The RAD child surprise diagnosis didn’t help. We were looking for the quick fix to a situation that had taken years of a perfect storm to develop.
So THAT’S why she charms strangers!
Maybe your “ah-ha!” moment was different than mine but I’d bet fifty dollars against a cigarette butt that you were as surprised as I was when the light clicked on. I had gone through all of the adoption classes and I didn’t cheat. I actually read the books rather than searching online for reviews to copy. So I had read about Reactive Attachment Disorder and thought that meant I’d know it when I saw it. Nope. It was a RAD child surprise.
It’s not just me. People who have three out of four grandparents with a history of colon cancer are surprised when their biopsy comes back with bad news. Habitual speed limit breakers are surprised at the appearance of red and blue lights in the rearview. We’re even surprised when gray hair starts to appear and THAT happens to everybody! I might call it denial, but I don’t believe in denial.
There are only a few people whose outright surprise is justified when they realize that their child has Reactive Attachment Disorder. My heart goes out to step parents who walk into a new family situation with no warning when they get the RAD child surprise, broadsided like a moped by a ’57 Chevy in an intersection.
One of the things that makes a RAD child surprise so tough is that there’s no quick fix.
Justified or not, most of us were surprised when we realized that our child suffered from Reactive Attachment Disorder. Worse, before the surprise that came with enlightenment, there were so many, oh, so many situations that caused us grief, sadness, frustration and anger. Those situations, that drove us to find the cause, already had us feeling overwhelmed. The RAD child surprise diagnosis didn’t help. It may have made matters worse. That’s because we were looking for the quick fix to a situation that had taken years of a perfect storm to develop. We weren’t looking toward years of effort, therapy and slow progress.
I’m a guy. We fix things. That’s what we do. Drippy faucet? We replace the gaskets. Kids ruin your day? We deal out the consequences. Nail in your head? We help you get it out. We don’t need to talk about it. We help you get it out. That’s one of the things that makes a RAD child surprise so tough. There’s no quick fix. An entire and all-inclusive fix might never come, no matter how much we do the right things. That’s not easy no matter the gender of the parent. But to stereotypical men… well… it goes against our programming.
Don’t look at the RAD child surprise as a sentence; look at it as a map on your GPS system.
So, it’s alright to be surprised and frustrated with a diagnosis of Reactive Attachment disorder. But here’s some free advice. Don’t look at that diagnosis as what is wrong with your child. Consider it a Google search word to help you find everything you need to help you to help your child. Of course you’ll need to weed out the good information from the bad, but that goes with anything you plug in to a search engine. At least you now know what you are fighting. You know the enemy and (thank heavens) it’s not your child, like you thought it was. The enemy is a condition that was caused by actual events that can be used to help direct therapy, exercises, programs and hundreds of other things that will be the best practices for helping your child to progress as far as they can.
Don’t look at the RAD child surprise as a sentence; look at it as a map on your GPS system. Knowing what ails your child will keep you going in the right direction even if the map updates itself from time to time with better, more efficient or up-to-date routes. If you do that, you will be able to watch your progress along the way, even as your path changes. That’s a lot less stress than what you went through, not knowing why your child acted the way she did.
The lights came on in the rearview. The RAD child surprise is over. Pull over to the side of the road and get ready to deal with the truth. There’s no point in denying it. “Yes Officer. I know. I was going eighty-seven in a thirty-five. Yeah… I kind of was in a hurry. I was headed for the nearest bathroom, but it’s a little late, now; especially since I spotted you and the shock… well… you know. Let’s just say I’m not in a hurry anymore. Take your time. Here’s my license and registration.” Then sit there calmly and hope for mercy from the Guy in Charge.
Often, readers receive as much help from other readers in the comments section as they do from the blog article, itself. Please be generous with your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. There are lots of people who need what you have to share. This is your chance to help them.
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