse. He probably has both so the way he thinks is different. You can not see this brain damage on an MRI or CAT scan, but it's there. The alcohol and drug use harmed him even before he was born and he does not think logically, like you and me. He can't help it. He doesn't trust you anymore than you trust him and most likely he doesn't even remember the events that make him distrustful.

It's good that he is not acting out now. However, the boy we adopted did not act out in front of us either. He terrorized the younger kids, but acted like an angel in front of adults. I would still talk to your younger children. If you don't, you may be sorry and note that you were warned. This child is going to require a great deal of extra parenting (and not the traditional type) and will be unlikely to learn from his mistakes, especially if has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) which compromises the ability to reason and remember. Actually, so does Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). There is little difference between the two other than that with one there are facial feature differences and one is invisible.

It is hard to tell you not to blame him because he can't think as you do. I didn't really care with the child we brought in our house and adopted. We had loved him dearly, but once we found out he had sexually abused the youngest two, we no longer wanted to try to fix him. He had to leave. I don't want our story to become yours. Please be cautious.

There is no magic pill or therapy for this child. You will have to navigate his adventure and improvise as he changes. Expect surprises. He will likely puzzle even the best diagnosticians because a lot of stuff is going on with him at one time. He could be ADHD/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/cognitively slow/Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)/mood disordered/Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) all at the same time and he may just have one very serious issue, but it will be hard for any diagnostician to nail exactly what is wrong with him since no blood tests or x-rays can show you.


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Thank you so much MidwestMom, for your kindness and honest words. I unexpectedly burst into tears while reading your reply to my post, even tho I know and agree with everything you said, because I feel my soul has been starving for SOMEBODY to just be *bleeping* honest with me about this child!!! No one, not pdrs, case managers, teachers, gparents, neighbors, church, even spouses, and siblings want to admit outloud that this little boy may just be too broken for us to maintain a normal relationship with. No one wants to hear or even contemplate that someone in our inner circle should be handled as a potential threat to our personal, emotional, and physical safety.

I have to share with you that two weeks ago, difficult child's teacher finally became frustrated enough with his stealing of little worthless objects like paper clips, pushpins ( a favorite of his) andother little junk from her desk and then sitting at his and destroying them that she pulled me aside afterschool when I was picking him up to tell me. She still didn't even use the word "stealing", which it was, as she recounted multiple occasions when she caught him twisting and destroying the junk that she knew had been in or on her desk. She shared that she had had many one on one talks with him about how it made her feel, it was wasteful to ruin the objects and that he needed to respect her space and that he did not have permission to take things from her desk without first asking her. difficult child LOVES these intervention attempts by authority figures. They come down to his level, try to really reach out and connect with him about HIS bad acts that he KNOWS are inappropriate. These little talks always end in them forgiving him, telling him everything is okay, and he never never admits to ANYTHING! difficult child actually an expert at making sure that in all verbal communication, he is never directly responsible or connected in any way to accountability. For example, if he bumps a book and it falls off a table, when asked what happened, he will reply "oh, the book fell on the floor." me (in a very casual, almost disinterested way): How did that happen? difficult child: "It fell" me: wow, how did that happen? difficult child: It got on the floor." me: oh, what made it fall to the floor? difficult child: "the table." me: Hmmm, I don't understand, please tell me what happened starting with I... difficult child: "I...it...I...it...I........knocked it off the table." (difficult child withdraws and goes totally flat in affect) me: oh, pick it up please. (I walk away and avoid eye contact). For being diagnosed as having a poor grasp of the English language, he can very quickly think of his feet to edit and recount whole events, completely removing himself from being there, if it suits him. This covert behavior has made me hyper-vigilant about where he is and what he is doing because the ONLY thing I trust about him is that he is going to be sneaky and self serving. My unwillingness to trust difficult child has become a huge issue between me and my husband. He thinks that I am unwilling to see difficult child in an objective light, and he's right. I could throw difficult child further than I will trust him. I am constantly catching him doing all manner of sneaky deceitful things, mostly insignificant, ranging from not doing things like using soap when washing his hands, not using toilet paper after going number two, not flushing the toilet, not putting the seat up before going number one, dropping trash or leaving spilled food and just walking away, stepping on the important personal belongings of others, like purses, backpacks, cell phones, ipods, blankies of younger twin brothers, and toys, etc. But he will see me out of the corner of his eye and immediately correct his behavior, even though I say nothing and act like I don't see him. Its like I'm his conscience. He clearly knows the right things to do but doesn't want to. And yes, he does the same thing whether I around or not. I have video taped him without his knowing to settle this for myself. My thinking on this behavior has ranged from concluding that he just lacks the personal perseverance to follow thru with the actions required to do these things correctly, as he has been lovingly taught and is modeled by 9 others in the home constantly. Other times I think that he actually sorta gets off on the "it feels good to be bad" notion. Its almost like the stepping on stuff is a passive aggressive manner to show distain or contempt of the item's owner. All that being said, it is endless and ongoing.

