Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Am I The Only One Afraid My RAD Child Will Kill Me?" Q&A with FPR

Anyone who has worked with a child with reactive attachment disorder or the like, may have had this thought at one point or the other. I certainly have, and have had the passing thought about how I might have to defend myself or escape a dangerous situation.

One of our readers had the same thought, and I wanted to share the conversation, (with the editing out of any personal information of course) in the hopes that it might start a conversation, give some hope, or at least let others who have kids with attachment disorders know they are not alone with their fears and should not feel guilty for those thoughts.
Read on:

Question to Fosterparentrescue:  

Am I the only one that fears one day my child may try to kill me because of RAD? That no matter what I do to love and give structure and therapy, that the emotional and psychological damage may be permanent?
 I worry I adopted 3 future sociopaths. Don't get me wrong, I dearly love my kids! And there are times they are great, and we see progress, but the bad days, or the don't sleep for 2 days, or raging tantrums that last for hours to days, those are the days I worry. The looks of hatred from my 8 year old, the cold stare from my 12 year old, make me think one day when they are bigger and stronger than me they will try to kill me. Tell me I'm over reacting.

Answer from John- FPR: 
Well, this is a normal thought for those of us who work with RAD kids, and you need to pray that the Lord opens their heart to you.. because the love that they will have for you is what will save them.

Do you see any compassion towards you from them? I kind of went through this myself with my one RAD child that I just let go to another facility (I talk about it in my blog posts "Knowing When to Let Go,") Keep records on their behaviors if you really don't feel safe or if they are acting aggressively towards you, you'll need it later on down the road because you do have options if it gets to that point.

When you keep records you can see whether or not their behaviors are really getting better or worse. Keep track of their behavior at school as well.

I do relate to what you are saying. If you adopt RAD children, you really have to have Faith. Do you have a counselor involved? You need one for you and the kids. Having support is vital, especially when dealing with RAD kids because they can be so manipulative.
Have you read our blogs on the house rules and building trust with RAD kids? I can send you links if you need it, or you can just search on the blog for them. I have worked a lot with RAD kids,... some success, some not, I am here for you though.... always. and thanks for bringing this up, I think a lot of people feel this way.. I know I have expressed this same thought myself.

Response from reader: 
 we had talk today with my sons therapist today about the behaviors still being a very big issue in the home. we expressed our concern over the trauma to us all from his behaviors, the exhaustion, and the lack of progress (not due to her lack of competence, but to his severe lack of trust and his type of RAD). she said with his age (8) it would be very hard to find a residential placement for him, and there would need to be all other options exhausted first, and there would need to be a certain requirement of behaviors before he would be accepted (like setting fires, sticking firecrackers in animals rear ends, and harming himself or others). she recommends intensive in-home therapy, and feels with his specific history and behaviors a certain theraputic approach would be the most effective. He is "disorganized", "inhibited" (in his dis-regulation, not in his behaviors towards others), and he plays 3 roles, the victim (least of the 3), the perfect adorable child (public personality) and the role reversal controlling (behavior at home, and most dominating behavior). she feels the most effective theraputic approach is the circle of security. she is going to look for the right person to take this on.
i feel a small sense of hope, she said with his type of RAD that 85% of the children can be healed and form proper attachment, when just 20years ago that number was very low and there wasn't considered to be effective treatment.

Response from FPR: 

Glad that you have hope, and he is still young enough that you have a chance, I agree. I have had success with kids when I started at 6... so, you are still in there. If you have read some of our blogs about working with RAD kids, you know you have to take him back to infancy as far as his dependency on you.. and work your way back up from there, in order to build the trust he should have had from the beginning. Good luck to you, and keep us informed on how you are doing....

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  1. Help.....our RAD child came to us at 5 1/2. He is 9 now. He use to be physically aggressive against me. Not anymore. Now he is verbally aggressive to me. Like I'm going to cut your arms off. I hate you. Why should I listen to you. He is in therapy. He is on meds. He is in special classes at school. He lies. He steals. He shows no remorse and no sympathy. He has now started playing with fire. I love my son. So much. I just don't know how to help him. He was putin the system at age 2. Went through 4 homes before coming to us. I am so scared for him. For his future. I don't know what to do.

