Educating the world about Reactive Attachment Disorder through experience, hope, humor and love.
(Warning: nothing here should be taken as medical advice)

Friday, July 1, 2011


OK.  I know it's not uncommon for kids of all types to have 'selective memory' as my parents always called it. I know with a mind full of all sorts of things, it's easy to forget some things, especially unimportant details.  But I was always under the impression that if something is a habit, it's just something you do, mostly without thinking about it.  It doesn't take long for something to become a habit.. I think I read somewhere it takes 40 days (or thereabouts) to establish one.  So if there is something you have done every day for 12 y ears, you would think that it would almost second nature.  Well apparently not so with RADs.  I've spoken with parents whose RADs have forgotten all sorts of things that you wouldn't imagine.  Such as how to go to the bathroom, or how to get dressed.  So I suppose it should come as no surprise when my RAD leaves for school without her blood glucose testing kit. Something she has used 8-10 times per day for the past 12 years.  But she did just that.  All she has to do in the morning is get up, eat breakfast (often prepared for her), get dressed, brush her teeth, and make sure she has her kit when she leaves for school.  A routine that shouldn't take more than 20 minutes (especially if she's not making her own breakfast!), yet she can barely manage to accomplish it in an hour, and sometimes that's not even enough time (such as today).

The brains of RADs are wired differently than non-RADs.  That much is a given.  And it's never more evident than when you watch them do things that seem completely linear to us.  But their brains don't work in linear fashion much of the time.  One parent called it "steel wool thinking" because their thoughts are all over the place.  One dad mentioned his daughter would take 6 hours to mow their lawn, even though he could do it in under 1 hour.  He said he sat there and watched her do it one day, and instead of going in straight lines back and forth like most people would, she was all over the place zig-zagging and weaving back and forth.  That gives a pretty good picture of how their thoughts work - it's never A-B-C but A-B-A-D-F-B-C.

Sometimes I wonder how these kids ever get anything done at all!

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