I mentioned in my last post that 4 of my children have ADHD. I also have 4 children that suffer from RAD. Reactive Attachemt Disorder. Yes, it deserves a sentence all to itself. RAD is usually caused by not getting enough nurturing from another human being in the early stages of life. RAD effects mostly orphans and can show signs early on. The longer a child goes wothout nurturing the more severe the disorder can be. My 4 children have varying degrees of RAD from the milder form to a severe form. Can they be completely healed? Probably not. 2 of my children are on the milder side and are both boys. Neither one likes to be hugged and definitely not kissed. It makes them very uncomfortable and they will pull away if you even get to close.
I'm going to tell you about my kids one at a time so you can begin to see what a "momma's life" is like with 10 kids, more than half with special needs.
Of course it would be easier to go in chronological order but I think I should go with whatever child is currently on my mind so I can capture them with more emotion and conscience. So I will start with Mathew. Mathew came to live with us at the age of 3 yrs and 2 months. He was a foster child and 4 siblings. 3 of those siblings came with him while the bio mom was able to keep the 5th one an infant.
Mathew had been in foster care most of his life. He was moved around in the system and had been in 4 foster homes by the time he arrived. He had been labled as Autistic, Broad Spectrum and possibly more and Failure to Thrive. So not only had this baby not been nurtured by his birth mother but not any of his foster mother's either. Sad indeed. Mathew weighed only 24 lbs, was not able to walk, talk and of course not potty trained. But what was the most difficult thing about him was his refusal to eat. It is almost as though the child wanted to die. He had mentally give up living by the age of 3. Mathew also had another problem, anger. Not the outwardly kind no his anger was buried way deep inside and came out in unusual ways. Ways that even suprised me a season foster parent.
He had mastered control of his bowels and not in a good way. He would hold his bowels until you would have him do something he really didn't like. One of those things was to go outside. I think he most likely never went out unless in a car somewhere. To put him in the yard to play or watch others play would cause his to let go of his bowels and I don't mean a normal amount. This kid could poop litterally a bucket full!! Our pediatrician didn't believe one tiny kid could hold that much, until she saw. So that is when his ped decided to clean him out somthat there was nothing left to control. Needless to say that is not one of my shining moments as a parent. We were literally up to our elbows in poooooooo!! We did enema after enema because even laxatives didn't get him to release control. Amazing I know.
The other thing was his food. Remember I said he refused to eat. He would have died if we hadn't made him eat and I mean made him. He was basically anorexic at 3. We would have to force his mouth open just to get a small bite of soft food, like yogurt or jello and he would gag and spit it out. It took weeks of doing this before he would quick spitting it out. He then went into the holding pattern we called it. When we learned it didn't matter what type of food we fed him he would still gag and spit it out we went to a more solid good like baked potatoes, peas, corn and so on. Still easy to eat foods. Well he held them in his mouth. For days. Sometimes one day before finally spitting it out and sometimes 4 days before spitting it out. No joking. He would still drink even with a mouth full of food. Infact the only reason he survived was because he drank protein/calcium/vitamin drinks. It took nearly 6 months to get him to start eating and swallowing food. A year before he was eating almost normally and about that same time he had mastered walking and was nearly potty trained. He was still way behind in his verbal skills and pronunciations but was making progress.
Now lets fast forward to today. Mathew is soon to be 10 years old. Mathew is not Austistic!!! YAY! However he has a low range IQ and is in both main streamed and special ed classes. He not only walks but runs like the wind!! He rides a bike, plays ball, eats normal, is on target with his math but really struggles to read and understand concepts. Thoughts still get jumbled in his head and has difficulty saying the right word for what he means. He may want to tell you something about a rug but he will say things like, "You know the cloth thing you put on the floor." He is easily embarrased when he can't say want he wants or when it comes out wrong and will have a flash of anger out of frustration. He is still emotionally immature and is quick to anger when things don't go his way. BUT he tries so hard to make he proud of him which I am. While he may not be able to show me his feelings through touch (because he has RAD) he shows me through his actions.
My son has who was this frail, lifeless human being has grown into a beautiful little boy. His smile is winning and his eyes melt yyour heart. I do not know what his future holds but he is so much better off then he was the day he arrived and so am I.