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*PIOG* My adopted brother has RAD, and is out of control, my family feels helpless!

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 10:00 PM
  • 13 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 10:00 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 10:32 PM
If I read thiss right, he's totally playing everyone but dad. You need to find out what it is about dad that earns his respect and get Mom in on it.

If he can act good to earn a party, or whn Dad is around, then the issue is fixable. Find out what his "curency" is...everyone has something...and go from there.

You also need to do rewards and consequences. Again that will depend on what motivates him.
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PinkieRed
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 10:44 PM
1 mom liked this
I'm so sorry. I can't imagine how hard that would be to deal with. I wish I had some advice for you.

I also belong to the Moms of Teens group on here, and there is a lady who's a member of the group, who has a teenage adoptive daughter with RAD. She posts about it fairly frequently.

You can probably do a search on CafeMom, and find some of her posts. Perhaps she'd be willing to chat with you, for support.

Good luck to you and your family.
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nickellmomof2
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Dad doesn't punish as much, he luctures...he's normally working until dinner then my brother is in bed at 8pm.  RAD is a disorder that includes a bonding/trusting issue with mom.  Without trust there's no respect. He won't even give her a hug or say I love you when he goes to bed, but he always wants dad to come "tuck him in"  However dad wouldn't say one word to him or even tuck him in last night after the meltdown.  He has been told everything that has been taken can be earned back with good behavior, his responce is "I don't care about the stuff"  he spends his weekends doing yard work, not playing with his friends, he reads on all his free time.  His room has his bed and his desk for school...nothing else.  And he "doesn't care" How do you make somebody care?

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

If I read thiss right, he's totally playing everyone but dad. You need to find out what it is about dad that earns his respect and get Mom in on it.

If he can act good to earn a party, or whn Dad is around, then the issue is fixable. Find out what his "curency" is...everyone has something...and go from there.

You also need to do rewards and consequences. Again that will depend on what motivates him.


Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Really, you can't make them care.

Patience, love and counseling. Even if you don't think it is worth it, keep at it.

My nephew has bipolar disorder, odd, adhd and on the autistic spectrum. He's. Now 13 but has been in couunseling since he was THREE years old. Its been a long road but he just "graduated" out last week as he has mautred and worked through a lot of his issues.

Patience, love and caring and the right therapist did it!


Quoting nickellmomof2:

Dad doesn't punish as much, he luctures...he's normally working until dinner then my brother is in bed at 8pm.  RAD is a disorder that includes a bonding/trusting issue with mom.  Without trust there's no respect. He won't even give her a hug or say I love you when he goes to bed, but he always wants dad to come "tuck him in"  However dad wouldn't say one word to him or even tuck him in last night after the meltdown.  He has been told everything that has been taken can be earned back with good behavior, his responce is "I don't care about the stuff"  he spends his weekends doing yard work, not playing with his friends, he reads on all his free time.  His room has his bed and his desk for school...nothing else.  And he "doesn't care" How do you make somebody care?

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

If I read thiss right, he's totally playing everyone but dad. You need to find out what it is about dad that earns his respect and get Mom in on it.



If he can act good to earn a party, or whn Dad is around, then the issue is fixable. Find out what his "curency" is...everyone has something...and go from there.



You also need to do rewards and consequences. Again that will depend on what motivates him.



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vermontmoms
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Honestly, I would look for a doc that can pull labs on your brother. An immunologist! To me it sounds like he has trust issues but he also sounds ODD which can be caused by numerous imbalances or high metals.

Next thing I would do is get him into taekwondo or boxing. Boy scouts may also be a good trust building outlet. He needs to have a physical outlet besides yard work. Something that will help him trust but also build his self-esteem.

I know it is so hard! My son has ODD and also lies about a lot of things that are no big deal. We have to work with him daily and it is so taxing.

Does he play an instrument? Music is a great outlet for rage issues.

Hope this helps!
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Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on Apr. 26, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Not only is Boy/Cub Scouts good for trust and team building, but it reinforces behaviors taught in the home. It gives the parents support of the ofganization and other families that say, "we behave like...because..."
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nickellmomof2
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 12:16 AM

I'll suggest that to them.  He does sports and has done baseball, soccer, basketball, and is now in track and field but he doesn't really show great pleasure or excitement from any of them.  Maybe he'd enjoy boy scouts...thanks!

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

Not only is Boy/Cub Scouts good for trust and team building, but it reinforces behaviors taught in the home. It gives the parents support of the ofganization and other families that say, "we behave like...because..."


nickellmomof2
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 12:34 AM

Thanks!  no instruments but he does all kinds of sports, but doesn't really show any emotion towards them...almost like it feels more like a chore.  He's been to quite a few docs and a couple therapists (not one that works for him) but they all say RAD.  I agree that he needs some type of outlet, but given too much free and he spirals out of control.  Yes he has major trust issues and who could blame him?  After all the poor kid's been through.  I feel bad for him, but with no trust comes no respect and an out of control situation is when he feels in control and kids with RAD need to feel in control.  When he gets what he wants or manipulates a situation to how he wants it, or he know mom and dad are frustrated that's his element...I don't fully understand, but that's what I've learned through research.  He says things like "if you don't buy me what I want then you don't love me,"  or "if you don't take me here, then you don't love me."  He doesn't understand love and trust and caring, and it's hard for him to understand the love when he's always in trouble.  But the therapists he's been to and articles I've read say that RAD kids need a strict and consistant routine.  And punishments should be strict as well.  I'm going to suggest boy scouts, maybe that'll help him.

Quoting vermontmoms:

Honestly, I would look for a doc that can pull labs on your brother. An immunologist! To me it sounds like he has trust issues but he also sounds ODD which can be caused by numerous imbalances or high metals.

Next thing I would do is get him into taekwondo or boxing. Boy scouts may also be a good trust building outlet. He needs to have a physical outlet besides yard work. Something that will help him trust but also build his self-esteem.

I know it is so hard! My son has ODD and also lies about a lot of things that are no big deal. We have to work with him daily and it is so taxing.

Does he play an instrument? Music is a great outlet for rage issues.

Hope this helps!


Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on Apr. 26, 2012 at 12:40 AM
If he's 11 but repeating 5th, you are in middle ground with him joining a Boy Scout Troop. I would recommend a Webelos Den in Cub Scouts while he is in 5th grade. That will give him some valuable experience when he goes to a Troop and will give him an advantage as he bridges.

Also, not sure what size town you are in, but talk to leaders and look into different units, b honest about his issues, and find a unit with the right fit.
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OregonMom80
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 9:35 AM
You can't make somebody care and sadly RAD is not like other disorders -it is incredibly difficult to treat. There are no medications for it specifically. If you can find another male psychologist he does respect like your Dad, that may help. They've found that sometimes a continuous show that the child is loved no matter the behavior works, but other children with RAD never improve. It's possible he doesn't actually respect your Father either and is trying to play your parents against each other. Most children with RAD struggle to connect with anyone regardless of sex. If he truly has bonded with Dad, then he may not have it as bad as some children. Sorry I have nothing more solid. I really feel for your family.
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