We have a seven bedroom home and up until difficult child was 7.5 years old, our four oldest kids had their own rooms and difficult child and 8F easy child(who is exactly 1 yr and 2 days younger than difficult child) shared a room and our twin boys (4 years younger than difficult child) shared a room. Then, two years ago, we decided to separate difficult child and PC8F. We put difficult child in a room by himself and PC8F in with PC5s. Nothing has ever happened or given us any reason to think or suspect that either difficult child or anyone else has done anything even boarderline inappropriate and believe me I have been watching! We do not even allow sleep overs at our home or anyone else's for any of our kids, and never have. I was molested as a child by a neighborhood friend's older sibling and am very aware of how these things can happen, even under the best circumstances. Also, difficult child is very avoidant of physical touch up to this point and PC8F and PC5s are huge tattletailer about difficult child's behavior. They are not afraid or intimidated at all by him and all physically dominate him as he is so small. difficult child hated being in a room by himself. He had no one to blame anything on and it was nice to have a place to send him to go when I needed a break from him. Then last year, our home was broken into during the night while all 10 of us slept and my purse and husband wallet were stolen. It was very disturbing. PC17M is a Police Explorer, police cars come and go from our home regularly, as well as men in uniform, AND we have a 95lb black German Shepherd that does police work! It was so unexpected. We think it was a kid in the neighborhood who is not friends with any of ours and is very odd. Anyway, difficult child convinced my husband that he was too scared to sleep in his own room and PC8F offered to switch with him, so difficult child would now be sharing a room with PC5s. I didn't like it from the start but HD seldom pushes for anything and he thought it would be good for difficult child to be a "big brother" and sharing a room with the PC5s would inspire him to mature. Feel free to curse under your breath now, I know I did. Well, he didn't mature. They did, and he resented them for the privileges they earned and he did not. I intentionally took all of the toys out of the room so the kids never went in their except to sleep. difficult child is always adamant about wanting the door open and says he's scared of the window, which is all ok with me. On a side note, I haven't said much about the other PCs but feel I should share a bit about them now.

The PC5s could really be described as gfg5s by others outside our family because they did not escape being marinaded in meth and PCP, with a side of repeated domestic violence and chaos, unscathed. They were delivered prematurely at 7 months, when BM was admitted to hospital due to DV. They are her 8th and 9th children, all of whom were taken by the state previously for profound abuse and neglect, and were immediately placed for adoption, not foster care. The short version of how we ended up with an "unplanned adoption" is that we closed our foster care license after second adoption of PC8 but state was desperate and kept calling us. We kept saying no but eventually kids talked me into taking a call for twins because school had just gotten out for summer and they thought it would be fun. Fostering has always been a highlight for all of us and our kids love to care for babies. Well, we got to hospital and CPS case manager fills us in with info overload, which seemed odd. Then we were asked to sign intent to adopt paperwork. We said, Whoa, Nellie! Come again?? Apparently there was some mix up and we were chosen to adopt, not foster, and had been picked by BM. Apparently birth parents agreed to terminate parental rights voluntarily if they could have some say about twins' adoptive placement. They chose us due to big, bi-racial family and faith. We didn't ask to be considered, we just happen to be a foster family that had an AC# due to previous adoptions. Case manager was mad, didn't know how it happened, told us we had ten minutes to decide if we wanted to be their forever family because they were going to have permanence today! Holy potatoes! This **** never happens in foster care. We had already had the opportunity to and did adopt two infants who we had fostered and now two more? I honestly don't know what it was about those tiny little sickly brown babies that stole my heart, but they had us at hello. They had been in the NICU for two weeks tweeking from the drug withdrawls, but were now just 4 lbs and ready to go home. And for no good reason, we took them home. They were so tiny. They shook, seized, twitched and were wound tight as drums. They had such bad hypertonicity that it took two people to unravel them long enough to change a diaper. They had poor sucking, they barely slept, and no one here cared. I don't think that they were ever actually put down until they started to crawl. They hit, scratched and head-butted us all almost constantly due to sensory integration issues, but they also smiled, cooed, and bonded deeply to everyone, but especially me. They slept in our bed until just a few months ago and even then still sneak back in with us by midnight about half the time. I let it continue because I just didn't like them sharing a room with difficult child. Something just seemed very wrong to place younger, impressionable little boys with an older, maladjusted sibling. Our oldest PC17 didn't like it either. His room is right across the hall from difficult child and PC5Ms room and he policed it constantly. difficult child does not like PC17M for this reason. difficult child resents that in our home, we have 4 adults speaking into his life, and he seldom is ever out of the watchful governing of one of us. Also, PC5Ms have a very good relationship with PC17M and they look up to him and live for his attention and affirmation which he is very generous with. difficult child has no interest in pleasing PC17M and resents that he is not allowed in his room because he has stolen and broken things in there when allowed in the past. In fact, he tried to start a fire in PC17M's room last May by intentionally placing different items on the hot light bulb. I had put him in the room to use PC17M's desk to finish his homework that he was working on and difficult child got caught by PC17M instead carving his name into the desk. PC17M told difficult child that he was really disappointed that he would treat his family's belongings that way. PC17M told him that he would not be allowing difficult child in his room anymore since he didn't feel like respecting his things. While PC17M left the room to tell me about the carving on the desk, difficult child proceeded to try to start a fire placing first his eraser, then his paper on the hot bulb. It set off the fire alarm and when ran in and asked what the smell was and why the alarm was going off, difficult child acted like he had no clue. It was a very compelling act, sold my husband on it, but I searched around and found the melted eraser on the bulb. Then my husband took difficult child into our room to talk about everything and difficult child advised him exactly what PC17M had said, word for word, and that his plan was to start a fire on the light and then leave the room, closing the door, and burn up PC17M's "whole room up." He is very straightforward when he tells these things, kind of one dimensional, like we too would see how the revenge made perfect sense. difficult child only regretted that he forgot that there was a smoke detector so "whole room" wasn't likely to get burned up because we would find out too fast. difficult child said that since PC17M wasn't going to let him in his room and that made difficult child mad, difficult child wanted PC17M to feel as mad as he did thru the loss of his stuff to the fire. Can you say CRAZY??? Anyway, that finally pushed husband over the edge and outta lala land so he was willing to pay the $3500 for the neuro psychiatric evaluations.

