Sunday, April 12, 2015

Entering into life with a RAD child

RAD...what is that...never heard of it before....

RAD is reactive attachment disorder.  It is a very serious, all consuming disorder that affects a small population of children and can stay with them into adulthood. RAD is categorized by markedly disturbed and developmentally inappropriate ways of relating socially in most contexts.

RAD can occur when failure to form and recieve proper attachment/bonding relationships in infancy.  Such failure could result from severe early experiences of neglect, abuse and abrupt separation from caregivers.  RAD is also more common in Eastern Europoean countries.  Karis is a classic candidate for RAD...and has it.

There is a list of common traits/symptoms of people with RAD. Here are the ones we deal with on a daily basis.
Physically self-destructive....self harming
Aggression towards others
Abnormal eating habits
Inappropriate sexual attitude
Learning disability... Knows more than they let on in order to control parents and teachers
Not affectionate on parents terms (hugging in public and nothing in private)
Flat, listless, lethargic
Inappropriate emotional responses
Superficially charming and engaging
Indiscriminate affection with strangers
Lack of peer relationships
Blames others for her own mistakes
Victimizes others
Exploitative, manipulative, controlling
Poor hygiene
Accident prone
High pain tolerance/overreaction to minor injury
Lack of remorse/consequences

Our time in Ukraine with Karis was great along with our first month or two at home.  Things began going down hill in November and by Christmas they were bad.  We thought we hit an all time low.  Unfortunately since then things have continued to worsen.  We are amazed that things can actually get worse and worse, but they are.  In January Karis began seeing a therapist weekly.  We have increased these therapy sessions to 3x/week.  Our therapist here also suggested for Karis and our family to travel to Evergreen, Colorado to the Evergreen Psychotherapy Center for a 2 week intense psychotherapy intervention.  We spoke with the doctors there and they feel she has a severe case of RAD and she will only get worse until she has intense intervention.  We will travel to Evergreen May 2-17.  We are really hoping this intervention will work for Karis.  This is not the most opportune time for our family to be gone.  Preston will miss the last two weeks of the semester along with graduation.  Logan will miss two weeks of school along with his art show and gymnastics exhibition. Nathan and Owen will miss two weeks of school and their last baseball game of the season.  However, it is important for our family to function, heal and become whole.

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