For those of you who live with scary kids...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I lived with the horrors of a child with reactive attachment disorder. Many of you have heard my story. Sadly, I see many parents here who are living my story and are actually afraid of their young children.
    This link is the BEST article I ever read explaining what goes on in the mind of a wild child who scares us and often is a victim of reactive attachment spectrum/disorder. If you are afraid of your young child or teen, and drug abuse is not in the picture, and your child had chaotic early years due to adoption, abuse or an early separation from a caregiver, this short article gets to the heart of "why." We had to learn why after the fact and from expensive professionals and had found, all too late that many professionals do not yet understand the fright of living with a dangerous child...and blame us or call it ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), or some other name which doesn't quite explain why we are afraid of them.
    If this is your situation, this is a good read. Trust your instinacts. If you think your child's professional doesn't believe the degree of your child's destruction or does not understand why your child behaves so scarily, move on to somebody who does.
    Here's the link. May NOT ONE OF YOU end up like we did. This is my prayer to you.
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  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting! Thank you.
    I hadn't heard that about Edgar Allen Poe.
    Also, I kind of disagree with the inclusion of Helen Keller. She was treated normally as an infant, and then became deaf and blind after a severe illness. So she had the foundation to re-attach.
    I hadn't seen ear infections as a "cause" of attachment disorder before; just on the list of commonalities. I'm assuming that it's because the baby/toddler is in so much pain and screaming all the time that the caregiver seems nonexistent even if he or she is present?
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Frankly, I have no idea how they can go back in time and decide dead people had attachment disorder. The description was stellar though. I lived it.
    Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is sort of new as far as professionals understanding it. It reminds me of borderline. Nobody had a real clue about it. until just recently. Professionals thought borderline was boderline psychosis (it's not) and that it can't be cured (it can). Attachment disorder is pretty new except to parents of adopted kids. We knew about it years ago, but nobody could treat it! It is still something people don't understand that well. It used to be called "failure to thrive."

    I am thrilled when those of us with dangerous, unattached kids finally get validation and understanding. Those who have never had kids such as these, even professionals, tend to get blamed, but that is changing. It is good for the child and the entire family. It' s not a cure, but it's a good start. People who deal with kids who choke their babies and come after them with knives and sexually act out on their other kids (and these kids are is surreal to witness) do have trouble feeling warm and fuzzy toward them, and even some people here do not understand. You kinda halfta be there.
  4. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I appreciate this info even though it did scare me - the more I read the more I think we missed something with my youngest because many many of the symptoms and causes for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) fit her and what was going on prior to 3 years of age - before contact was cut with her X father.

    Every hug having to remind her "don't break the mommy", the ear infections, clingy behavior, false abuse allegations, hugging strangers, preoccupation with gore, pleasure in others pain... she's the one who cut the cats tail off slamming a door when she was 3yo, no remorse, guilt or even realization she had done anything wrong.

    Strange thing was Angel was the kid I was afraid of... because of the explosive behavior but lots of those explosions were frustration at being "set up" by her little sister. Thinking back Angel got blamed for a lot of stuff that wasn't her.

    Years ago I set up a fake facebook person to interact & monitor my kids internet activities thinking I was another kid; some of the stuff she types about going on in her life is really twisted. Talking about step father raping her - she has no stepdad and she hasn't been raped (don't think even been kissed) she fantasizes about things most people would consider a nightmare.

    Sorry started writing a book again, but it's obvious I need to do some more research on this topic... thanks for some leads on where to start looking for info.

