Need Help with Adopted Son with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Liz Savage, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Alex's Mom

    Alex's Mom New Member

    Our 12 year old son has been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). We adopted him from Russia at the age of 13 months old, and we're having severe issues with ODD behaviors. He uses swears, uses vulgar language especially toward me, hand gestures, spits in my face, hits, bites, and refuses to comply until he gets us to escalate. he hates me and targets both me and my husband, but especially me since I've had to be the at home parent and disciplinarian. He's obsessive, interested in guns, video games (especially Grand Theft Auto which he downloads over and over again since we don't allow it and and delete it), and steals our credit cards. We've had to change the numbers 3 times this past summer. For quite a while he was buying things and having them sent to the house without our knowledge.

    This is costing us our marriage and family. I'm anxious to find out other parents' ideas for help. We try to keep him as busy as possible, but it's really hard. He doesn't do well with following directions (organized sports). Does anyone know of any theraputic boarding schools? Any news on the Montana Ranch that was discussed in previous threads.
  2. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Hi there,

    Many others will welcome you here. We are glad you found us.

    Please consider changing your user name to something anonymous, as this is a public forum seen by many people.

    I am sorry that your son has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). This is a very serious condition as I am sure you know. What kind of treatment is he receiving?

    Are there other children or pets in the home?

    How is he in school? Does he have an IEP?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You may need to contact other parents who have adopted Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) children. I had two. It is hard to find even professionals who understand this disorders. It seems that kids from orphanages almost all have some damage.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  4. Alex's Mom

    Alex's Mom New Member

    Thank you. Yes, we have a biological daughter who is 17 and 3 cats, two of which he likes and one which he doesn't because he runs away from him (he isn't particularly gentle with any of them). He has an IEP in place and has recently been moved to a new school and into a center for emotional challenges at a public school. He has good qualities but we've really had trouble since bringing him home. Now it's just getting worse and as he gets older and bigger, I get more and more worried that he will be impossible to control and dangerous. Currently, he is under the care of a child pyschiatrist with a national children's hospital and is taking medications for ADHD and depression/anxiety/impulsivity symptoms. Our family has been in therapy for years with various counselors who have experience with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and adoption issues, but when we tried to include our son in therapy, he has been very resistant and will hide behind pillows, etc. He's extremely immature emotionally, and delayed in his development. We're to the point where we are considering residential services of some kind and would appreciate any help. Very low self esteem issues as well.
  5. Alex's Mom

    Alex's Mom New Member

    He also is very rough on anything physical in the house, and breaks things a lot - 3 tvs at this point, windows, anything that frustrates him gets thrown or broken. I'm just waiting for him to smash through our glass doors.
  6. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    It sounds like you are headed the right direction with residential services. Unfortunately, from what you describe, at the present time he is truly unable to function safely in a home environment. I suspect residential placement will be the best choice for him as well as for your family and pets.

    The child who brought me to this forum is my Difficult Stepson, who at 15 strangled my wife (his bio mom). He is 6'5" and over 250 pounds. Though I did not enter his life until he was thirteen, my understanding is that he was always troubled. He did grow to become big, strong and dangerous.

    At least for now, the only advice I would offer is sadly, place him outside of your home where he can be safe and hopefully receive treatment that will allow him to return one day.
  7. Alex's Mom

    Alex's Mom New Member

    I'm so sorry to hear about your step son, and I hope your wife survived and is okay now. It must feel like a never ending crisis. Thank you for the reply and support about our thoughts about a boarding school. It may be naive, but I keep hoping that my son will grow out of this.
  8. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    My wife did survive her son's attack. He didn't do much damage. If he had really wanted to kill her, he would have.

    Much has changed since then. Difficult Stepson is better in some ways, not so in others. His younger brother is our current concern.

    I would think your son needs not a boarding school, but a locked, therapeutic residential placement where his aggression and violence can be contained, and he can receive the help he so desperately needs. Maybe that is what you meant?

    It is devastating when we are brought face to face with the reality that our children are not able to function the way most others can.

    Your son, unfortunately, won't grow out of reactive attachment disorder. As you say, he has displayed problematic behaviors from infancy. He needs an environment where he cannot harm himself or others. Unfortunately, no home environment, no matter how well monitored, can provide that.

    I am sorry.

    From what you write it sounds like you have many resources at your disposal. He already has an IEP and a special program at his district as well as private counseling. That is a good start.

    His psychiatrist might be able to help you get started on the path to an out of home placement.
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Ditto that you dont outgrow Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). It can get worse and dangerous. Please find a safe, therapeutic place for him.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Contact Runnaway Bunny or perhaps a moderator if you'd like to change your name.

    Sounds like helpful things are in place.

    I would consider a boarding school but one that has experience in this disorder.

    Seriously consider counseling just for yourself for extra support.

    See if there are any support groups for this.

    If violence continues or escalates, consider getting legal advice.

    There are educational consultants who offer expertise on away boarding schools. A google search might work. You will need to carefully investigate any possible schools before making such a difficult decision.