Thursday, October 30, 2014

I think I can...

It's been a tough week in the V household. D has increased her negative behavior. The more and more research I do on RAD, the more and more I learn about how to control MYSELF around the children.

I will not be told what to do or be made to act a certain way, and that is what these past weeks have been all about. So for several weeks now, I have been doing my best to ignore the neg-behavior. It's not an easy feat, especially when it feels like a personal attack. But since I have done more ignoring, D has upped the ante' to try and get what she wants.

At dance class, D is not allowed to untie her tap shoes. For some reason several moms still go into the studio to help their child tie... and they also help other children. D likes to take this moment and use it to her advantage. She will sometimes untie her shoe, or claim she can't get it on. This creates a moment of time where she is interacting with another mom that is not me. It's like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. You know the opportunity is there. Where? It's always a surprise.

Needless to say, I can't stand the feeling I get when I see her do this. She has trouble connecting with me, the last thing I want is for her to create a bond with someone else.
And this is how it has always been. I used to regret taking D places with me, like stores. She would talk to every single soul... make up stories like she knew their brother/sister and that stranger would look at me like I was nuts. Now, she sits in the cart or stands beside me looking meek. She is starting to learn (sometimes) not to talk to people we don't know. So currently when someone says hi to her, she sits there with a silly grin on her face.

This week has been a mix of behaviors. From biting her water bottle straw (and splitting it), to knocking down a glass frame because she was running away from me. From outsiders, this may look like typical behavior. But the biting is a bored/sensory/anxiety behavior, and the running away from me is from the abuse she must have suffered when she was little. When she has done something wrong or is a heightened state of awareness, she always flinches like I am going to strike her. This is something we have been working on for what seems like FOREVER!

This morning D struggled with eating. A common behavior that started the day she became a part of our family. She uses food and eating as a way to control the situation. So if it's a new food or something she doesn't like or want... and it's been a rough week... you can put money on it that she won't be eating well.

Recently, hubby attended a webinar about RAD through his school. Some of the topics that came up we were very familiar with. But one that we weren't aware of was packing their diet full of protein. It has been shown to fend off hunger longer, and brighten the mood. So I went out and bought food to help give her the energy she needs. Help start her day off right. When I showed her the cool berries and whole grain waffles and cottage cheese, she was excited. I don't know why I was impressed.
So this morning I made her a waffle with cottage cheese and berries. She ate slower than molasses and didn't finish by the time the timer went off. Oh well, I know what your dinner is tonight. HA!

Bouncing around - I have to say D and I had a good moment last night when she helped put together her treats for Halloween for her class. She even helped get out the pans I needed for dinner. But when it came time for her to clean up her toys - that backfired. She ended up just dumping them in the closet.

Overall this has been quite a frustrating one. I have seen a lot of regression in D these past few weeks and it hits me hard. I understand every day is a work in progress, but some days I don't want to bother. It's emotionally draining to have a RAD kid. It wears on you and takes a toll.
But one thing that I have learned now that our lives have changed - you just need to keep chugging along.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Reactive Attachment Disorder

A little over 3 years ago, we brought home a beautiful little girl. We will refer to her as "D". We were so excited to have 2 kids and complete our family (our son is biologically ours). H (as we will refer to big brother) was excited too. But what we didn't know then that we know now, is that our lives were about to change drastically.

Why you ask? Because D was "smart", as they told us at the orphanage a dozen and some odd times. We wondered why they kept telling us this, and what exactly they meant. Throughout these past years, we have come to understand that her "smartness" is her ability to survive. And that's all she knew of. She would push me away, sometimes wrap her hands around my throat. We were shocked, and I was frightened. I didn't want to live like this, but I knew I didn't have a choice. I needed to fight.

D was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder. Her behavior consisted of pushing the people who love her away, and trying to connect with anyone in her line of sight. People at the grocery store became her biggest fan. She would pick fights with her brother to try and get him into trouble. She could never sit still and was always talking.

Fast forward to the present. D is in first grade and is the smallest in her class (and probably will always be). She loves to socialize, and be in control of just about anything. She has changed me for the better - more outgoing and social. I had no choice but to adapt when she would speak to strangers.

We still battle with her to use the washroom, do her homework, and stop antagonizing her brother.
This is the story of my life with a R.A.D. child and a son (who has minor special needs as well).

I want to create an audience that see's what we go through everyday, and to raise the awareness.

Please follow along, share, and comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.