Tuesday, February 25, 2014

~*RAD Update*~

I have been awfully quiet on the RAD front, not because anything has changed, rather because we're in the thick of it all, and nothing has changed, yet, somehow everything has changed!

With a new therapist last June came new parenting skills. Its like learning a new language. There will inevitably be those embarrassing moments where you think your asking where the bathroom is but your really saying something about where the chicken butts eat dinner. i.e. We won't always handle the RAD behavior very well...the stress gets too much and we get scared and go back to the "old" dysfunctional way of parenting. 

Since we're using the example of learning a new language I must admit that the one year I took Spanish I passed with a D+, the teacher honestly told me the only reason I passed the class, at all, was because she liked my brother who she'd had previously. I freaked when it came to conjugating verbs. My brain seriously shut down! 

Which, coincidentally, is what happens to RAD kids when fear sets in! They freak when there is an appointment, a trip to the store, talk about adopting again.  Anytime, really that I step out the door without them. 

One of my sweet ones had a massive RAD meltdown today. About nothing, yet, about *everything*. It was a doozy of a meltdown with an intensity we've not seen in this one in over 3 months.

The thing about RAD is that it takes a lifetime to heal. Not only emotionally heal but for the brain itself to rewire itself. There are physical changes to the brain as a result of early abuse, neglect, and abandonment. There is actual DAMAGE, physical damage, done to these children's brains during the most important years of brain development! That takes years and years of hard, sweaty work responding to their behaviors with the appropriate responses, to heal. 

I lived in Connecticut for about 3.5 yrs of my life. In one job I was the only white girl there with 90% of all customers being Spanish speaking, and we all know how well this white girl spoke Spanish! Yet, in the midst of the need, I learned enough functional Spanish to communicate with my customers. When I left that position and no longer spoke broken Spanish daily I lost it. I can't get much past "Hola" these days. 

Parenting these children is more than a lifetime commitment, it is the commitment to see them emotionally healed and physically healed, no matter how long it takes. As regular human beings, we, as parents tend to drift back to the style of parenting we were raised with, no matter how dysfunctional it is. It even takes, us, as parents, a lifetime to get it right. 

If you've made it this far, thank you! I want to include the link to a fabulous article that explains the science behind the brain damage that occurs in these children. Its a bit long but so informative! Please, take the time to read it! You can find the article {here}.

Proverbs 16:24
Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Jeremiah 33:6
“‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 


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