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My adopted brother has RAD, he's out of control and my family feels helpless.

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:45 PM
  • 9 Replies

I'll try and make this as short as possible, any advice will be greatly appreciated.  But please, no bashing.

My parents adopted my brother about 4 years ago.  They got him when he was 7, he just turned 11.  He was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (or RAD) pretty much he has trouble trusting, bonding, or caring. This is mainly a mommy issue.  He knows right from wrong but doesn't care about the consequences even though he is well aware of them, he is very manipulative, and a habitual liar.  He's been in and out of counceling, but therapy is hard to get through when he lies through the whole thing and the therapist says things like "well, he never had the bonding of mother to baby, so at night you could try having him sit on your lap and I even have some parents who offer their children bottles during this time so the child can get the comfort that infants get from that"  (yes, my mom was really told to do that)  He refuses to do his school work, his teachers all say he is very smart and knows the work, he'd just rather not do it, so he's failing math, science, social studies, and reading. Starting next school year (since this one only has 1 month left) he will be going to a private Christian school that has 9 kids in the 5th grade class (which he will more than likely be repeating 5th grade)

My parents have tried taking things away, he's been on restriction for who knows how long, he's lost tv and video games but he doesn't care, and how could he when he lived his first 7 years of life without these things? One of his chores is to feed and water the cat and dog.  One day he got caught lying about doing it and when asked why he said "I don't want to do it, I don't care about them."  My parents have tried to be less strict and ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior and he got worse.  That's when he and another kid pinned down a kindergartener and was shoving grass and leaves in the kids mouth.  The following year he told a little girl that she was going to die and made a gun with his hand and "shot" her.  A couple months later he told the same girl to "go to hell" because she was annoying him.  

When he gets in trouble he throws a tantrum like my 2 yr old does.  He will scream and scream and scream and fling himself on the floor.  Well, this has been going on for 4 years now and my mom called me because she is just at a loss as to what to do.  He's been skipping out on the after school program and shows up minutes before my mom is suppose to be there to get him and says he forgot to go.  When he's at the after school program, he's suppose to do his homework before going out to play.  

So yesterday, he refused to do it and went out to play anyways.  When my mom confronted him about it he said "I wanted to play, so I wasn't going to read and do my homework."  My mom told him that he was disobeidient (sp?) and he gets in trouble for that.  and he responded with "I don't care.  I wanted to play."  So when they got home he did his homework and my mom sent him outside to pull weeds until dinner.  And he starts throwing the 2yr old tantrum.  She sent him out anyway, and he gets out and slams his head on the wood fence, starts punching the trees and is screaming and yelling, when my mom went out side to deal with him she said the neighbors from 3 doors down were out watching him (he was being that loud) and he started screaming at her "I hate you, I hate it here, I want to run away!  I never want to see your face again!"  and on and on and on.  She told him if he didn't stop he'd be out doing yard work again tomorrow (today) so he gets louder, so she treatens to add Thursday and he gets even louder...by this time there were multiple neighbors outside watching him throw a fit.  So my mom just went inside and let him scream.

My step dad was at work, and my brother never acts like this when dad is home.  So my mom starts video taping him from the house, after taping for almost 7 minutes (he was still throwing a fit) she told him that she was taping and was going to show dad when he got hom...my brother immediately stopped throwing a fit.  But today the after school instructor called my mom and he was almost an hour late to the after school program.  Oh and he tried to tell the instructor that his teacher held him after class, so the instructor contacted the teacher, he was lying.

His birthday was on the 20th (when he turned 11) and my parents weren't going to throw him a party with friends because of the way he's been acting, before his birthday he was told he had to earn his party.  And the week before his birthday he was an angel.  So he got a special dinner and a cake and had a friend stay the night.  Well, now that it has passed he is the worst I've ever seen him.  And he told my mom yesterday, "I can do what I want, my birthday is over and I don't have anything to work for."

