Here's my story. My hubby and I were placed with a 2 day old baby a year ago and we still have him. His older brothers are now 2 and 4 and have been bounced around and are now in their 3rd foster home. I thought I had made it clear to my CW that we would take them if there was ever a need, but unfortunately, they kept getting "moved" and we would not find out until after the fact. When I asked my CW about it, she would say that she didn't want them disrupted again so they would stay where they were. :( Today I was contacted by placement to ask if I would take my fs's brothers because their placement was "falling apart." Yes!! I'll take them. Later I got off the phone with their current foster mom and she tells me the 4yr old has RAD symptoms! Though that is a little intimidating, I'm committed to these kids! So here it goes... I'm very happy to take my fs's brothers because I want to have them together in the same home and I want the opportunity to love on these boys. RU is expected for the 2 and 4 yr old within the next couple of months. My 1 year old is a half sibling and is going toward TPR. But I'm frustrated with the current foster mom!! Why couldn't she just stick it out for a couple more months so these little boys wouldn't have to transition AGAIN!!!??! AND I would love any advice ya'll have about RAD. I'm familiar with it through reading and discussing, but have never had a child with it. I'd love any advice you can give me!
Well RAD isn't all that fun and remember that maybe his behaviors were just to much for the foster mom to handle. My six children that have RAD are considered to be moderate on the scale. I thank God everyday that I don't have RAD kids that pee in the heat vents or in the flower pots. I have a friend whos RAD child crawls out the second story window and poops on the roof. I personally would find that very hard to cope with! My children came to me from multiple placements. In their previous foster homes they weren't bonding at all. Their SW's noticed within 2 weeks that we were doing something different because the children were completely different. (And it wasn't just a honey moon phase. Trust me that didn't last but a couple of hours :) Personally we really don't know what we are doing that is working. We are just treating the children like we would any other. We are open about their pasts and talk about it often to demonstrate that we understand where they are coming from. I, like you, was committed at all costs to keeping these children together. Don't get me wrong, there are days I wake up and wonder what in the heck were we thinking. They are a handful but if my hands weren't full then they would be empty. I personally think that the severity of RAD behaviors/symptoms are in somehow related to how well of a match the foster parent and the child are. Good luck!
That was so encouraging to me! After talking with their current foster mom some more yesterday, I am SO thankful that these little guys are coming to my house. It definitely sounds like they were too much for her. Here's a new question... I got two toddler beds thinking they would both be out of their cribs by now, but found out the 2 year old is still in a crib. Should I keep him in a crib since he's used to that?
I personally think that the severity of RAD behaviors/symptoms are in somehow related to how well of a match the foster parent and the child are.
I would say to definitely keep him in a crib until he is comfortable with you and ready for change. It sounds like the boys have already been through way too much change in their short lives. If he is used to a crib, he may not feel safe in a toddler bed.
Should I keep him in a crib since he's used to that?
rad kids tend to be too much for anyone...once you get close enough. so not to discourage you....but just know that if and when you get to the point that YOU feel like it is too much for YOU....just know you didn't fail. they are not too much for YOU...they are just too much. seek out a family that also has kids with rad. it is very helpful to have someone in your life that you can talk to about what you will be experiencing that won't judge you. they are young....that is very important....you have so much more hope than those of us who got our kids older...but it doesn't mean it will be easy. take care of yourself first....and don't be afraid to ask for help.
That was so encouraging to me! After talking with their current foster mom some more yesterday, I am SO thankful that these little guys are coming to my house. It definitely sounds like they were too much for her.
