Thursday, March 21, 2013

Advocating for Your Kids: National Legal Resources and RAD Resource You Should Know

Hi Friends,

In researching some information for this blog, I ran into this posting on a forum from a troubled parent of a RAD and mentally ill child. Unfortunately it sounds so familiar to many of our friends here...( from psych central forum)

"Our daughter is 8 yrs old and suffers from mental illness. She has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment disorder, traits of anti-social personality disorder. She hears voices and is extremely aggressive. She has been hospitalized since November 2010. Our insurance is running out and she has made very little progress and is no where ready to come home. We our searching for all our options before she is discharged. The options the hospital gave us are to either give up our parental rights or let her come home and put the family at risk. Our daughter has promised to kill her brothers and my wife when she gets home. She has attempted this several times in the past. We do not have a lto of disposable income at this point in our lives, and like I said previously, our insurance is running out. We need to find options for our daughter, we are not ready to give her up, but we can not in good conscience bring her home to hurt her brothers. Does anybody know of any resources for children sufferung with this type of issue? Our daughters birthday is 8/6/2002, she is 8 (will be 9 in August). We need help, if you know of anything or anybody who might be able to help it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!"

Many times we have gotten messages from parents or foster or adoptive parents who are at the end of their ropes and are wondering what their legal rights are. Sometimes you just need to find an advocate, other times you may have to delve in a little further. 

Although there was no easy answer for this parent, there were some resources mentioned I thought might help some of us at one point or another, but we should all be aware are out there. 

For our international readers, if you have links to advocate groups for us to add, please let us know and we would love to include that information here for everyone.

National Disabilities Rights Network:
contact them for help with (amongst other things)  :

Special Education

  • To learn about your child’s special education rights and related services such as assistive technology.
  • Assistive technology is equipment or services that help your child participate in and complete school assignments and activities.
  • Your child has not been evaluated for services even though you requested an evaluation.
  • The school is not following the requirements of the child’s IEP (Individual Education Program).
  • The school has not held an IEP meeting within the last 12 months to review your child’s IEP.
  • Your child’s needs have changed and you have asked for another IEP meeting, but the school has not followed through.
  • Your child is getting suspended or expelled because of behavior related to his disability or other special needs.
  • You believe that the placement or services your child is receiving are not meeting her needs.
  • You believe that the placement or services recommended by the school are not going to meet your child’s needs.
  • Your child has been placed in an alternative school or juvenile justice facility and is not receiving the special education services she needs.
  • The school has not provided the equipment such as computers or communication devices that have been recommended to assist your child in completing assignments.
National Alliance on Mental Illness:  
Contact your local NAMI group to find advocates, support groups, get lawyer referrals, help with missing persons and more.  This link takes you to the site to hook you up to find your states website.

Finally, TCU Institute of Child Development: Although NOT a legal resource, this site has information on working with RAD and attachment disorder children, including videos on adopting children from "hard" places.  Check it out if you have or are considering adopting or fostering children who may have been traumatized or have attachment disorders.

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