Six children have the run of our home. Their voices escaping from one of the many rooms or coming through the windows from outside at almost all times of the day. The smeared hand prints on the front door that were wiped away twenty minutes ago are back already. They can't help it. The hot weather has them going in and out... and in and out again.
Right now though, it's quiet time. A few of my extras (the cousins) are napping. One of my girls is off playing with an old friend while she is in town. Two of my girls and two of my boys are building together in the front living room. This one boy though... he sits in here with me. Not because he wants to, but because he needs to.
Four days ago was great. Three days ago was pretty good too. Yesterday and today were hard. His manners are amazing. His reading skills have improved at a surprising rate over the last month. I can see the beginnings of him moving out of survival mode after sixteen months in his new home. I wish I could say that all these positives make the hard times easier to handle, but they don't.
It was a simple task. Circle the sentence that is correct. It begins with a capital letter. His sister read him the instructions. His dad read him the instructions and explained it. He refused. He can do it. He wouldn't.
Not sure what triggered the pulling away from the family today, but it happened. Again. All of a sudden, he can't read or speak clearly or make eye contact. All of sudden, every answer to every question that was asked he gave the exact opposite to what was correct. All of sudden, this boy, my son, ran down the old path in his brain and vanished. He was gone. In his place was a moody, angry, and controlling mess.
So now... hours later... after providing him his punishment and then space to work through this...
I type. He draws.
He shows me the picture when he finishes part. Then, right back to drawing.
He's calm again. His eyes are happy.
His posture is good. His hands are relaxed.
I pray for him to understand that tomorrow is new day and we will try again to blaze a new trail in his brain that doesn't include him shutting down or shutting us out. Until then, I'll take the ordinary uneventful days or hours or minutes that the Lord gives me and this boy fights to give me and I'll be thankful.
I've asked John if I can share our story as we go along.
Parenting a child that doesn't know how trust is hard.
Being a child that doesn't trust must be so lonely.
Together, as a family, we will continue on trying to find a way to make this work. Praying together and alone on tear soaked pillows for strength and patience and understanding and new mercies each morning. We trust in a God that loves us and sought us out and made us His own and hears us. He is our hope and our future.
For further reading about RAD follow the links below.
This one is a letter from a specialist to a teacher. It sounds extreme and we don't suffer from each example, but I hope it opens your eyes.
This one will give you a glimpse in to how hard it is to change the brain and how easy it is to go back to our old ways. It is not specifically about RAD. This could be good for anyone who doesn't understand why people don't just stop doing things that aren't good.