Two weeks ago, the little chat with his teacher about the stealing stuff from her desk, in addition to finding out that he had never given her the apology letter we made him write to her after he spent a day being particularly mouthy and disrespectful to her. He was supposed to read and give it to her. We use this amends letter often when any of the kids hurt other people's feelings. It is a simple form letter that the child uses to confess what they had done, how it had made the person feel, and the steps the child is taking to ensure that it doesn't happen again. It is always shocking how honest the kids are about what they really did and why, but affirming to see them acknowledge how their actions make others feel and the steps they come up with on their own to keep it from happening again. difficult child hates these letters because it is excruciating to have to think about how his actions make others feel. He also struggles to be flexible and think of other ways of handling himself in the future. Life basically stops until the letter is written and he loathes it. He does however usually seem very happy to give them to his victims because he gets the attention from them coming to him and saying all is forgiven. Except this time. He did not read it to his teacher, but instead chose to stash it under a stack of books on her desk. When I asked him after school if he'd read it to her, he said yes and that she had told him that she wasn't even mad and that everything was ok. I told him that based on the report she had given us, she wasn't likely to have said she wasn't upset by his rudeness and that it was now okay. He agreed. The next day when his teacher pulled me aside, was when I found out that she knew nothing of the letter and they had not talked about any of it. I decided to act on my maternal instincts and my husband was just gonna have to let go of his fantasies of difficult child continuing in with the PC5Ms. I drove home, parked difficult child at the next door neighbor's in timeout on a chair, rallied my other 7 kids, and together we did a swift but massive swapping of bedrooms. We moved difficult child into the smallest bedroom, which is right next to mine, all by his lonesome. I took every toy, book, and scrap of his personal stuff out and boxed it in the garage. His room consists of a twin bed in the middle of the room, a dresser, and empty book shelf, a small desk, chair and trash can. We moved PC8F together with the PC5Ms into the largest bedroom across the hall from mine. PC8F is up on a loft bed by herself, and PC5Ms are on a queen bed below loft. PC17M is now in the room formerly belonging to difficult child and PC5Ms, which is right across from difficult child now and he can see right in difficult child's room perfectly. It felt like the rightest thing I'd done in a long time. husband was kinds disappointed but I don't care. We have to parent difficult child for who he IS and not who we want him to be. We can always give him more privileges and things but we cannot undo negative family experiences that he causes in our lives. husband over identifies with difficult child because he struggled as a child. husband is the youngest of 12 in a big, chaotic black family, father was an alcoholic, DV, drugs, too much openness and no boundaries. husband felt vulnerable and was fearful a lot. He was also very small, and slight in stature. husband felt verbally and physically dominated and victimized by the actions of others. He has a reading disorder that went undiagnosed in school and struggled to understand much of what was said at school because his mother speaks in a broken English-geechee dialect. It took me years to understand anyone in his family because they speak so differently.

