- Published Works
- Orphan Awareness
We’re a happy and successful family because everyone does their job. Amy and I do our best at parenting but we are absolutely not perfect. Everyone in our home has strengths and weaknesses. Each of us has days when we do more to help our family members and days when we slow our family down. But we all lift where we have strength to lift and we allow others to carry us when we are weak. Our family has been a mixture of biological building and adoption, which has produced significant diversity. Some of our family members have special needs of several types. Jack joined our home at the age of one month in 1995. He has Down syndrome and he has taken on the task of teaching our family to keep our priorities in order and to be happy, even during challenges. Three of our children have intellectual disabilities. Several of our family members were hurt in former families. As a result of various kinds of domestic abuse and other abuse, there are physical, emotional and psychological scars. But we have learned that we can be happy and successful when we work at overcoming our challenges. In our home, those challenges include mental illness in several forms. Therapists use words like depression, reactive attachment disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome disorder and others to help us target areas where we can improve our lives to increase the happiness in our home. Of all the diagnoses, RAD has been the most challenging for our family. Perhaps, in our blogs, you will see examples of your own family challenges. Even if you don’t, we hope that you will share in our family’s good times. On other days we hope you will see that life is meant to be lived and that we are capable of being happy, even during the hard times.
Please note that under the “Blogs>>” tab there are several worthwhile categories by different members of our family.
In our blog articles, we won’t ignore the “natural fertilizer” that no one finds pleasant. I hope you laugh when you read about me falling in it. I know you will cry when you see it heaped on the innocent. But we will also witness flowers that bloom in its midst and we will remember that—in time—exquisite beauty can rise above filth, mountains burst forth from the abyss and mighty civilizations grow out of rubble.
You can also follow my writing for the Huffington Post.
John M Simmons shared World Hip Hop Report's video.
Go get that ice cream!!! You deserve it!!! ❤❤❤
John M Simmons shared Patricia Polacco's photo.
I know how hard it is. Its really, REALLY hard. But we are RAD Parents. And we do hard things. 😊
John M Simmons shared Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development's video.
A tribute to my favorite mentor on helping children from hard places... The late, great Karyn Purvis. 😊😢👼🏼
It's really a lot more than Reactive Attachment Disorder. But you already knew that. What we really need is a new classification for the disorders that hinder our children. And some neuroscientists and other professionals agree with us!!! Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/more-than-rad-complex-trauma-disorder/
John M Simmons shared ADCC's photo.
But we can do hard things. ❤❤❤
A year ago I posted this article about RAD Mothers. I can't say anything today that is better or more appropriate than what I said then. I love all of you RAD Mothers. I love RAD Grandmas who stick with it for a second generation, only because they know that people will not be OK without them. You are strong, you are brave. And though at times it might not feel like it, you are compassionate. I love that you understand that when we help someone to do better than they would have done without us, it is never a failure; regardless of what individuals at the school, in the community, or in the congregation might say or think. You are champions. You are my favorite kind of builders because you build people. I love you. Please help me get this one out to all RAD Mothers, RAD Foster Mothers, RAD Grandmas, and everyone who acts as a RAD Mother Figure to children who come from hard places. Happy Mother's Day. Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-mothers-reactive-attachment-disorder/
My last two articles about RAD have been on RAD Inventory and RAD Templates. They were both foundational articles for this one on RAD Brains. I hope it helps! :-) Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-brains-reactive-attachment-disorder/
I just found out about the passing of Karyn Purvis. I am so, so sad. 😭😭😭
I am in transit to the Republic of Georgia, so I cannot respond properly right now. But I regret to inform you of the passing of Dr. Karyn Purvis. I am so, so sad. 😭😭😭 http://child.tcu.edu/karyn/
This article on RAD Templates goes along with the last one on RAD Inventory. The next one, called RAD Brains, will build on these two. I think this article on RAD Templates will help you to understand where your child is coming from. Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-templates-reactive-attachment-disorder/
Sorry about the delay. The article I started writing turned into three articles. But this one, RAD Inventory will tie right into the next two. All of them talk about brains and I think they will help you to understand your child better. Please read: RAD Inventory: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-inventory-reactive-attachment-disorder/
So... people think you're paranoid when you explain facts about your child with Reactive Attachment Disorder? Yeah... well maybe it's like my Scottish friend told me: "Paranoia is merely an increased sense of awareness!" Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-paranoia-reactive-attachment-disorder/
Bessel van der Kolk is on the cutting edge of brain understanding that helps children like ours to heal. His book, The Body Keeps the Score is one of the best books I have ever read.
This may be the best article on Reactive Attachment Disorder I have ever posted. It doesn't even feel like I wrote it. If you need a pick-me-up this week, this just might be what you're looking for. Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-consequences-reactive-attachment-disorder/
We need to change the way we think about RAD Expectations. Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-expectations-reactive-attachment-disorder/
Sometimes as parents we fail. We get dirty dragging someone out of the mud. Then what? Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-dirty-reactive-attachment-disorder/
Great article. I'm reading the book right now and it is one of my new favorites: The Body Keeps The Score, by Bessel Van Der Kolk
The tide rises slowly. But it rises. Eventually the results of childhood trauma will be treated like the disabilities they are, rather than simply "bad behavior."
We all realize that our children with Reactive Attachment Disorder go through cycles with their behavior. But do you ever notice the cycles repeating in rapid succession? My wife calls them RAD Mini Cycles. Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-mini-cycles-reactive-attachment-disorder/
I found this on Shellie Gunter Linfesty's page and couldn't help but share it. I can certainly say that this has been the case for me. :'(
On weeks like last week, RAD makes me sad. I think you can relate. :-( Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-makes-me-sad-reactive-attachment-disorder/
Tired of hearing what works? You've already tried everything a million times? There is no plug-and-play method or therapy that will "fix" our kids who have Reactive Attachment Disorder. It's hard. Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-implementation-reactive-attachment-disorder/
Sure... we all know it's hard. But we won't lose sight of the things that matter most!
It's New Year's! Anyone up for some RAD Resolutions? I'm not sure I am either. But I think this one can be different... Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-resolution-reactive-attachment-disorder/
I have learned more about God and my relationship with him, from my children with Reactive Attachment Disorder, than from any other source in my life. Please read: http://johnmsimmons.com/rad-religion-reactive-attachment-disorder/