Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Parenting Special Needs
My daughter was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) when she came to live with us at age 5. Similar story, abandoned at birth and then her adoptive mother passed away after a 2 year long illness, this is also viewed as abandonment in the mind of a young child.
I had help from a therapist (she & I went together) who specialized in treating RAD children. The parenting techniques used for a RAD child are quite different than those used for a normally attached child. And, the techniques are not intuitive.
You also need a support system, a friend who is familiar with the situation who is willing to take the child into their home for a day (or more) in order to break the child out of extreme destructive cycles. And, to give you breaks because parenting such a child is emotionally exhausting. My support was my best friend and her husband who were a sort of aunt and uncle to my daughter.
In simple terms, a RAD child is terrified that the current parental figure in their life is going to leave them. The child never feels safe, it is a constant fear. Therefore, they will attempt anything they can think of to push you away before you abandon them. Resisting the natural tendency to love a parent (becoming attached) is their mission in life. The RAD parenting techniques are designed to make the child feel safe and ignore (or redirect) their reactive behavior.
Is your therapist a RAD specialist or can she refer you to one? Also, I have never heard of a RAD child taking antipsychotic medication, is it for some other co-morbid condition.
I can give you advice on parenting techniques if you wish, however I don't know how the medication she is taking is playing into the situation, nor do I know much about autism.
Give back your heart to itself,
to the stranger who has loved you all your life,
whom you have ignored for another . . .