So I'm a bit freaked out at the moment.

While I haven't posted much lately here on my blog I still manage to read everyone else's blogs EVERY DAY. So I sat down with my Computer where I promptly opened up Google Reader to see what everyone has been up to. I began reading and my jaw literally hit the floor.

This blog went on to discuss a Parenting Webinar coming up later in May called: Parenting from the Trenches . It is for Parents dealing with Attachment Disorder. No big deal really. I've learned a lot about Attachment Disorder in our Foster Parenting classes so I basically just skimmed over the post ready to move on to something new and more interesting.

But the sentence... "Do you have a child who lies, steals, sneaks, stalks, hordes, chatters non-stop, or urinates in places other than the potty, etc?" ...brought me straight back to reality in a flash.

Could my Princess be suffering from Attachment Disorder?
She has of those behaviors.

Attachment Disorder isn't all that unusual for kids that are Adopted later on in life or those that spent their first few years in another Country. Not necessarily with those that are brought home straight from the Hospital. I know the thought of Attachment Disorder has run across my mind several times over the last year as her behavior escalated, but every time it came up I managed to stuff it down into my "denial" box and told myself that it simply wasn't possible.

That sentence there above describes my child. Plain and simple. My wonderful, beautiful Princess. So how did it happen?? WHEN? WHY???? and WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT IT!!!!!

I thought we did everything right in those first few crucial years. We parented her just as we did with our boys - heck we probably did more! She was doted on hand and foot. After all, she truly was our little Princess.

When she was a newborn she overstimulated easily from noises, movement, lights and eye contact, All thanks to drug exposure in utero. I often sat in the nursery with her and just held her tight. She would be swaddled up like a little burrito and I was careful to not rock her or look her in the eyes. She would have been happy to just lay in the crib alone in the dark, quiet room but we simply couldn't bear to leave her there so we would take turns sitting with her in complete silence. We did this for weeks while her little body learned to adjust to sensory imput. Gradually she learned to function outside of the dark quiet nursery but she seemed to be developing very slowly.

At her well baby checkup the red flags went up and alarm bells began going off. She was 4 months old and yet had the milestones of a 2 week old. She couldn't lift her head up off the floor and move it from one side to the other. She still didn't make very much eye contact. She certainly didn't smile yet- let alone laugh or giggle. It was bad. Very bad. We were told at that point that the drug exposure was probably not to blame. Delays like this are caused by Alcohol exposure. It was very possible that she may have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I cried the entire way home and for days afterwords. Her therapies were increased and some added. She was in OT, PT and Speech several times a week throughout her first year. Slowly but surely she came out of her shell. She is now at or above age level in nearly every area. It took a lot of work, determination and love. HOW IN THE HECK could she have managed to get Attachment Disorder?

*sigh* I think I need to attend that Webinar because I just don't get it.

4 messages:

  1. SocialWkr24/7 said...

    Hi and thanks for delurking! I'm glad that my post may have opened up some doors for you. I'm no expert on attachment, but I have seen children with some of these classic signs, even when they have been in their current homes since infancy. I'd say attend the webinar, I'm going to!  

  2. Gina said...

    We have adopted 4 children we had fostered first. All were in our homes at days old. One was 3 months old when he came to our home. All have been frug exposed, and have at least one parent who is bi-polar. Our 4 yr old had two parents who are bi-polar.
    RAD is very common in children in foster care. We send them to visits with parents, hand them over to strangers (sw, parent aides etc) why are we sruprised? Have you tested her for ADD? Our 9 yr old is ADD no hyper activity, she has some of hte signs you mentioned. NOT the peeing,,thankfully. Our 4 yr old has all the signs mentioned, his doc says he see's early signs of bi-polar. It's frustrating at best some days.

  3. Anonymous said...

    All three of my children were adopted as infants, but only my middle daughter has RAD. We have found that the birthmothers use of alcohol and other things during pregnancy could be the cause. If your daughter has the issues you mention I believe it is well worth it to learn all you can about RAD. Attachment disorder can and does develop in newborns, even bio children who suffered early trauma, loss like death of a parent or sibling, or painful medical conditions. You would be welcome at, they have resorces, online listserves and many resources to help parents. Please do not ignore the symptoms, they will not improve without proper attachment disorder related treatment. It sounds like many of the sensory and developmental therapies you had for her early on may have helped her from having worse issues with attachment than she might have had otherwise.
    Good luck to you!
    Deb D.  

  4. Anonymous said...

    "So what's my problem? Well, this child was Adopted at the age of 4 months. The family "claims" she never adapted to their culture, food or home. WTH??? Come on!!!! She was a tiny little baby. I don't believe that EXCUSE for one minute. 4 month olds will eat what you give them. If there were signs of Attachment Disorder, I want to know what they did to overcome it!?"

    To quote your blog from 12/07. Maybe a tad less judge-y next time?  


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