Saturday, August 23, 2014

Educating About RAD

**Welcome!  Scroll down if you're looking for my Attachment Disorder chart.  There are many other great resources I've linked to in this post as well.**
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It’s that time of year again. The kids are heading back to school and it’s time to educate the educators on the basics of complex trauma, attachment disorder, etc.  I have 2 kids with multiple diagnoses including RAD, PTSD, ADHD, FASD, and a bunch of other stuff.  Over the course of the years they've been with our family, they've also attended several different schools in two different cities ranging from preschool to high school.  What that really means is I’ve a lot of practice doing these meetings over the years.

I've tried many, many, many different approaches over the years. Some have failed miserably; some have been WAY too long (our first IEP meeting lasted over 3 hours!)  Some have been ok, others have been good, but not worth the investment in time and energy for what the school got out of them, and others have been very successful. Yesterday's meeting was one of those highly successful ones!

Over the years, I've realized there are two main things that make a difference in whether or not the meeting will be successful.  The first is the willingness and receptiveness of the school to listen.  That’s something I've come to accept that I don’t have any control over. They're either going to listen because they want to, or they're not going to.  If they don’t want to listen, or don’t want to see it, and even more importantly, if they don't want to do anything about it, they’re not going to no matter what I do.  That doesn't mean I get to give up, though.

I am a big believer, though, that the schools NEED information about the issues my kids struggle with...even if they don’t want to hear it and don’t want to do anything about it (as is the case with one of my kid's school.)  For sheer liability reasons for our family, we need the school to have all the information we can possibly get them to take in their files.  That way if anything does happen at school, it becomes their responsibility, not mine.

What I can control and encourage receptiveness through, though, is how I present the information. The trick, regardless of how receptive the school is going to be, is getting everything they need to know presented in a way that will make them want to pay attention, keep things on track, and get them out the door and on to other things. I know there are a lot of people out there who say you have to keep whatever you give them short, sweet, and limited to only a couple of pages.  I say to really do justice to all we’ve got going on with my kids and what the scholls really need to know in order to protect themselves, other kids, and be able to help my boys, there is absolutely no way to condense it to “short” and still keep anywhere close to effective.

The alternative to short, then, is engaging.  It has to be presented in a way that makes them want to listen. Yes, it takes a LOT more preparation on my part to make the presentations engaging and still as “brief” as possible, but when things go like they did today, it makes all that preparation worth it.  FYI: In my world, “brief” as possible means I tell them I need an hour and then work really hard to have them out the door well before that hour is up.  

Here’s how I do my presentations:

1.  I provide an information packet about my child to each teacher a day or two before the meeting.  I usually just give all of it to my son’s case manager and then let her distribute it and invite all the teachers to the meeting.  I ask all the teachers to read over it and write down any questions they have and bring them to the meeting.  Then, when they come to the meeting I tell them I've done these meetings a lot and want to keep things on track, so I ask them to hold all their questions until the end.  Reality is that most of them get answered along the way and never actually get asked to me. 

2. This year I added something new to my presentation and information packet. I’d seen a bubble chart floating around the internet describing RAD.  I really liked the one page “snapshot” approach, but at the same time, found the existing chart I’d seen very incomplete.  The main ideas were there, but so many critical details had been removed to make it fit on that one page that it lost a lot of its power and effectiveness. I know this because I’d actually tried using it to help others understand.  I realized very quickly those on the outside couldn't see the whole picture nearly as well as I could from that chart, and therefore it wasn't nearly as effective as I thought it might be.

Being the half-crazy, tenacious, creative, and well-seasoned with experience soul that I am, I finally bit the bullet and went to work.  I realized that I could do a lot better job at making a truly effective chart using the same general one page format, but didn't lose all the critical details in the process.  I was very pleased with how it turned out!  It turned even better and far more functional than I envisioned. It truly is that missing piece I've been searching for!   They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.  That definitely proved to be the case with this chart.  It has all the big, scary details of RAD on there, but at the same time, allows me to now teach about all the complexities of it very quickly and effectively.


I know something like this has been sorely lacking in our community for a very long time now.  I know because I've tried in vain many times to find something like it myself and have heard others begging for similar resources as well.  Several parents helped pull this list together. For this reason, I am making my chart freely available to any who can benefit from using it.  If you want to pass it around or pin it to Pinterest, I (and others as well) would appreciate that you do so by sharing the link to this whole post and my blog rather than just the image.  That way others will know where to find it and it will still be connected to the information on how to use it for greatest impact and effectiveness.    You are, however, welcome to open the photo and save it for your own personal use.  It is a print quality image that should be formatted to print nicely on standard 8.5x11” paper. Did you know images like this also lose significant print quality when they are saved and resaved and passed around separate from their original source?  They do!!  That's why others will want to find the original source.

