Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by raregem, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. raregem

    raregem Guest

    I don't even know where to start. I haven't posted here in a long time. My 9 year old difficult child is a total puzzle to me. Maybe I have been in denial the last 5 years. He has been on medication from the age of 5 when we adopted him. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD and possible Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). The last year has really been an eye opener. He goes to his psyciatrist every 3 months for a medicine check up, we tried therapy a few years ago but got nowhere. He is currently on Adderal XR, Risperdal and Kapvay (the new clonodine). He has no friends, he has failed 1st grade twice and 2nd grade once, the way things are looking in 3rd grade right now (all F's except for a C in math), he will be "placed" to the next grade again next year. We are a very loving and giving family who has given him everything he needs and wants. He doesn't seem to have any "real" feelings. He will hug and kiss but I don't feel that it is genuine. We had problems with him stealing over the summer from a "friend" down the street, $300 in cash. Stealing from his older brother, something is always missing. There have been a few sexual situations with a friend last year and 2 other not definate ones. We have caught him in a compromising position with one of the family pets. Last week at school he told all the kids that another boy had put his penis in his behind. When difficult child was confronted by the teacher he said it wasn't true. Teacher says she will look into what she needs to do next. We have been talking with him at home an it is like pulling teeth on this subject. We told him we need to know more so we can help him. He told us tonite that he has done this with the 2 other boys (his age) that we had suspected. When asked if anyone has ever shown him or done this to him before he says no. Two weeks ago we were going somewhere he didn't want to go so he slammed the door and ran. I told him to "get over here". We were outside and he starts screaming at the top of his lungs "Don't hit me, don't hit me! for all of the neighbors to hear. I was speechless. We have never spanked him. When I read all of the symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Psycopath, he definately fits. My husband and I don't know what our next step is. We have finally come to the conclusion that most people would call him "damaged goods". We love him dearly and he has never hurt any of the people in our family.

    Like I said, maybe I am in denial because he can function every day and there aren't hardly any "melt downs" any more but now the things he does seem to be alot more serious. He is like he doesn't have a concience.

    I need advise on what to do next. When I let his doctor know about the things that he does, he just records them in his records. If I tell him that I don't think the medication he's on his helping, he gives me suggestions to research to see what one to put him on next. We just switched from Intuniv to Kapvay.

    This situation is definately affecting my 16 year old. He had never had anxiety before and a few weeks ago he had it severely and missed two weeks of school.

    Any suggestions, advise would be much appreciated. Since yall have much experience on what I am dealing with, please let me know if I am being to lax on what we should be doing.

    Thank You.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, welcome to the board again. Sorry you had to come back.

    I'm familiar with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and adoption. I adopted several kids and one had to leave because he sexually abused my younger kids and it was too late for him. Perhaps it is not too late for your little guy, but is he getting any Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) therapy? I am guessing that somewhere in his life's history, somebody sexually abused him the way he says he abused somebody else. I was told 99% of all foster kids suffered sexual abuse and I believe it. Sometimes they act out so you have to be careful with any other kids in the house. Was he exposed to drugs and alcohol while his birthmother was pregnant? That also causes big issues. Kids who we adopt at older ages already have horrible histories and we learned the hard way that love is not enough. Many of these kids don't want love. And they also don't feel love. Tell us more about his past.

    I have a few questions:
    1/How does he treat animals? Has he ever tried to harm one that you know of?
    2/Does he poop or pee in inappropriate places?
    3/Is he interested in fire? Ever set a fire or small fires?

    These are the three red flags for serious attachment/antisocial issues in children. We learned all this after our adopted son was taken from our house (at our request). He was subsequently charged by the court (NOT at our request) of sexual abuse of a minor (he was 11 and our daughter was 3). He was found guilty and placed in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for young sexual predators.

    One last thing: Your son certainly has hurt somebody in your family if he steals from you and his older brother. And you can get into trouble if he sexually abuses other children, either at school or in the neighborhood. You are his paernt...and accountable. Sadly, he probably does NOT have a conscience just like the child WE adopted at an older age. Our child was ultimately put into a lockdown Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and diagnosed belatedly with Severe REactive Attachment Disorder although I think he may have had some brain damage too from his birthmother's prenatal drug use and her neglect and abuse of him before he was removed from her care.

