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

Friday, October 7, 2011

Moving... from one battle to another

Well with the big move almost complete (the younger daughter and I are in Seattle now, while the wife and older daughter are still in San Francisco for another week or so), I finally have Internet access and am back.  Before the move I decided that I would only bring the younger daughter up with me for several reasons.  One being the thought that the older daughter would be more helpful with packing things up and getting the old place ready to hand back over to the owners (we felt the younger one would just hinder that process).  Another being that she would be able to remain in the day treatment center for that much longer before transferring up here where we have no idea where she'll end up.  Another big reason is one-on-one time.  The younger one needs more alone time with me, and the older one needs more alone time with the wife.  Both of them work really hard to divide the family into two teams (younger and mom vs older and dad) so we figured this would take them out of their element and force them to rely on the parent they are always fighting against.

And it seems to be working - without the other sibling around, both girls have been fairly cooperative and RRFTBA (Responsible, Respectful and Fun To Be Around) which is really all we ask of them.

Of course, this isn't to say things have gone smoothly.  The week prior to the youngest and I heading up to Seattle, things ramped up quite a bit.  The oldest began acting out, which we expected, but we weren't quite prepared for the intensity of it.  A week before the initial move I received a call from her case manager who told me she was becoming violent at school.  Of course, usually when she acted out at school we had "quiet time" at home - she rarely acted out in both places.  Not so this time.  What they were seeing at school was exactly what we were seeing at home.  It got bad enough that the day before we left, we ended up calling the police (as instructed by her case manager) due to a physical altercation between the two girls.  Who started it I don't know, but it quickly escalated to the point where the younger one had bruises on her neck from being karate chopped several times (and the older one doesn't even know karate!). 

It was pretty apparent that the older daughter was acting out because she didn't want to stay behind and she figured if she could make mom upset enough, she would just HAVE to come with me.  And boy did she try to make that happen!  But we didn't give in, and although she continued to act out for several days after we left, she eventually eased up and mellowed out.  Last I heard, she was actually being helpful with packing things up!  Of course, I kept trying to tell her that the more she helped out, the easier it would be and the sooner we could get them up here, but reasoning and future planning isn't exactly a strong point with most RADs.

Are things easy?  Oh hell no... but they are getting better.  I still have my concerns about where she'll end up here - the local High School that she would normally attend is 1100 people.  Far too large for her - she'll get lost in the crowd.  Her IEP states that she needs to attend a "non-public day treatment center", but I suspect the school is going to try and get around that.  So I know I have a huge fight ahead of me.  Granted, this particular HS allegedly has the best Special Ed program of all the HSs in the district (we really did luck out with the schools here - all the Junior and Senior High Schools around here are 5 star) but she doesn't want to be in Special Ed.  She wants to be in mainstream classes, which have been proven NOT to work for her. 

So although the work to get her into the right program for her is just beginning, at least the " battle for supremacy" at home has faded and I no longer have to stress on that - I can now use all my spare energy fighting the schools again.  And hopefully get something in place before she comes up here and again pushes her boundaries trying to see what she can get away with in a new  place....

1 comment:

  1. Same here! When our RAD is horrible at school she's pretty good at home and visa/versa and we can tell how tough she has it in school(or how easy) by how bad she is in school. Last year they were tough on her at the start of the year and she tried to stab a teacher with a pencil (we were not informed of this because the school wants to keep her there) and as soon as I complained that we wanted her moved to a school that has life skills and less children her behavior magically got better in school. This year she had it really easy so was horrible at home! We are now fighting, once again, to get her moved to a school for Autism with life skills because this school is maker her even RADDER! Keep us updated on the progress. Glad I'm not the only "problem parent"!