Nothing works for him.  I feel bad for him and my parents.  I know he can't help his disorder, and it's not his fault.  He's been in and out of foster homes, his parents were druggies and alcoholics.  His mom was on meth while she was preggo with him.  It really is sad.  But I don't understand when he has everything and a family who loves him, why he treats everybody soo bad!  Even when we visit (I have 3 kids...7yrs, 2yrs, and 10months) and he lies to me, and treats me the same way as my mom. 

We all love him, and try to understand, but he won't try to help himself and it's hard to watch him and my parents go through this.  There is soo much more and I can go on forever, but I think you ladies see the point.  Has anyone dealt with anything like this, any suggestions...ANYTHING!  Please ladies my family is at the end of their rope and desprately need help!  Thank you soo much!

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:45 PM
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Replies (1-9):
jltplk25
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:50 PM
My 15 year old adopted bil is a RAD kid too. He pretty much sits on his bed most of the time or is outside wandering around. He's very manipulative and will turn on the charm if he wants something. He's managed to ruin every vacation he's gone on with the family. I have no advice....wish I did though. :-/
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goddess99
by Michelle on Apr. 26, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I'm surprised he didn't come with some sort of support team, I mean the agency must have known he was a mess and out of control. They didn't suggest getting a counsellor or therapist to work with him? I'm assuming he's had an IEP done at school and he has a team working with him there..? I would get a team for home too since your mom doesn't have a handle on the situation. She needs professional help with him. Poor kid.

jltplk25
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM
Tito doesn't have any of that. He was on several different meds for anxiety, ADHD, etc. but no iep's or the sort.

Quoting goddess99:

I'm surprised he didn't come with some sort of support team, I mean the agency must have known he was a mess and out of control. They didn't suggest getting a counsellor or therapist to work with him? I'm assuming he's had an IEP done at school and he has a team working with him there..? I would get a team for home too since your mom doesn't have a handle on the situation. She needs professional help with him. Poor kid.

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nickellmomof2
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 11:23 AM

LOL, Yeah a team would be nice!  Actually, when my parents adopted they didn't really want a kid that had come from an abusive history or anything like that.  They fostered my brother for 6 months before the adoption process was started.  During that 6 months he was just your average 7 year old, 2 weeks before the adoption was finalized social services said "oh yeah, we forgot to mention..."then my parents got this huge file about all the neglect and abuse he'd been through and the fact that he was a meth baby and his parents are both druggies and alcoholics...And my parents weren't just going to say "oh no, we don't want you now"  ya know.  But the system tried to hide his past so they could get him adopted.  After the adoption he kept getting worse, which is why he had been to numerous docs and put in therapy and was diagnosed with RAD.  Now with the schools, they say he's just average (unless you talk to his teacher or after school instructor, who have been around him long enough to know how he is)  Any tests that the school does for special needs or anything like that, he passes.  RAD kids are very manipulative and some of the best liars.  They have trust issues, but put on the charm and are the best kids in the world when there is a stranger present.  People that don't know him, think he is just one of the best kids in the world, so well behaved.  Even in therapy, the don't treat kids with RAD as an individual, they treat the family...because if they treated just the kids, they'd have no way of knowing whether what he said was true or not.  He's actually tried to get my parents in trouble (who are both in law enforcement) saying that they yell at him all the time, and he gets spankings...  But he only did that once.  He does need help, the whole family does, and RAD treatment is a long-term process, it's nothing that happens over night, and can take years.  It really is sad, and it's not his fault, it's everything he's been through.

Quoting goddess99:

I'm surprised he didn't come with some sort of support team, I mean the agency must have known he was a mess and out of control. They didn't suggest getting a counsellor or therapist to work with him? I'm assuming he's had an IEP done at school and he has a team working with him there..? I would get a team for home too since your mom doesn't have a handle on the situation. She needs professional help with him. Poor kid.


goddess99
by Michelle on Apr. 26, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Yeah I don't medicate Zadessa, that's where all the work and team of people come in.

