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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Labels

My RADish is early elementary age and we've just started talking to her this week about attachment disorder. I think it came mostly from her leading. She kept saying "I don't know why I'm choosing this sin/behavior/to push you away!!" I don't like labels but I also don't want to shy away from giving hard things names either.

Have you told your kids about their attachment disorder and/or the other "labels" they are struggling with? If not, was there a particular reason why? If so, did having this information help in the healing process? How old was your child when you told them? I'd love to hear about other moms' experiences and the words they used to communicate value, preciousness to their child as well as honor to early experiences/people that you don't intimately know.

7 comments:

GB's Mom said...

My 7 year old is Bipolar, FASD, and ASD. We started talking to her about being Bipolar just before she was 4, when we started her on an atypical anti-psychotic. It wasn't hard, because almost all the kids we adopted are Bipolar and it is a frequent matter of fact conversation around here. The FASD was a little more difficult. Other children of ours were FASD nut she was the only one that still had direct contact with her birth mother. She knows her BM drank while she was pregnant with her and that is why somethings are really hard for her, but we have not gotten into the concept of permanent brain damage. She does not yet have the concept of "permanent". She knows she is ASD and has an idea of what it is as she has been placed in a class with other autistic kids, although she is probably the highest functioning of the bunch. We talk about these labels after she has had a difficult time and has settled and is ready to processes some of what is going on. Sometimes she initiates the conversations, with something like "Mommy, did BM hurt me on purpose?" I used to use the all purpose "BM has problems", but that no longer works. I try to be honest, but stay within her understanding. We have always told she is our gift from God, and although she has some attachment issues, like difficulty separating from me, she was at least spared RAD. I have a 5 year old we adopted on August 26, 2010, who we adopted from a disruption, who is RAD. We are not yet at a place with her where words do her much good. Her language skills are delayed and she hasn't accepted, yet, that she is not going back to the other family. They never told her they were dissolving the adoption. I guess I really can't be much help in answering your questions. {{{Hugs}}}

Kerrie said...

We haven't given it a "label," but we have talked about brains and how they change.

Anonymous said...

We are just starting to think about this. Our daughter is in kindergarten, and struggles with some attachment issues. We have an open adoption. We're not sure how to balance her growing need to understand some of her struggles with her (and our!) genuine love and care for her birthmother. Her bmom is a different person than she was when pg, and she deeply regrets some of her choices. Any insight for us? Our daughter does not yet know she is affected by her bmom's choices during pregnancy.

Integrity Singer said...

talk to Sissy about her "issues" when I think it's safe. Have ALWAYS found an age appropriate way to do it. However, it has not always been appropriate for Sissy to hear it. Last time we talked about the reason she has RADs - the most honest and open conversation we've ever had, she was in the psych ward 12 hours later.

Katy said...

Not yet...she is only 4, home a year this week and doesn't quite get it yet. But good thoughts!

Christy said...

my daughter is displaying some signs of attachment issues, but we don't attach a label to it. We talk about it honestly and openly without saying "you have...." She also has a medical condition that has altered the way her brain works. We have discussed what is happening with her brain, when she asks about it...which lately is very often, because at 4, you want to know the why to every question! Great question...

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher and we have a child with RAD that is now to the school. We are trying our best to help him but feel like there is little progress or we are taking steps backward. He can sometimes be violent. But there are times when he is brilliant and creative. Sometimes the mom shares that she has little hope for a future with him. It breaks my heart being a mother myself. We are searching for new ways to help the student and his family thanks for sharing and caring so much!