Here is a brief description of the son of one of my Yahoo friends. I put these stories on my blog to hopefully open the eyes of those around me to some of the issues surrounding special needs adoption. Realize that just because you don’t see some of these behaviors doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Parents don’t usually share such things with family or friends because they feel a need to protect their children from the hurt of rejection. As well, we as the parents of these kids wish to be accepted and supported, but fear that if we share too much, our children and even our entire family, will be avoided and judged. So we choose to isolate ourselves rather than risk it. It’s kind of like a self-fulfilled prophecy.
Read about Mrs. Brown’s son:
RAD [attachment issues] is certainly possible in toddler age children, as is early onset bipolar. Doctors don’t like to medicate that early, as they like more time to see what is going on. My son who was adopted at age 2 1/2 was diagnosed at age 4 with severe ADHD [attention deficit hyperactive disorder] and ODD [oppositional defiant disorder], to the point of mania.
It was SO hard to get through those first months before they would medicate him at age 4. But he was a danger to himself – he was so bad off. He would run around the yard to fast he would smack right into a tree. He started out on Cylert and Clonidine to help him calm down and help him sleep (which he didn’t do much of). As he grew so did his Dx’s, to Bipolar, attachment disorders, Conduct Disorder, and something about rages; I can’t remember what they called it. To put it mildly, he was violent.
He was born alcohol and drug exposed and was premature. He had frontal lobe damage, which is the part of the brain that controls emotions. His emotions were out of control. He had to leave our home when he was 9 due to his violence, attacking my (older) daughters. He would spend his nights chewing thru his (metal) screens, ripping up floor boards, and destroying furniture.
People around here didn’t know how bad it was at home; he tried to hold it together out in public and at school for whatever reason. Then he came home and blew apart. So of course the lovely folks in this town assumed it was my fault. Even when he couldn’t hold it together at school any more and started doing more and more outrageous stuff there, they still blamed me. [They thought] I must be abusive to have a child like this. They knew his birth history, but still blamed it on me. Says alot for their intelligence, huh ?
During one of his rages, I managed to get him to the ER, where they recommended a stay in a pediatric psych unit. He never came home again. From there he went to more permanent psych hospital stays and RTCs [residential treatment centers]. Things never got any better for him. He is 19 now.
This is a typical story of an adoptive child who was adopted with serious issues. When an adoptive parent puts themself out there to bring these kids into their family and try to provide a normal, caring home, please do not blame them for the children’s behaviors or judge their parenting techniques. You have no idea what it is like to live with these kids until you have done it yourself. If you ever dared to step out and do as they have, you will undoubetedly become very sympathetic to their family. Support them, love them, and do what you can to help them. They ought to be admired, not judged. And, when they say, “My child came to us with issues that are very hard to deal with,” – believe them!