Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    It's becoming clear to me - I won't go into all the ins and outs as to why this light has dawned on me - that a large part of J's oppositionality and perhaps, who knows, other difficulties have their roots in his insecure attachment to me and to his adoptive father. It explains to me, for the first time really, why there is the existence of two Js, so very, radically different - one sweet, innocent, chattering and funny, six years old in all its delightfulness and the other truly like an adolescent with (bad) attitude, obnoxious, constantly needing control, mouthy, loud, manipulative, far older than his years and really unpleasant to be with. The co-existence of these two selves in one little body is really strange - I had the former with me all day yesterday and the latter suddenly jumped out of the woodwork at lunchtime today, for no reason other than that he did not like the lunch I had prepared...
    To be brief about this, I'm feeling like I've overlooked a whole vital trail and been going down a whole lot of false ones. That's okay... I couldn't see until I saw. But now... I have looked up attachment therapists. The problem is barely recognised in France and there are surprise, surprise, no such therapists in my area. I could get into internet research about it but I REALLY don't want to cobble something together, make stabs in the dark, make things worse with ignorance again. If anyone who knows about attachment disorder and/or therapy would like to PM me, I would be really grateful.
    I am feeling bad... it's so obvious now, and I know all the reasons why.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Where was he his first three months of life?

    Don't feel bad. Most therapists in the US know little about attachment problems too. It's hard to get proper treatment for that.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Malika you can do a search or advanced search on the Board and it will pull up multiple postings. I feel fortunate that I have not dealt with this issue but it has been really on my mind this month with all the Russian children bound for the USA. The perspective parents never seem to be adequately informed prior to adoption and absolutely are inadequately supported once the problems surface....particularly those children who are adopted at older ages. Personally I would doubt that J has too great an attachment problem because he was adopted at three months. Those months are very important for sure but the children who are adopted at five, six and beyond are in for a difficult life. Hugs DDD
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, I understand your perspective but... it is NOT just what happened before his first three months of life, though that must also play a significant part. He was in an institutional creche, often left to cry for long periods alone, like all the babies.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Malika - search this forum for posts by Buddy, about "attach-china", and about "insecure attachment".
    There's several good ones - including definitions and links.
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, I know, thanks... Sorry to be awkward, but this is why I asked people to PM me - I have some specific questions and don't want just to do an internet stab in the dark thing. Perhaps I had better send a message to Buddy :)
  7. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    I have recently been looking for attachment therapists, too, although have stopped for the moment because I have other things on my mind. There is one place that I found that I was going to call to get some info. Even if they could give me some advice or information, that is where I was going to start. Maybe calling an actual institution like this may provide you with info to start you out? I'm not sure how helpful they are, as I have not been able to get ahold of them yet. Just in case you are interested:

    The Attachment and Trauma Center of NE:
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You can also get books downloaded that you can read. I dont know the exact titles but I have seen them on the board many times. I have wondered about this several times when you post. Also, attachment issues dont have to come just from adoption, they can come from the fact that a child was in the hospital a lot in his first year of life or if the mother was in the hospital a lot or even if the mother and child have a lot of confusion going on in their early years. Sometimes the parent/child personality is just iffy and the attachment isnt there. I think that is bit of an issue with my older son and me due to the constant disruption of my mom in our lives.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he was in an orphanage there is a good chance he could have some attachment issues. Because you got him out of there early and I am sure nurtured and hugged him and loved him, it does not seem so bad as other adopted children who had to wait longer. Maybe this IS the answer to J. He seems very treatable, whatever his problems are!
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, it is not so simple, MWM. Circumstances in J's life after he came to us - or rather the circumstances of the grown ups' lives that affected him - and my own relationship with him are just as much in play. It is something that needs to be taken seriously. I feel like I've had a bit of a light on the road to Damascus dawning.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    But, while the whole background is probably complex... in no sense is J going to be a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kid. He's not that extreme. It's going to be more like insecure attachment.