    Others will come along. It is slow on the weekends. There are several adoptive parents here. I'm just one of them.
  3. raregem

    raregem Guest

    Thank you for replying Midwest Mom.

    is he getting any Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) therapy? No, wouldn't even know where to look, I could ask his pdcoc.

    Was he exposed to drugs and alcohol while his birthmother was pregnant? Definately yes to both.

    How does he treat animals? Has he ever tried to harm one that you know of? When we first got our kitten difficult child was in the room alone with him and the kitten ended up hurt. difficult child was only 5 at the time and said that the kitten had scratched him and when he flung him off of him the kitten flew into the dresser. We have 3 large dogs that he is constantly agitating and making them growl at him. My pc16 has just gotten a kitten and difficult child is the only one I have ever heard the new kitten growl at.

    /Does he poop or pee in inappropriate places? no

    Is he interested in fire? Ever set a fire or small fires? very interested in fire, has not set any

    As far as his past, his bioligical mother was sent to prison when he was a few months old, then being raised by his biological father who did his best but difficult child was in day care or with a babysitter 7 days a week. Biological mom came home when he was about 2 and then difficult child was taken away from biological parents when they were both sent to prison and put in a foster home when he was 3. He stayed in the foster home for about a year until we took him. He is actually our nephew but we did not know him except for 2 short visits on the holidays before he came to us at age 4. Both of his biological parents are drug users and the mom used drugs and alchohol when she was pregnant. The bio mom is also bi polar and schizoprenic, in my opinion she is a sociopath. She still abuses drugs, lies, steals, etc. My in-laws have his biological brother who is 11, they have had him since he was a few months old. This is one of the other boys that he has had sexual encounters with.

    It seems like with difficult child that EVERYTHING is about him. He is very "street smart" for his age and other people think he is adorable (which he is) until they spend more than a few weeks around him and then they say "wow", he's a handful.

    For the last 6 months we do not allow him to go outside by himself. Every time he went out to ride his bike or go to a friends house he ended up getting into trouble. Either that or we wouldn't be able to find him for 30 minutes or more because he was not where he was supposed to be. He usually spends his time inside looking to agitate someone. He doesn't play video games, play with his toys or watch tv much. That being said, he is hard to punish because there isn't really anything you can take away from him except sweets, he craves sweets.

    Please, please, please watch your animals and your other children. I dont think he could physically hurt easy child 16 unless he was asleep (that scares me) but emotionally he is definately hurting him. pc16 sees what he is doing to our family and this upsets him.

    Thank you for listening to my rambling. I have alot of decisions to make on Monday of who to call. Should I call a social worker?
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can't help you there. If he isn't seeing somebody who is familiar with kids in foster care, the professional probably will not understand exactly HOW damaged the kids can be. You may want to take him to see a neuropsychologist. That is the first thing I do when I get an adopted child. The neuropsychologist can usually tell how bad damage is from in utero drug use. However, your son was probably sexually abused along the way (which is why he chose his sibling to act out on...and he may have acted out on others too). He could hurt your kitten or k ill it. Be careful. Our kid killed two dogs and we blamed it on a "racist" neighbor kid...we were wrong. The older he got, the meaner he got, and his "nice" act to adults sort of imploded. Once we found out the extent of what he had done, we were devestated. We called CPS and he was removed...we did not have the heart or energy to work with him anymore and my younger kids were terrified of him. I could not put them through any more.

    There are questions as to how much attachment therapy can work. I know there is a doctor in Ohio and a center in Colorado, but I forgot the names. In all seriousness, you probably had a dangerous child on your hands. If I were you, I'd put an alarm on his bedroom door so you could monitor what he does at night when you aren't awake. Our kid did a lot of his dangerous stuff when we were sleeping.

    I wish you luck and wish I could have helped you more, but we never did find any way to make this child any better. The fact is, he was so good at acting "ok" that not one of his foster parents before us nor us knew he was pretty much a child psychopath.
  5. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    Hi Raregem. I'm a mom of four adopted kids--two of whom are without conscience. I will write more later, as it is late and I need to grab sleep while I can. I wanted to take a moment to say hello and tell you are not alone. I understand your fears, exhaustion and frustration completely. I don't have any answers, as I struggle every day. I do know I am doing my best to try to help two girls who don't believe they need help. They are master manipulators, impression managers, thieves, con artists, liars, etc. All without any guilt, shame or remorse. It has placed a huge stress on our family, and I worry endlessly how it will affect my boys, who are amazingly objective about it all. I hope your family can find peace.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you are in such pain and am sending supportive hugs your way. The members who have posted have hands on experience that I do not have. I do have alot of experience having rasied eight and via Court volunteer work that I have done. My gut tells me that your teen either was a victim or a witness to unacceptable acts. Something specific happened and he needs to share with a qualified professional. No matter how caring you and your husband are he has internalized something that shook him to the core and he can't share freely with you.