Long story short, I am heeding your advise and leaving nothing to chance. I ordered a tiny hidden wifi camera that I can view from my phone to place in his room and I hang a plastic hanger on his closed door at night that make a loud pop sound that he can't prevent on the outside of his door at night for right now. He is taken to the bathroom at bedtime and told not to get up during the night. neuropsychologist advised us not to inspire difficult child with our rules as to what he could can't do. He said we should not ever let him know when he scares or riles us. And never ever let him know if he has caused a riff between parents or others. difficult child will exploit it to the fullest. Npsydr also told us to tell difficult child that choices like fires, hurting people, or any other threats to family will result in him being separated from all of us and he will be alone. He needs to know that we will not tolerate any one in our family, including him, being threatened or hurt. Anyone threatening our family will not be allowed to live here, visit here, or be anywhere near us. Npsydr said that difficult child's self centered desire to not be alone could motivate him to avoid situations or threats that would result in the family physically removing themselves from his life. difficult child has to hear it that way. We will go away from him, not he will be sent away, because he believes that he has total dominion over himself and wouldn't let that happen. He cannot, however, keep the 9 of us from walking away from him and his behaviors. I already feel like the other kids are reinforcing this without even knowing it as they will get up and leave the room to go to theirs and close the door when difficult child is "stuck" and being blk/wht argumentative about stuff no one cares about or is ludicrous. He likes to sit and make off the wall comments and conclusions while everyone is watching TV together. For instance, we're watching shark week and theyshow the shark swimming and then the next clip is a marine biologist, from the waist up, talking calmly about sharks. difficult child will say, "wow, that shark bit her legs off!" and the other kids will say "what are you talking about. That didn't happen. and difficult child will argue endlessly that "see, her legs are gone." Even though now the show has progressed and the camera angle shows the marine biologist's whole body, legs and all. God help us. It usually ends with everyone just tuning difficult child out and ignoring him.

Thank you all so much for just letting me vent and affirming my strong maternal instinct to protect all of our kids, including difficult child, from himself. I will try to keep it shorter in the future. Just so much pent up anxiety in me. I have actually started biting my nails again after years without doing it. Please pray that my husband and I stay close and unified as we work to meet our difficult child's special needs and continue to love him for who he is, and not hate him for what he does. You guys are my saving grace.


Well-Known Member
Hey...I relate to lots of what you said. Our kid would lie about the dumbest things, even when caught. But "crazy lying" (lying when caught) is a symptom of attachment problems, although it isn't the only reason kids do this.

Also, honestly, we thought that our boy was asexual. He didn't like touch either and never ever spoke about sex and we got him when he was already eleven. He was thirteen when we found out that he probably didn't talk or act sexual in front of us because of what he was doing to the younger two. We had no clue he was doing anything either. My two younger kids were not acting out either. They did a good job of hiding it. It is always better to be careful than to just hope for the best...just in case.

This is the dirty secret that many, even some on this board will not face (nor did I until we adopted this child). Some kids are so broken before they even come into our care that they can not be fixed. If there are other kids around and your son becomes dangerous, then you have to think if you want him in the house and will lock it down like an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or if you want to save the others and let this one live away from home in another place, maybe where there are no other kids or pets. Nobody likes to say this about kids. Many would argue with me. None who have argued have had this kind of child.

This child was diagnosed as cognitively delayed by his psychiatrist who treated him when he was in foster care, but I believe he is brilliant both in figuring out other people and his acting skills and his ability to behave normally in front of adults and just the opposite around kids. How weird is it that he had been in five foster homes and admitted, once he was in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), that he had perpetrated on younger kids since he was five, and not one of his foster parents ever knew it. The one before us didn't believe us. And she had had a daycare center in her house! Maybe she couldn't afford to believe it. At any rate, he admitted it once he was living in the treating facility for young sexual perpetrators. When asked why he did it, he said, "I really don't know." When asked if he'd been sexually abused he said, "Not that I remember." When asked why he killed the dogs, he said, "I don't know." When asked if he disliked the dogs, he said, "No, I did like them." Nothing he answered made any kind of normal sense. Since we were still legally his parents we got to see all his treatment stuff. Scary kid. He also liked to play with fire, but we hadn't known that either. He just lit matches and set little fires to the carpeting in front of the youngest two. He got a kick out of terrorizing them.