    And for the record... insecure attachment is easier to work with, has better outcomes... and is NOT only caused by neglect/abuse in the first three years of life. Insecure attachment can occur later, too... when experiences come into play that disrupt the normal parent-child relationship development (and it isn't all to do with parenting, either!)

    Of course... if the primary behavior driver is insecure attachment... there are no medications for that. Which means you are correct in being careful about medications...
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    So strange, I have been reading and re-reading things I used to focus on more (it goes in cycles in my mind) and just happened to be going on sites a little more lately too. Sometimes there are some really good ideas for how to respond to situations that are so counter-intuitive and really work for Q that I go back when he is at a different developmental stage and look for more ideas.

    It is true that many attachment behaviors can very much look like adhd. Kids with attachment or ptsd histories have an altered brain chemistry and there are medications that some say can help but obviously not cure...but that target the theoretical specific issues that happen with kids who had to scream for hours with no comfort those first months or years. And for sure just a few months can be a cause but it actually can start during the pregnancy if the mother has plans to not keep the baby anyway. (so they say...different chemicals, different level of care and nutrition, etc....)

    And we always say traditional therapy doesn't work..... easy explanation...

    just random things I have been reading...not specifically talking about J here.....

    It never hurts to look at attachment when working on things anyway. Our kids do have a higher risk, and as normal people, we live through situations that given their already fragile attachment, can compound things.

    There are crazies out there suggesting drastic things, but I bet many of the things that are on the internet (if you can't find any support there) can at least help give ideas of what to do. I think you do some of them already. I really did do exclusively time in instead of time out with Q. I would not let him escape interaction with me (unless he needed a nap, lol). that was not always fun. (I mean when little, now things are different and I have accepted our level of attachment knowing we are bonded to a degree, he is certainly not an unattached child, but I still celebrate little things like his wanting me to hold his hand for a blood test etc...things he didn't do when little)
  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Malika, one thing you may want to look at is theraplay. I don't know how available it is in France, but the only family I know with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids (not that J is that) did lot of it also at home, not only with therapist and I'm sure there are also books. And what I know about the type of things they did, they are so, that they can't really do damage either (basically much of it was playing with the kid in certain specific ways.)

    This family I know adopted their kids (siblings) from Russia when they were six and four and they had quite a lot of issues. Their older one is same age as my easy child and he is doing well now. Younger one has more problems, but they are more likely Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)/being drug exposed uring the pregnancy related. She has severe ADHD, learning disabilities etc.

    I recently talked about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) with their mother because it comes up here so often. She said theraplay was helpful for them and so was certain parenting method they were taught to use. It was extremely sensitive and emphatic and understanding way to parent and was quite hard for parents. But for them it worked well. But she said it was very difficult to be understanding and nice and to use very positive and emphatic methods when kids did some very infuriating stuff like peeing and pooping where ever, hiding food and then it starting to smell, purposely braking things etc. And it took a long time. She said that it was close to two years kids were willing to hide only food that wouldn't rotten (even when she kept some of their favourite non-rottening snacks always available to be taken and hidden and they also had a lunch box in their rooms for rottening foods they had taken and which they together took all the old food away weekly) and many more years before they stopped it all together. So it really was a long process, but these kids were also quite damaged and experienced lots of very bad stuff.
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Theraplay is what I did with q! It was great. Took two therapists (one video tapes etc. When doing the office part). The home activities are exactly what I was thinking could help. Also have Steve Gutenberg s site which has many books with step by step activities for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) attachment ideas. He will email you! He wrote me often because I used his ideas at home and work.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Malika, I think you are bright and insightful and I trust you. Good luck on your journey. We have your back :)
  16. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I send you many hugs. I will be no help on this specific question. All I can tell you: thing will click a lot better when you find the real reason(s) behind J's behavior.
    If it feels right in your gut and explains things in yours and J's life, then it probably is the right path.
    Answers come to us in many ways and we have to trust our intuition, inner-voice, spiritual strength.
    I wish you good luck in your search.