Well, over the last 5 months, we've really watched our girls change and grow. Our four year old is doing fairly well with PROgressing. The tantruming has mostly stopped. She is very attached to us in a healthy way. She does great in school. We're feeling pretty good about her emotional age catching up to her chronological age and I think she's healing at record speed comparatively.
The past two months have been really tough for my six year old. The therapist has officially given me a RAD
(Reactive Attachment Disorder) diagnosis now. We thought, in the beginning, that we might be lucky and not have to deal with the horrible symptoms RAD carries, but so sadly for my sweet MK, she exhibits all but a few symptoms. We are fortunate that she doesn't have RAD to the extent some children (and adults) do, she is willing to attach to us, she doesn't really walk up to strangers and try to interact, and ultimately, she wants to live with and be our daughter. I really do feel that from her.
With all of that said these are some of the symptoms she does exhibit:
Difficulty Sleeping (night terrors, wets bed)
Lack of Eye Contact (except when lying)
Lack of Conscience (until well after the event and she realizes she never really had control)
Resists Affection (unless it's on her terms mostly, but it is getting better)
Feelings of Entitlement or Arrogance (YERP!)
CRAZY Lying (Like, about things that are easily found to be lies, yet she seems surprised we're smart enough to know they are lies)
Risk Taking (under better control w/ ADHD Medication)
Hyper Active/Vigilant (even with medication has outbursts)
Learning Difficulties (mostly due to the ADHD like symptoms)
Non-sense Chatter/Inability to stop
Rage/Hurtful actions toward parents (I have a busted vein in my wrist right now because of it)
There are a few others, but THIS is the BIG ONE:
Intense Control Battles (Child is often defiant, angry, and argumentative for the parent but outsiders may not ever observe this type of behavior. Many times, an outsider might even think that the parent is exaggerating, or maybe even causing the child’s behavioral problems due to being over-controlling or from poor parenting. Often the child will SNEAK THINGS in the home, even if the parent would generally say yes if the child were to ask for these things. At times, the child will chatter non-stop, ask repeated questions about things that make absolutely no sense, mutter under their breath, or mumble words in an attempt to keep control of a situation.)
It makes me so sad for her. It makes me worried for myself! Will I be able to help her attach and feel safe? Will I be able to help her grow into an amazing teen and eventually adult that takes responsibility for her actions? It's hard... she pushes so hard sometimes that you can't stand to be in the same room, as bad as you feel, and as hurt as she is, and as much as you know it's NOT her FAULT... you just want to walk the other direction.
I've read the books, I've done the research, but I really HAVE to do better at putting it into action.
So I am trying. We have a lot of change coming soon, and I hope that it will make it easier for all of us!