Keep him in the crib. You may find that within a couple of weeks you are moving to a toddler bed. We kept our littlest in a crib for just a bit, although sh was only 14m, we moved her to a toddler bed. The crib turned out to be part of her PTSD symptoms. Boy did sleep improve when she moved to her toddler bed...both hers and mine :)
Why couldn't she stick it out? Let me see.. I had a 4 year old with attachment issues and her two year old sister who had mild attachment issues. Neither had full blown RAD. With the 4 year old, she needed to be watched constantly. I don't mean just being in the same room. She had to be within arms reach. She would hurt Angel (who was 1 at the time) and not tell me what she did. He would scream and scream and I wouldn't know what was wrong and she wouldn't tell me. She'd just smirk with this look of satisfaction on her face. She was destructive. Anything she knew you valued would be destroyed. At Christmas, two months after her arrival, I put out a Christmas dish and made the mistake of asking her not to touch it. She broke it into pieces. I said "It's too bad that it broke when it fell off the table". She said "It didn't. I had to jump on it". She tore up a holy picture that belonged to my great grandmother. She destroyed toys & property. She took things and misplaced them on purpose. I had to keep things like keys out of reach. You couldn't "love on" her the way you want to do with these boys. Kids with attachment disorder don't want your love. L would freeze if you tried to hug her and wouldn't get on my lap to save her life. About two months after she moved in, she finally voluntarily climbed into my lap to snuggle and I was thrilled because I thought we turned a corner. She then peed all over me. I would find things she stole from Maire-Kate (who was 10) hidden between the mattress and head board. I had to put L to bed two hours earlier than the other girls so she would be asleep before they came into the room. If I took L out in public, I had to keep her on a harness type leash. I've always despised harnesses because it's like taking your child for a walk the way you would walk a dog. Well, L had no stranger danger. She would go up to complete strangers and just hug them and love on them. She would go willingly with anyone. She was beautiful and charming and a predator's dream because she would have gone willingly. I had to watch her constantly. It was draining emotionally and physically to have to be on alert 24 hours a day. I couldn't keep a babysitter for her. Hanna & Angel's sitter gave me notice after one month. I would come home and the house was destroyed with things broken. Despite not wanting love from me, L would take affection from anyone she didn't know. The pizza delivery man comes and she climbs all over him. A visitor comes, she climbs on his lap and kisses him and touches his face. It was creepy and disturbing to watch her in action. Even with a rule of "Don't touch anyone or get on anyone's lap", she would find a way. She was irresistable and would put her arms up to be picked up. People thought I was crazy for asking them to put her down. They didn't know. People who don't care for attachment disordered children have no idea. No idea at all. She was never truly happy. She never ever cried. She got a lot of satisfaction when I would get frustrated. And it's hard not to get frustrated when a 4 year old spends all her waking hours pushing your buttons. Time outs meant nothing. She had already been hurt in so many ways-A time out was no big deal. Normal/average children push your buttons on occasion. For kids with attachment issues, it's a full time job. They don't take a break from it. Her 2 year old sister had mild attachment issues. She craved physical closeness but would then bite me when I held her. She bit me so hard on my left breast one night while I was rocking her that I saw stars. It hurt for weeks. If I carried her, she'd bite my shoulder. She also bit Angel, kicked him and hurt him while I was sitting right there. Sometimes she'd kiss him and other times she'd bite him. I always had to be within arms reach and hold Angel on my lap and that would infuriate her because she didn't want anyone on my lap. She would shriek and scream and start throwing things if I held anyone but her. She always targeted Angel -although Hanna would sometimes get kicked or bit. So why doesn't this foster mother stick it out for another couple months? Maybe she had enough. "L" was not a RAD child. She had attachment issues but not full blown RAD. You don't know what this 4 year old you are bringing home is capable of. You have no idea what you're in for. But I do know that what you think is going to happen and the reality of what happens is going to be very different. Forget "loving on" these kids and making things all better. If you get through the day without someone being hurt, it's been a good day. If the day ends and something you value is still in one piece, it's been a good day. Expect that new baby to be the target of these boys frustrations and hope and pray that the child doesn't get hurt. If he's still little, keep him out of reach by putting him in a crib or playpen in a separate room with a gate that the 4 year old can't climb over. If you don't, you may be sorry when you find toys thrown at the baby or a blanket put over his head. Or hear the baby shriek and not be able to find out what happened and how the baby was hurt. Forget going out and getting a break because you won't be able to trust them with a babysitter. Expect to be on duty 24/7 and get nothing back from them no matter how much love you pour into them. Expect it to put a strain on your marriage. These children are like empty containers with a hole in the bottom. It's almost impossible to fill them with enough love to 'fix' what's wrong. And fixing the container means getting to the bottom of it and that can take years of intensive attachment parenting. So..let us know how things are going in 2 months and trust me, you'll have a new appreciation for the foster moms who took care of them for as long as they did. Most likely, they went above and beyond trying to make it work. Nobody wants to fail and give up on kids in their home. For it to get to the point where the kids have to be moved, we're talking about issues that you don't even see in average toddlers/preschoolers who have been abused and neglected. You're in for the ride of your life.