If you would have told me a kid could be hopeless before this experience, I would have thought, "What a *****" about whomever said that. But this experience plus joining an adoptive parent group and hearing many parents with stories similar to mine made me learn that attachment disorder is very serious and very close to the adult who has antisocial personality disorder. Since it is so socially unacceptable to say that a child is hopelessly broken, many people like us don't talk about it because who will believe us? Who won't condemn us? Who won't BLAME us???? It's horrible. I feel for you.

The sad part is, it could have been avoided...but that's a whole other story. This was not YOUR fault. All you can do is wait and see how it goes.


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After reading your post again, especially about the twins, I again am concerned about difficult child. He may not like 17M because he stops him from doing stuff he'd rather do and knows he can't with him there. Also, there are three signs of an impending Conduct Disorder (no conscience child) and they are: unusual pottying habits or peeing/pooping inappropriate (this is the least important), a fascination with fire or firesetting and cruelty to animals (our child acted as if he loved animals unless we weren't there and then he would torture them, even the neighbor cat. We found out lots of stuff from our younger kids AFTER he left.)

The story of the adoption of the twins defies imagination. Can we say pressure????? I thought we, as adoptive parents, were told to only commit to adopting children we truly felt ready to parent? No pressure? Its up to us???? At any rate, at least there is lots of hope for the twins. Personally, I worry about your husband as he is really burying his head in the sand, which must make you feel even more alone. I'm really sorry about that.

I think the psychiatrist was smart to have you tell difficult child that he can't do unsafe things or he will have to live away from you. I hope it makes him think twice.


New Member
I TOTALLY agree with you, MidwestMom, about the need for honesty and transparency in getting real about what it is really like for some of these kids. I used to teach and recruit foster parents and now after ten years experience working with these families and so many of their heartbreaking experiences just trying to love a child and make them whole again. I had to quit because I just feel too brutally honest and want to share the truth when people ask about how bad it can get.

I feel angry and frustrated because I feel like I could benefit from some therapy for myself so that I can be the best mom, wife, and friend but I also know that it has been my experience that if I even shared a fraction of the truth and facts that I have shared in the past 2 days with all of you on this wonderful website, I would be condemned as being a cold hearted, evil mother who never should have adopted our difficult child, if I wasn't up to the task. Love does not conquer all. Love gets you thru the hard times. And sometimes love hurts when it says good-bye for the right reasons. I can absolutely say that I would place difficult child in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) without a second thought. I think that I might be able to do it today, just knowing what I already know. And I'll do it if I have to. husband will have a harder time but he's not here standing in the gap, I am.

On a side note, Dr. Phil has a family on today who say they wish they had never adopted their adult son. Should be interesting...


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Hi Aimless. I'm going to put the cat among the pigeons here... I am somewhat concerned about some of the things you have said. This child was disturbed from the very beginning, for reasons obviously related to what happened to him in utero. He is now nine years old. You talk about him as though he were an evil adult. Don't get me wrong... I know very well how utterly soul-destroying and awful it can be to have a difficult, or very difficult, child to look after. I am not saying this is your "fault" or that your adopted son might not be too damaged to live in a home. I understand what you mean when you say love is not enough.

But he really deserves compassion more than hatred.


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Malika...no. You don't have this type of child. You don't understand. People who do have this kind of child are scared of their own kid. And there are kids who have lost their souls. It is not just due to his birthmothers drug use as there are drug affected kids who are very nice, like Sonic. This kid probably has attachment disorder and it basically means the child has no conscience. It is very hard to treat or to find somebody to treat it. I would guess they don't even acknowledge this in France or Morocco. But yet it exists all over the world, especially in the adoption community. But people are afraid to talk about these types of problems...where the kid basically acts like an mini adult with no conscience and is fine with hurting others...and there are other kids in the home to worry about too.

It is hard to have compassion when a child is hurting your other kids. You have one child and he is really rather sweet a lot of the time. This is way different. It is not fair to judge the poster this way as you have never walked in her shoes and likely, hopefully, hon, you will never have to.

This family adopted four kids. They are not lacking in compassion. This child scares them. I know the feeling. It is frustrating when people take an incredibly impossible and frightening child out on the parents...a child who the parents love and would very much love to help, yet there is no help.


