I am frustrated. I have come to the realization that my son has some components of RADS and needs therapy help. He will be 8 soon and his anger and defiance I cannot help on my own. My insurance sucks and all the adoption specialists are not in network (Hate Healthy Partners).
Since I am on my own without insurance, I want to make sure I ask the right questions and get one who can really help. What therapies do you recommend for 8 years olds?
Our son lies, has anger outbursts, focuses his attacks toward me, his mom, struggles in school with both the acquiring skills and behaving. He can be extremely affectionate, loves playing with friends, actually he hates having no one to play with.
Insight please,
Hello Miss,
I'm sorry I don't have any tips for counseling. However based upon experiences with my adopted wife these sound like very common things. Even in her mid twenties she would act this way towards me. His anger and defiance are a need to feel like he is in control again, since he had no control of his situation at birth. Have you read "Primal Wound"? If not read it then you will have a better understanding of your son in more ways that you could ever imagine.
Well, first, I would like to warn you that there are a lot of quacks out there, who try to treat RAD with therapies that actually do more harm than good. If your son's therapist recommends holding him against his will (aside from when absolutely necessary to stop him hurting himself or others), treating him like a baby, re-enacting traumatic experiences without him being free to stop at any time, or trying to get him to let out primal rage by deliberately provoking him, get him out of there right away! Also, these therapists often claim that RAD children do not respond to other therapies and will get always worse if untreated, thereby manipulating parents into being desperate enough to do extreme things to save their child.
They also use an overly broad definition of RAD - although many problems are 'common' in RAD kids, the only symptoms that are specific to RAD (and therefore useful for diagnosing it) are symptoms involving directing attachment behaviour to strangers (eg seeks out a stranger for comfort when a parent is available, would leave with a stranger, inappropriately cuddly with strangers, etc) or not showing attachment to caregivers (eg shows distress but doesn't seek out parent, acts afraid of parents during apparently nonthreatening interactions, doesn't check back with parents when venturing off). Lying, anger outbursts, etc are seen in kids with many different problems, not just RAD, and need different treatment depending on what the underlying condition is.
That said, if your child does indeed have RAD, there are two main types of therapeutic approaches that seem to be effective. The first is programs focused on training parents on how to help the child. Generally, this focuses on being responsive to the child's needs and seeing through the mixed messages they tend to send (kids with attachment problems often miscue parents, such as pushing parents away when they actually need closeness), as well as using firm, consistent and gentle discipline to manage misbehaviour.
The other approach is for the therapist to work directly with the child, as well as cooperating with the parent. In this case, the focus is on trying to build a trusting and safe relationship with the therapist, and then using that relationship to teach the child how to regulate emotions and seek comfort in an appropriate manner. Meanwhile, they help parents capitalize on the lessons the child learns in therapy.