Quoting jltplk25:

Tito doesn't have any of that. He was on several different meds for anxiety, ADHD, etc. but no iep's or the sort.

Quoting goddess99:

I'm surprised he didn't come with some sort of support team, I mean the agency must have known he was a mess and out of control. They didn't suggest getting a counsellor or therapist to work with him? I'm assuming he's had an IEP done at school and he has a team working with him there..? I would get a team for home too since your mom doesn't have a handle on the situation. She needs professional help with him. Poor kid.


goddess99
by Michelle on Apr. 26, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Wow, I would so report this agency. That is just bullshit. poor kid. Poor family really, they were just thrown to the wolves and had no idea.

Quoting nickellmomof2:

LOL, Yeah a team would be nice!  Actually, when my parents adopted they didn't really want a kid that had come from an abusive history or anything like that.  They fostered my brother for 6 months before the adoption process was started.  During that 6 months he was just your average 7 year old, 2 weeks before the adoption was finalized social services said "oh yeah, we forgot to mention..."then my parents got this huge file about all the neglect and abuse he'd been through and the fact that he was a meth baby and his parents are both druggies and alcoholics...And my parents weren't just going to say "oh no, we don't want you now"  ya know.  But the system tried to hide his past so they could get him adopted.  After the adoption he kept getting worse, which is why he had been to numerous docs and put in therapy and was diagnosed with RAD.  Now with the schools, they say he's just average (unless you talk to his teacher or after school instructor, who have been around him long enough to know how he is)  Any tests that the school does for special needs or anything like that, he passes.  RAD kids are very manipulative and some of the best liars.  They have trust issues, but put on the charm and are the best kids in the world when there is a stranger present.  People that don't know him, think he is just one of the best kids in the world, so well behaved.  Even in therapy, the don't treat kids with RAD as an individual, they treat the family...because if they treated just the kids, they'd have no way of knowing whether what he said was true or not.  He's actually tried to get my parents in trouble (who are both in law enforcement) saying that they yell at him all the time, and he gets spankings...  But he only did that once.  He does need help, the whole family does, and RAD treatment is a long-term process, it's nothing that happens over night, and can take years.  It really is sad, and it's not his fault, it's everything he's been through.

Quoting goddess99:

I'm surprised he didn't come with some sort of support team, I mean the agency must have known he was a mess and out of control. They didn't suggest getting a counsellor or therapist to work with him? I'm assuming he's had an IEP done at school and he has a team working with him there..? I would get a team for home too since your mom doesn't have a handle on the situation. She needs professional help with him. Poor kid.



yourpassion
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 2:14 PM

i think my brother has RAD too, although undiagnosed.  he was part of the baby life rescue during the vietnam war.  but he sounds a lot like your brother!  i can tell you, my brother is still this way a bit, but not as bad as when he was younger.  we were forunate enough to send him to military school for 3 yrs during his jr high and freshman year of HS. i really think that helped him!

i am sorry i don't have any advice...

jltplk25
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 4:14 PM
Yeah he was a foster kid. Here, the foster care system would rather put them in meds than actually teaching them to deal with w/e happened to them. My in-law's have since stopped giving him meds.

Quoting goddess99:

Yeah I don't medicate Zadessa, that's where all the work and team of people come in.

Quoting jltplk25:

Tito doesn't have any of that. He was on several different meds for anxiety, ADHD, etc. but no iep's or the sort.



Quoting goddess99:

I'm surprised he didn't come with some sort of support team, I mean the agency must have known he was a mess and out of control. They didn't suggest getting a counsellor or therapist to work with him? I'm assuming he's had an IEP done at school and he has a team working with him there..? I would get a team for home too since your mom doesn't have a handle on the situation. She needs professional help with him. Poor kid.


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Pammi86
by on Apr. 27, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Sorry and hope you got some good suggestions!
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