    1. Hang in there Trudy. I am going to talk to John and will get back to you tomorrow okay? Thanks for reaching out to us, we are here and listening....

    2. Hi again Trudy, you have some good things going for you. He is still young, and he isnt using physical violence. Are you a stay at home Mom? You need to take him back to infancy mode- look at our posts on building up trust from the very beginning with a child. "You and Your RAD Kid: The Importance of the Trust-Building- Honeymoon Period" Granted, we don't know your whole story, or his, so bear with us while we give you some things to look at that you may already be familiar with... but, here are some places we'd have you start.
      Read through our posts on building trust and make your child totally dependent on you FOR EVERYTHING. If he wants a drink of water, he should ask you, if he wants to go to his room, he needs to ask you first. If he yells at you, you will not listen to him nor give him any attention for it. Look at our post on The Whistle Technique (use our Search tool to find it) This works like a dream. (in a few cases at least).
      Do you have the house rules set up? This is especially important!! Do this immediately. (look up our house rules for RAD kids) and keep to a routine schedule EVERY DAY. Have structure EVERYDAY. Make sure he depends on you for all things... and that you deliver good things as well as structure.
      So, Trudy, read through some of those posts, and as many of the other RAD related posts we have here (just use the Search tool or go on our FB page and ask for suggestions from other RAD parents on our page) and let's go from there. We can troubleshoot as we go. Don't give up. You can do it! Feel free to contact us privately via the link here on the right column above the Top Posts list, or via the FB page. We are with you Trudy!!

  2. Yeah give him meds! Medicate him, to the point of dealing with him! He is suffering from PTSD because he was removed from him first family! No court order can change the fact he has a first family. I feel for you, I hope you do not throw him away like dirty trash that happened to my stolen children, who are now incapable to love their own children. I took them back at 14-16 when they were no longer the cute chubby cheeked kids the aparents adopted. They were so damaged by then it was unreal, there was no hope. I know what you are going thru because I felt that way after I got them back, after 20 years. Stay strong let them know you love them and will always be there for them, but also let them find their past, without your interference.

  3. Hi Anonymous. I am sorry to hear about your experiences, and we hope and pray that your children are able to get help in some way to be loving adults. RAD and attachment disorders take root at the very earliest ages, 0-2years usually. Since we don't know the details of your case, why your children were taken away and all of the details of your case, we can't really reply to your comments, but obviously, you are angry for the sake of your kids. We get that, and it shows your love for them, which we appreciate. We do our best to help foster parents heal and help kids. We hope you find some peace for you and your kids too. Thanks for reading.~ Diane.

  4. I am a 42 yr old adult with rad who wanted to kill my family members back in the fall.I never got help as a child.If they had loved me,held me(NOW,AS AN ADULT with rad)and not given up on me,I believe I would have healed and truly felt loved,and attached.Now I don't plan on doing it,but because they disowned me after I confessed this to them,and partly as a cry for help,also a "test"to see if they would stay there in my life for me and keep loving me,now I don't care anymore.My husband left me for another woman 4 years ago because of my rad also.He and my other family members were asked to do intensive counseling with me including holding therapy(which I had one time with my therapist and was one of the best thing that ever happened to me besides putting my faith in Jesus)NOBODY will support and help me,yet I ASKED for help!!!Don't give up on your child!EVER!The damage done to me now...I don't know if I can go on...BROKEN heart and spirit!!

  5. Laurie, Our hearts break for you, but we also see that you are indeed a survivor, and someone who seeks a meaningful and loving relationship will surely succeed. We hope that you first work with your counselor to recognize and learn to love and value yourself and then to work outwards from a strong foundation. With your faith in God we know that you may still struggle, but there are many wonderful memories for you yet to make. We meet so many wonderful parents here that work with RAD kids, and your story reminds us of what our small ones may be thinking but unable to put into words. Perhaps your lifelong struggle can help others understand this complex diagnosis. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.
    Diane and John

  6. I am terrified of being killed by my RAD Step-daughter & her making it appear like it was an accident.