    I'm also concerned that your Doctor is not leading your search for appropriate help. Over the years I have had a number of therapist, psychologists and psychiatrists involved with difficult child issues. A Pediatrician is not qualified to help.
    The selection of other professionals is complex because you need a medical partner. For example there are experts in sexual abuse issues (I had to drive two hours away to find one but it was worth the trip). There is a wide range of specialists and in my humble opinion no qualified specialist just makes notes on frightening and bizarre behaviors and then suggests that the Mom explore medications. If this child has not been fully evaluated there is no way to know which direction is necessary.

    It's the middle of the night and my post may not sound supportive but it is intended to be. My impression is that you and your husband have been relying on love and home stability to make this boy well. He is not a well child and the chances are that his mental health issues may not be solvable with-o endangering those in your home and all he comes in contact with outside the home. With great compassion for you all I strongly suggest that you find out from experts exactly who he is, whether there is any reason to hope for improvement and how everyone can be safe even if it means you relinquish your custody. Your decisions are paramount for the safety of others.

    Sending supportive thoughts and prayers your way. DDD
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi, my son has reactive attachment disorder, milder but still hard sometimes ...insecure attachment but definately resists bonding...a push pull kind of thing. We have done specific Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) therapy and I have fired therapists who say they can do it but then try to see us separately. Do you have any books like Adopting the Hurt child, Or maybe adopting the older child??? I will check sometime this week to see if I can find them to give you the right titles of the ones people (and I) like the best... there are several I read even before I adopted so was super ready to find therapists who could handle it. One form of therapy is called is NOT Play therapy. It is specifically designed to move thru steps using video taping and activities that you do together to build attachment. I have to tell you we made great progress and my son does genuinely hug me and tell me he loves me....sometimes. When he does not get his way he does go back to the push away stuff. He is still really mistrustful of others. He will still hug people who dont know him well (but he is also very developmentally delayed and autistic and has a brain injury so....lots of issues) he is quite aggressive and has been mean to our animals though no torture. He is afraid of fire and is not obsessed with it (hates birthday candles even) but does have the weird obsession with when people died...always wants to know how old people are and if they died. Will say shocking things for the effect.

    Here is a link to a really good treatment center in our state and maybe they can direct you (or even their website can) to appropriate places. Read books on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) because they have warning signs to look for for well intentioned therapists who can do more harm than good if they can be charmed and fooled by your difficult child. There are many success stories for kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and it is a spectrum so at his young age I would hesitate to give up, though at some point you may have to accept you have done your best. Some kids with Attachment Disorder actually do better in a residential setting and even have great lives when they dont have the pressure of having to bond with someone.

    Family Attachment and Counseling Center

    I am tired right now, so will check in with you again soon, hope you keep in touch. I am certainly no expert but I have been on boards with many people who are raising kids diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and they are not all psychopaths. I think one great site is attach-china : Attachment & trauma in adoption

    (I haven't been there for a while but look for that, they welcome anyone with attachment challenges but it was started by two moms with kids from china because people like to say that there are no kids iwth attachment disorders from China....they dont want the government to close adoptions. But of course we are all human and any break in attachment hurts and add being in a poor crowded orphanage, of course there are Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids from China too. They refuse to accept the diagnosis at all. Say kids are too young to "remember"....they dont believe how kids develop bonding and trust and that is starts between pregnancy to age three ish. Very sad.

    They have a companion site and the link is on the above page.....its for those who want to know more about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) but the site above is for those actually going thru it and it covers everything even Special Education, IEP's, 504 plans etc. 9 years or so ago I remember suggesting to one of the original moms to check out a 504 plan and it was a small list then... now it is huge! Really professional and helpful. (my son is adopted from USA and I was welcomed no problem) Hope it hasn't changed, it was really good.

    my best, Buddy