The Eagle Has Flown

April 6th, 2011

iStock_000001672324XSmallTwo years ago, we learned about Nancy Thomas and her special brand of attachment therapy.  Our daughter, Elle, had been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and we didn’t know what to do to help her.  With the help of an attachment therapist, we struggled with changing our parenting style in order to combat Elle’s RAD behaviors. After a year of seeing little progress, we decided to attend one of Nancy’s family therapy camps.  Nestled in the Colorado Rockies, Nancy and her staff started the process of our understanding RAD and how it was affecting our daughter.  We learned parenting skills that would help us to help Elle understand what was going on in her brain, and help her identify her emotions and… [more]

The Check is in the Mail

February 3rd, 2011

Signing a CheckAs I sit at my desk, composing this post, Bunny is throwing a temper tantrum.  She doesn’t throw “normal” temper tantrums; these are oppositional defiance disorder related tantrums.  We’ve had Bunny in therapy for about six months.  At first, we thought she was just having behavioral issues because she has a sibling with reactive attachment disorder (RAD), but her behaviors are different than Elle’s and they are escalating. We have been working on a diagnosis for Bunny with our therapist.  The first assessment we took reported that she did not have RAD; she didn’t even score on the chart.  After discussing this with our therapist, we decided if we were to take the assessment again, Bunny would score off the chart… [more]

Reflections of a Year

January 3rd, 2011

New YearsI always take a little time at the end of a year to reflect on the past year and to ponder the possibilities of the year to come.  For my family, this has been the year of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). RAD rules our house.  It factors into every fiber of our lives.  If it isn’t front and center of every day, it is always lurking in the shadows.  At the beginning of 2010, Elle’s RAD was gaining momentum, and I began to despair it would win.  But with the help of our therapist, a lot of hard work on my part, my husband and Elle’s, we started to turn the tide. We also attended a camp for families with RAD children.  The… [more]

You’re Just the Parents

October 16th, 2008

My son is in his third residential treatment center in as many years. He’s also been in juvenile detention, shelter care (non-secure custody) and treatment foster care. We are familiar with transitions and start to see emerging patterns with our son. One of the largest problems with all these placements is that they are used to dealing with parents who are not advocates for their kids. Many of the parents are not involved in their children’s lives and certainly don’t advocate for them. In all the various placements that my son has been in, I have only seen other parents a handful of times. When we try to get answers about our son it can be quite difficult. Each of these… [more]

Parents Don’t Need to Know

September 29th, 2008

When a child is in an out of home placement, it can be very difficult for a parent to get answers or be kept in the loop with information. As I blogged earlier, my son is in a residential placement. He has been there for just over six months and apparently the staff is looking at transitioning him into a step down home. However, I did not learn this from anyone on our team, but instead from my son. Today I contacted his counselor to find out if he is truly moving and if so, when it might be. I did learn that the counselor and the county worker are discussing this potential move with my son, but my husband and I have been… [more]

The Ranch for Kids

January 8th, 2008

A friend from my Chicago days sent me a link to this article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune last Sunday. The article describes the Ranch for Kids in Montana, a residential and respite facility for children adopted internationally. Most of the children are from Eastern Europe. The Ranch serves children from 0-17, and the average stay for a child needing behavior modification is 3-12 months. Children disrupting from a previous placement and moving on quickly to a new placement generally only stay at the Ranch for a few months. The Ranch works with A Child’s Waiting to facilitate the re-placement of a child. I think the Tribune’s coverage of the need for this type of residential facility was accurate and not sensationalized… [more]

A matter of trust

May 28th, 2007
Categories: Camps, Trust Issues

climbing towerI have a confession to make. The posts of the last few days have been coming to you through the magic of “dripping” because my husband, Beth and I were family camping at a YMCA camp in Kansas. It rained for the entire three days, but we still had fun. We went with two other neighbor families and had 5 kids between us, so it was a great time. Beth fished, kayaked, went swimming, hunted snakes, practiced archery, and climbed this tower right ahead of her 50 year old mom! Yesterday morning I headed to the tower first with one of my neighbor friends. I donned a harness and boldly decided to try and climb the hard side first. That is the… [more]

Nancy Thomas Camps

May 4th, 2007

NT CampI am saddened this morning… I had a mom request information about Nancy Thomas camps. I think Nancy does amazing work, so I was happy to provide more information. Her children’s therapist had recommended that this family attend a Nancy Thomas camp. This mom was doing her homework and asked if anyone had been to one of the camps. I arranged for two families who had attended to email her. I don’t know if they had a chance to communicate with her or not, but on the message board where the mom initially posted the question there were 8-10 negative responses about how “punitive” those camps are and how they should not be used with “our” children. To the best of… [more]

You can lead a horse (or zebra) to water, BUT…

April 12th, 2007

horseAlthough I have been company-less for 72 hours, I’m still draggin’ my wagon… I don’t seem to bounce back like I used to be able to do. Plenty of folks tell me I have a lot of energy for a half-centurion… but I sure feel tired this week! Yesterday I arranged a three-way call with a couple who adopted two daughters through foster care 5 years ago. It was one of those “take them for a week or two of respite” deals that turned into five years of “respite” (they did legally adopt them)… And guess what? Only two weeks ago they received the diagnosis of RAD on the now 15-year-old. Both of these folks are a few years older than me…… [more]

Hats off to you…

February 9th, 2007

Hats offI had several different ideas of what I wanted to blog about this morning, but Cindy’s post about her raging son preempted my other ideas. I am in constant awe of the amazing things that are clearly happening at Cindy’s house, but her post today brought back a rush of memories for me. Cindy has had 3 out of 39 (that number still blows my mind) kids that were too violent to live in a family. I adopted 4 times, disrupted one (because I had no idea what I was up against or what I was doing and couldn’t fight this horribly yuppie community and complete ignorance on the part of the school) and had one so violent he had to leave… [more]