New Member

By sharing on this site, I am choosing to break the unspoken code of silence that says that good parents never speak ill of their children. I refuse to keep secret any longer about the disturbing patterns of behavior that I see almost daily and speaking about things involving my child that make most of us uncomfortable at our core. I believe that the truth will liberate me by inviting others to give advise and support.
I never said that I hated my son or believed him to be evil; you assumed that. I whole heartedly believe that if he could somehow think or act differently, he would. But he can't or won't, I don't know why, and compassion will not find the resources we need or keep him from eventually causing an injury or making a threat that will involve the legal community because he felt mad at someone. Do you know what the best predictor of the future is? The past. And difficult child's past is a troubled one. "Compassion" is NOT complacency. Compassion is advocating for the needs of another. If advocating for our difficult child means always hoping for the best but constantly preparing for the worst, then so be it. It would be selfish and wrong for us to keep placing him in situations that he is ill-equipped to mentally and emotionally handle, just because we were more concerned with the avoiding the judgment of others. If he somehow stole a neighbor's gun, brought it to school tomorrow, and used it to show your child how "mad" he was for some insignificant word or act, you would be screaming from the roof tops "How did this happen?? Why didn't anyone intervene when clearly there was a pattern of anti-social behavior victimizing others??"

The truth is that vigilance, honesty, generosity, forgiveness, humility, persistence, patience, resourcefulness, creativity, sacrifice, and even humor are the stuff "compassion" is made of. It doesn't always look or feel the way we want it to. Parenting isn't always pretty. An isolated few of us know what its like to lay awake, stiff with fear, replaying what was said between the words and subtle movements of a differently wired kid, searching for signs or signals that trouble is brewing again. We know what its like to wake up thankful that the night was uneventful, but also exhausted from the constant threat of the unknown. I'm just so thankful that this seems like a safe place to scream, because the tears stopped a long time ago. this seems like a wonderful place to be honest about the fact that some of us are white knuckling it thru life right now and the only hope we have is that somehow, some way, tomorrow might bring the right technique, therapy, doctor or treatment.

Thanks for listening.


Well-Known Member
Aimless, thank you for your message and for sharing your thoughts about what I said. This is, very rightly, a "soft place to land" where parents can come and be heard and understood rather than judged, blamed or criticised.

I think what I am saying is that you clearly have a deeply disturbed child, who was deeply disturbed from the very beginning, from earliest babyhood - and yet you expect him to behave like the other kids in your family. Why is this? Have I misunderstood? You all seem to ostracise him to some degree, from what you have said - and, believe me, I understand how a child's unlovely behaviour can make one want to withdraw. It is all very understandable, I guess. But I fail to see how this could in any way make him "better" or less unlovely.

Actually I do know what it is like to have a potentially dangerous child! My son is fascinated with knives, with fire (with lighting things with lighters that he finds on the ground), and when he is angry, he has little control of himself. For a long time now I have hidden away all knives. It may be just paranoia but I can visualise J picking one up in the heat of the moment... I hope I'm wrong. When he is in difficult mode now, he is just like an angry, troubled teenager and it is really not hard to imagine him as the real thing... I know I don't always love him unconditionally and I feel it to be my failure. I wish I could.

Parenting these kids is SO hard. We all know about that. I think you needed real help long, long ago.


Well-Known Member
Well, I'm going to chime in again.

Your son is nothing like this child and you don't have other kids who don't understand and need to be protected. It is one thing to worry about your chlld's future as far as independence and going to college and another to worry that he may seriously harm somebody else. I did not see any "hate" in Aimless's posts. She is dealing with something most people even on this board do not understand and she has seven other kids. If you had seven other kids, or even one, and J. suddenly jumped out and tried to choke a two year old, you would not feel much compassion for him at that time. You would feel fear and maybe momentarily something else. You would angst over whether or not it is safe for the child to live at home. You would be searching for solutions, as Aimless said.

I am assuming that since France and Morocco do not even acknowledge that many kids have ADHD, there is probably a lack of knowledge about attachment issues as well. Before you judge, perhaps you should go to an adoption site (I am going to post one for Aimless) where not only do these people understand, but they can maybe direct her to places that can help her with this child. You are trying to help J. pretty much by yourself and medication and he has more moderate difficulties, so you may be able to do it. Maybe. Time will tell. But this family can not do this...they can not afford to say "poor little kid" because there are other kids who could get hurt by him. She needs to find help, both for him and for the rest of them...practical help. I wish WE had done that. Malika, you have a good heart. Time will tell if understanding and compassion is enough for your cutie pie. Either way, you do not have to worry about the safety of other children. It's different. It is more urgent.

Here is the link to the adoption site. They understand Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and even have one forum just for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids. I am sorry you had to experience people who don't understand this tragic problem.

Ok, here's the link:



Well-Known Member
MWM... Why are you "hearing" me saying things I am not saying? I am not judging this poster. I am asking her why she expects her child to behave like a easy child. It is a very genuine question on my part.

