Friday, May 16, 2008

Trying Differently Rather Than Harder

I will never forget the moment or the words I read when it became clear to me that my beautiful adopted little girl may have been suffering from Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) but also knew in my heart there was more to the story. Half way into the Day Treatment program I received some support literature from the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center including a small 60 some odd page booklet written by Diane Malbin. Her words and the detail she wrote about Hit the Nail on the head!

The booklet I received "Trying Differently Rather Than Harder" completely changed the lives of our family! We had been trying very hard to deal with RAD behaviors when all along we were dealing with far more then RAD in fact it was clear our little girl is Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND). Within a few short months we were able to have an appropriate diagnosis and start looking for ways to try differently.

The result of our stepping back and being able to evaluate the variety of behaviors and look for different ways to handle them--because, they may appear to be one thing when they are simply the result of brain damage has changed our entire home environment.

When I first became aware that our little girl not only has RAD but, she also has brain damage that affects her ability to process--and her short term memory--I started to notice the differences in the RAD behaviors and those situations that were because my little girl just wasn't able to process--or that today was one of those days she would be "off".

It's been nearly two years since this amazing discovery and while we see amazing improvements in the attachment area--we also can identify RAD behaviors rather quickly now and we can address the RAD behaviors for what they are. But, at the same time we are now more aware of the indicators that our daughter is not acting out in a RAD way--but, rather dealing with her ability to cope with neurological damage.

As a result everyone in the family is trying things differently and learning to help one another with the small things as well as find ways to make life a little less stressful for our daughter.

Diane Malbin's work has truly made Trying Differently part of our lives.

In addition to the great booklet I read Danie Created: FASCETS

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Consultation, Education and Training Services, Inc.
Providing An Alternative Paradigm for Understanding Behaviors

FASCETS is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 organization Established October 1997

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