Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Adoption Hardships

Adopting a child with ODD and RADD....

A child that has been diagnosed with ODD and RADD may be very difficult to manage.
In my adopted child's case, he was diagnosed with severe RADD because of severe neglect as an infant and small child. An infant that does not get held or fed suffers a lot of trauma.
When they are neglected in this manner, obviously their needs are not being met. This is the young age when they learn how to bond, how to express their feelings, etc....
When their needs are not being met, they are not learning these things. My adopted child with RADD expressed that he loved me and wanted me for his mother, the very first day we met. He was clingy and craved all the attention he could get. He would approach complete strangers as though he had known them his entire life. He also had cravings to over eat excessively.
This child showed no fear of new places and unfamiliar faces. He was ready to pack up and move halfway across the state with me without ever getting to know me.
This is part of the bonding issue. He didn't really know how to bond. He used words like love, forever, and care when he really didn't have a true sense as what those words meant.
He would many times resort to acting like a baby. We felt he was making up for lost time.
The excessive food cravings were part of his fight or flight feelings, the need to fend for himself and unsure of his next meal.
He was also a victim of physical abuse as well as emotional. As a small child he was thrown across rooms and more. His main way of showing his emotions was sheer anger that led to violent rages. He tended to throw things and do self bodily harm when he was angry.
We turned to counselors, and basically started all over with him as though he were an infant and gradually worked up.
Eventually, we made progress. Eventually the words love, forever, care, and family had true meaning to him.

Foster care, adoption, and parenting resources available at the links below:

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