You also seem not be "hearing" me about what I am saying about J. He is not just a "cutie pie". If he were, I would not have been coming to this site on and off for the past two and a bit years. He also has attachment problems, though not on the scale of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), and he is also potentially dangerous to himself and others. He is a child who can be very sweet but who also has little or no control over his impulses in certain moments. One of the principal reasons that tipped the scales for me in terms of medication was an incident in which he stole a lighter from the kitchen and set fire to an area of brushland and half an olive tree... He has a real anger within him, due to all sorts of reasons, and I can visualise him stabbing someone one day for example if this anger goes unaddressed. I am being totally serious.

I am not on the periphery of something with absolutely no clue about what real behavioural difficulties are. Unfortunately. I am also not by myself... We see a child psychiatrist who is also an ADHD specialist, a psychologist, an eye specialist for his visuo-spatial problems, etc... No way could I be dealing with the level of difficulty by myself.


Well-Known Member
MWM: You are using Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) in the way that as not dsupported by science community. Those unofficial Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) check lists are not supported by for example AACAP and are mainly used by unqualified 'attachment therapist' who have caused many casualties and gruesome child abuse by their therapy. Aimless's child is clearly very troubled, has been from birth, which indicates something else than Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is acquired and only acquired by extremely insufficient care and Aimless told she and her husband has taken good care of this child during his early years and we have no reason to suspect that. If there was, there would be a lot of reason to look hard to Aimless attitudes toward this child, because here for example are treatment recommendations for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids:

"In 2005 the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry laid down guidelines (devised by N.W. Boris and C.H. Zeanah) based on its published parameters for the diagnosis and treatment of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).Recommendations in the guidelines include the following:

  1. "The most important intervention for young children diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder and who lack an attachment to a discriminated caregiver is for the clinician to advocate for providing the child with an emotionally available attachment figure."
  2. "Although the diagnosis of reactive attachment disorder is based on symptoms displayed by the child, assessing the caregiver's attitudes toward and perceptions about the child is important for treatment selection."
  3. "Children with reactive attachment disorder are presumed to have grossly disturbed internal models for relating to others. After ensuring that the child is in a safe and stable placement, effective attachment treatment must focus on creating positive interactions with caregivers."
  4. "Children who meet criteria for reactive attachment disorder and who display aggressive and oppositional behavior require adjunctive (additional) treatments."
Good news is that Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) tends to be treatable. It is little researched, but research that has been made tells that majority of kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) heal quite quickly after placement to stable home (these studies were made with Romanian orphans adopted to UK.)

However Aimless child's problems really seem to be somewhere else than in her parenting. While I agree with Malika that Aimless sounds very frustrated, tired and bit cynical in the way she talks about her son (which I can very well understand) I sincerely doubt that attachment is the biggest problem here. Of course parental displeasure does affect but this child sounds like having some severe neurological issues not related the lack of bond parents have been able to create to him. Unfortunately brain damage as a reason isn't very hopeful and in the end it may end up to be about behaviour management. MRI doesn't often show that much about organic brain damage, but try to drive that through anyway. It may give you some answers.

Do you have a good therapist with whom you could go back to very basic and start to build a system to manage his behaviour? It seems that you have not yet found the right motivational tools to influence him and that makes your, and his, life very difficult.

EDIT: MWM, other thing, it would be good if you wouldn't make such straightforward assumptions of other people's kids you have not even met. For example J is a total cutie and I'm sure lovely child in many ways. That doesn't make him easy child or trouble free. While Malika doesn't choose to elaborate every difficult behaviour J does have and while she chooses to mention the positives often (and concentrate to those), it doesn't meant J isn't at risk child or that Malika doesn't know anything about anything. You also recently assumed my oldest is basically a talented easy child child who used to have little dappling with gambling before and has some slight mental health issues and used that to dismiss me. You are free to dismiss me and my opinions, but it doesn't mean you know a koi about my kid and his issues.


Well-Known Member
Suzir, this study is sadly not true. Sorry, you're wrong about this and there are many other studies that refute that. Plus this child was not from Romania...I am guessing attachment disorder has many studies with conflicting results, but those of us who live with it...FULL attachment disorder, not just attachment issues, can help this poster. I directed her to an adoption site that is full of help for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), as WE know Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Perhaps you might want to read some of it yourself.

Suzir, you were ready to take issue with your son's GA sponsor. THAT seemed to be a big issue to you, which is ok, but shows that you can afford to be particular about what you worry over. To me this was a no-brainer...you let your adult child handle it yourself. But you were filled with angst over what he said to your fairly well functioning ADULT son and yet you can't understand how this parent can be pleased. You have no idea what would help this child. You don't understand what this child is about. Sorry, this is not within your area of expertise. Your child does not struggle with attachment issues. This child most likely is indifferent to what his parents think of him, but she will learn more on the other site, although since she has read almost everything she can get her hands on, I'm sure she has quite a bit of knowledge on the topic. I am not so sure you'd be so understanding if your older son had repeatedly tried to hurt, destroy, or maybe even choke your younger son. Patience turns to "what can I do to keep my family safe" when this happens.