My hubby and I were placed with a 2 day old baby a year ago and we still have him. His older brothers are now 2 and 4 and have been bounced around and are now in their 3rd foster home. Why couldn't she just stick it out for a couple more months so these little boys wouldn't have to transition AGAIN!!!??!
Thank you Kat-L. I have been trying to figure out how to reply to this, and just couldn't do it.
RAD is RAD no matter what. To say that the behaviors are because of the foster parents is truly an insult to all of the parents with RAD children.
I personally think that the severity of RAD behaviors/symptoms are in somehow related to how well of a match the foster parent and the child are.
Sarahdaisy: In your original post you asked for tips on dealing with RAD kids. I would very much recommend taking a look at books by Daniel Hughes such as "Attachmment Focused Parenting" and "Facilitating Developmental Attachment: The Road to Emotional Recovery and Behaviorl Change n Foster and Adopted Children" als take a look at the work of Heather T. Forbes "Beyond Logic, Consequenses and Control." Forbes also has workshops, webcasts and a blog all dedicated to working with attachment challenged kids. Use your resources and know that parenting RAD kids can take a different approach. Be kind to yourself as you learn how to deal with these kids. Good for them that you are stepping up to the challenge. Good luck on your journey.
Has there been a RAD diagnosis? My dd had many RAD symptoms when she was placed at almost 4yo. I didn't know anything about RAD and was pointed in that direction by this site. I read everything I could, continued with her play therapy and had her evaluated. I became pretty convinced that she had RAD and her doctor was in agreement and wanted to prescribe more than one medication for her. I decided not to medicate her and instead looked for a RAD therapist because everything that I was reading told me that the play therapy she was in was the opposite of what she needed. To make a long story short, while I was trying to find a suitable therapist, I used books about RAD as reference and tailored my parenting to her needs. I identified her need for closure with a previous foster parent and was able to help her get that closure. Her adoption was finalized when she was almost five and this added some stability. Things started to even out over time. She is now just an awesome, regular kid. She is not in therapy or on medications. She is bossy to the core and learning how to manage that as time goes by. My point for this long post is that my dd doesn't have RAD. She likely was suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD... We went through hell for a year and some days weren't sure we would make it and she didn't have RAD. RAD is a very serious diagnosis and there is a big difference between having RAD symptoms and actually having RAD. I'm curious if the term is being used too loosely in some cases. I hope that is the case for these boys. I saw in your signature that you are expecting placement of twins in the near future. Please find out more about these boys before you make any decisions. Maybe you can speak to his doctor or therapist. I mean no disrespect and I truly wish the best for you but I don't think you realize what caring for a child with RAD will entail. I just hope you can go into it armed with information and eyes wide open! Best of luck to you and all the boys! And a big shout out to all moms of kids with RAD! :love:
No, there has not been a RAD diagnosis. Their current foster mom said that she sees symptoms of RAD in the 4-year old. I am thankful that there were foster parents to take these boys when they needed a home. I just wish I could have gotten them sooner so as to lessen the amounts of transitions they have had to go through. c.a., thank you for all the book suggestions. I will definitely look them up.