  5. Renea

    Renea Member

    Interesting article! I have thought about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) many times with my 10 year old son. But as with everything else, it's hard to place him in that box because some of it definitely fits but so much of the other things don't fit. I had a very healthy pregnancy, he was very much wanted by both me and my husband. We weren't rich but we certainly weren't living in poverty. My son never went through various caregivers. I was a stay at home mom. And my husband and I are still together to this day. He wasn't neglected. He wasn't abused. The only thing that stands out to me is that he did have really bad colic. Reaaallllly bad colic. I think he actually had acid reflux and the doctors just misdiagnosed him. He would cry and cry and cry. He hated being held, not that we didn't hold him, but holding him just seemed to irritate him that much more. I think that being held just added to his overall discomfort. We saw a few different doctors over all of it and tried all the things they wanted us to try, but he never really stopped the marathon crying sessions until he was around six months old. Which led the doctors to say, see, we told you so. It was colic and he has now outgrown it. :( My husband and I were SO frazzled and stressed during that time. And I just never really felt that my son "attached" to us during the first few months, like most babies do. Things were so different with my youngest son. He was a VERY attached baby and has been a easy child all along.

    My 10 year old has an Asperger's diagnosis, and that fits him in some ways but not in others. His rages are very scary. He seems to have such a low tolerance for any frustration and his meltdown mode is hard to handle. He does have poor impulse control at times and he definitely has poor peer relationships. He has trouble making and keeping friends. And he definitely has some entitlement issues. He also has food issues. At the same time, he is honest to a fault. He never steals. He loves animals so much and I just can't imagine him hurting one. He hates the thought of blood and gore and can't stand to see it or hear about it. And he does feel VERY guilty about his rages. He absolutely hates that part of himself and he hates that he has caused his family to hurt. He is concerned with my feelings and if I'm having a bad day, he wants to know about it and wants to know how he can help. His therapist says that the fact that he feels that compassion towards people and that he feels bad about his actions is a very important thing. Does that mean she doesn't feel it could be Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) since he seems to feel remorse and thinks of others? I don't know. When he is raging, he isn't thinking of others. So it's hard to not see some of these traits in my son!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Most of the diagnoses do resemble one another in symptoms making it hard for even the best diagnosticians to figure out why our differently wired and even violent children act like they do. From what you say, I can't imagine that Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is the issue there. There has to be a basis for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), such as an early divorce and much chaos or foster care and multiple caregivers and the child not being safe. Almost all older adopted children have a form of attachment disorder, although it is a broad spectrum. There are mild attachment issues and full blown Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), once called Orphanage Syndrome for those poor kids who grew up in orphanages where there was no primary caregiver at all. But foster care can be an ugly, abusive place and no baby does well being passed from mom to foster mom to grandma to dad to foster home back to mom, etc. It doesn't give them anyone to really trust.

    But there are other reasons kids become violent. One is children who are exposed to drugs or alcohol in utero which can cause brain damage and limit the self-control the child has. One is autistic spectrum disorder if the child can not communicate, is socially awkward, and autistics do have a harder time with frustration (told to me by two autism experts). Bipolar, unmedicated, can cause violence.

    Most of the parents who come on here and have actually violent kids who go so far as to harm animals, choke their siblings, break beloved toys, steal at very young ages, slap around mom and dad, don't seem to be able to form feelings or caring for others, etc. seem to have had very chaotic early years. The backgrounds seem to almost always b e either a very early, contentious divorce where many people had to take care of one child (and sometimes an abusive parent) or children adopted at older ages.Your child has remorse. There is no Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) with remorse.

    The article was mainly for those who do not know about attachment disorder. Just like borderline personality disorder was not well understood until just recently, and there was said to be no cure until just recently, reactive attachment disorder is not really well known or diagnosed, even by good diagnosticians. I'd guess that those who know the most about it are in the adoption world. But with so many people divorcing when their children are so young, I'm guessing that it will become better known and professionals will get up to speed on it. There IS help, but it is very specific treatment and misdiagnosing it as ADHD or bipolar will not do any good.

    This is a very near to my heart issue because we lived with a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) child for three years and will never be able to undo the damage he did to our family. However, understanding has helped us a lot. The bottom line is that if a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) child is not helped or does not respond to the help, usually the child is not safe in a family enviroment. They lack a conscience.