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Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
We just got our first little foster daughter. She is a sweet, loving angel faced difficult child. First week went well. Past few days, she has been having horrible meltdowns both at school and home. She is 4 (5 next month) and came to us a month into risperdal therapy and on a bed wetting medication that alters kidney output. When she goes down the bad road, her countenance darkens...eyes go blank, face is downcast, she becomes very quiet; then, BOOM! She comes from a background of severe neglect and several types of abuse. Mom is an addict and Dad has tested positive as well. How can we find out if she was born addicted, etc...., if the agency doesn't know? Is risperdal a prudent first intervention in these cases? her psychiatric evaluation indicates no underlying bipolar or psychosis. Just a lot for this little angel to work through. Any advice is welcome!!!


Well-Known Member
Look up reactive attachment disorder. Almost all foster kids have at least some of it.

Being born addicted is bad, but if Mom didn't abstain throughout her pregnancy that also causes a developing brain to have issues.The brain can not form properly with alcohol, cocaine, pot, meth, whatever...impacting it. There are bound to be rather serious issues that are not easily treated just with medication, although medications can blunt the worst effects.

Check out fetal alcohol spectrum as well.

My son was born with cocaine in his system. He definitely struggled because of it. We were lucky that he had a great foster family and did not bounce around a lot when he was young...he does not have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) so he is attached to us. He is 21 now and on the autism spectrum and has done much better than all predictions, but he does have disabilities.

Most foster children have a lot of problems and will need long-term, ongoing care, sometimes lifetime. Love helps, but it is not enough. They got into foster care because of many losses and usually also some pretty bad abuse. Often there was sexual abuse that the tender mind forgets, but the subconscious mind remembers. A social worker told us this before we adopted one child who did not work out and was too dangerous to live with us. Sometimes the abuse and drug combos were too much and the poor child was doomed from the start. I hope this is not your foster child's scenario. But do not be surprised if her acting out and behavior gets worse. Some foster kids try to hurt themselves or others...again, I hope this is not her. Take one day at a time.

Let us know how it goes as time goes on! Welcome :)
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Active Member
Wow....I'm in awe. I can't imagine taking on this child, but understand that you have probably saved her life! She's a lucky little girl! Risperdal at 4 yrs old seems excessive. It sounds to me like she's had a horrific first few years and I hope the risperdal can be discontinued very soon, so you can get to know her and her needs. Best of luck to you all!

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Well-Known Member
Welcome, Foster Dad! What a great guy you are for taking her on and taking her in.
This is going to be a rough road. I agree with-the others in regard to Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).
Just take it one day at a time.