With all due respect, your child also was not a threat to anyone else in your family. He was also not adopted nor did he have a chaotic early years. This is unhelpful to Aimless. I have offered to talk to her on the phone and hope she takes me up on it. Mothers of dangerous kids tend to need to be able to unload. Your post did not help her.A regular mainstream therapist will not help this child. Nor does positive reinforcement. These kids do not care what their parents think of them as they are not attached. Methods that work for attached kids, who care about what their parents think and want their praise, do not work with unattached kids. You are wrong to condemn this lady when you have never walked in her shoes.

We do not know your difficult child's backstory. Suzir, would you like to share it? Until then, how can we know if you have any understanding at all of a child who is a danger to others? To you? To himself? We don't know much about your situation at all. You are vague and do not sound distraught. Your difficult child's problems do not sound as severe as most of us are dealing with, but again this lady put it all out there and you have not. I think she was brave to do it and I do think she has been directed to good resources and to people who will not try to intellectualize a terrorizing issue.

I wish you would share your story more so we know where you are coming from. Hope you decide to also tell us, especially if you are going to give advice to parents who live with very dangerous children.

Aimless, check the site I posted and I hope to hear from you. Trust me, we could swap stories!


Well-Known Member
MWM: This child didn't have chaotic early years either. He was first fostered, then adopted basically from birth by Aimless. He haven't been direct threat to other children in the family what Aimless knows either (and she has been watching.) I know you once adopted a dangerous child that hurt your other children and had to be removed. This boy is not that child. Just like he is not Sonic even though both have been born to drug addict mothers. You can't assume this child is like Sonic or that child you have to have removed just because they have few things in common.

I do know this 'attachment therapy' is popular in adoption and foster circles. That doesn't make it legit. Neither does it take away the tragedies that has happened or horrible crimes parents have end up committing because of those child raring techniques. Or all the psychological damage inflected to already troubled and vulnerable children.

By the way, you have asked me to elaborate my kid's history once before. I answered but you didn't read the answer, I assume. But that doesn't matter. This is not about me or my kid.

Aimless: If you feel you can't parent this child in your home, would you have Residential Treatment Center (RTC) options? He does seem to make life of your family difficult and you sound like you have used your emotional resources and are in the end of your rope. Maybe having him in recidential setting even for a shorter time would ease the tension and help you develop better relationship with him while professionals would be able to have a new start with him in handling his behaviours.

He is getting closer to puberty and unfortunately that is not likely to help at least. Passive-aggressive behaviour, which he seems to have a lot, tends to get worse like any other behavioural issue in puberty. Mine went from cutting other family member's favourite clothes, dog poop or dead mouse in the shoe etc. minor things to much more elaborate backstabbing during his teen years. And as MWM has kindly pointed out, he never was anywhere near that troubled as your son.


Well-Known Member
Suzir, and I'll end it here, because this poster will talk to appropriate responders on the other site, yes, going to foster care to seeing his bio. grandma to seeing his birthmother to going back to adoptive parents to the early break from Mom is chaotic for a child. I'm not going to argue, but in this you should maybe go on the adoption forum and learn before posting to people like this. Drug exposure before birth is also putting a child at high risk for attachment disorder. To learn more, I suggest you read some books about this issue from Amazon, rather than just one study. If you read many, THEN you will have some real knowledge.

Can you share your son's early history, including infancy and the rest of his years up until now? If not, you have no right to condemn this woman. You live in another country and, again, how mental health issues are handled vary widely. You tend to downplay some very serious issues. I suspect you live in Scandanavia, maybe Denmark or Norway where everything is done much differently than here. That includes diagnosing and treatment and solutions to problems.

I am in touch with others who have kids like that child. He has been diagnosed. Leave this poster alone, please. I refrained from telling you what I thought about your grown son needing your husband to intervene from him. I think this is a time when doubters should just let it go and post to those they can relate to. If you don't, hopefully Aimless will understand that this is coming from somebody with nada experience. I have no doubt that Aimless is a smart lady who has done her homework and came here to tell the worst, as I did when I came.

It is unhelpful to try to take apart this child's diagnosis and problems. Sounds like she has a lot of knowledge and experience. I assume that whatever you respond with, Aimless will take what is useful and disregard the rest and continue to seek help for her family.