I deliberately included this chart as part of the information packet I gave to each teacher with no explanation prior to our meeting.  I figured that way they were more likely to actually read what was in the bubbles and see what some of the symptoms of RAD really are, how they are all connected to each other, and how many of them there really are!  I then kicked off our meeting by showing the chart to the group and asking two questions:
A. “How many of you find this chart overwhelming?”  Several hands were raised.
B. “How many of you asked the question ‘How much and what of this applies to my son?’” Even more hands went up this time.
I then answered both questions with “Attachment Disorder IS overwhelming…and big and scary and messy and encompasses the whole person.” Much to the surprise of many, I then answered the second question with “ALL of it applies to my son.”  And with that, I had their attention! Many of them gasped a little and sat up a little straighter and got their pens out to take notes.

We then talked for a bit about internalizers vs. externalizers and how even though they might not see all of my son’s stuff outwardly manifesting at school (this particular kid we were talking about is an internalizer), it’s all still there and it’s all still part of the package that needs to be considered.  I do like to take a few minutes at the start of meetings like this to give some general overviews.  I know my kids aren't the only tough kids they have and I've had many teachers tell me over the years that what I share with them helps them better understand and work with other kids as well.

One of the things I really like about how this chart turned out is that I can cover some of the color quadrants with my hand while leaving others exposed.  Because I was talking to a bunch of teachers, my favorite way to do this was to cover up all but the green “Academic” quadrant.  We then talked about what happens when you only see the academic piece.  It took about .2 seconds for everyone to realize the chart now looked a whole lot like the iceberg that sunk the Titanic!  I also talked about relationships and how what is in that quadrant doesn't just apply to me.  My son has relationships with his teachers and peers, too…and those relationships, while different than they are with me, are equally as stressful for him.  What happens within those relationships and the lacking foundation skills necessary for them not stressful does impact his learning and what goes on in his internal world.  Of course, both relationships and the internal world have a significant impact on behavior. 

My very favorite part, though, is that I taught all of that and more in about 2 minutes!  Really. I taught a whole group of people who knew precious little about attachment disorder in a very brief few minutes...and they "got it" (at least at a high level) too!

You’ll notice a few of the cells in each quadrant are highlighted.  These are some of the most important /most common/most pressing issues for outsiders to be aware of in each area.  I did spend some time talking with the group about how children with attachment disorder are often charming, engaging, and compliant for outsiders, but hostile toward parents.  One of the highlighted cells in the relationship quadrant is that parents can sometimes appear angry or hostile.  I did this because I know some of them have already seen that in me, especially during our last IEP meeting last spring. I explained that if they do ever see that in me to please realize I (and other parents like me) are not intentionally hostile and angry, but we are exhausted.  When you have the whole picture right there in front of you, it’s not too hard to see why!

I made an accidental discovery when I printed this chart the first time.  There was an errant piece of white cardstock left in my printer I didn’t realize was there.  It turned into something I now recommend that you do if you use this to teach a group of people like I did.  Cardstock will stay standing up straight while you cover stuff up with one hand and hold it with the other. Regular paper will not, at least not with a lot of fidgeting.

3. So what’s in the rest of the teacher information packet?  I’m glad you asked!  I opt for engaging and easy to skim rather than short.  People are actually a lot more likely to read 10 well set, personalized, and interesting pages than they are a generic two page letter printed off the internet or 3 pages where everything is squished together with a small font.  The key to creating an engaging page is to use as little text as possible to explain what you need to say, then use a basic, easy to read, professional looking font, a font size that is a little bigger than normal (12.5-14 point) with a little more space than normal between the lines (2-3 point sizes bigger than your font.)  Also be sure to leave plenty of white space on the page.  Not only does this visually look better and is more comfortable to read, but it also leaves teachers plenty of room to take notes.

Here’s a sample of what some of my pages look like.  I found all the pictures I used on the internet.  There are many sites out there where you can download free and free use stock photography.


This setup isn’t just “pretty” to look at or easy to read, though. Everyone, including teachers, has a preferred learning style and learns in different ways.  Some prefer reading, others are visual learners like I am (we like the pictures!) and some prefer auditory learning.  By structuring these meetings and information packets as I do, I embraced all of those different learning styles.  In one way or another, I made sure the information got through to all of them.

4.  I gave one copy of some carefully selected supplemental materials to the case manager and told the teachers she has them.  Not all teachers are interested in reading them, and everyone is overwhelmed with feeling like they have to read them all at once, so why waste the paper and ink printing them?  I actually emailed copies of the articles to her after the meeting so she could distribute them electronically to all the teachers on Monday.  I sent this short article on possible school behavior problems associated with RAD.  There's a printer friendly version available on the site that can be printed to pdf format.  I also sent Classroom Fact Sheets for RAD, PTSD, and FASD.  These fact sheets are really neat.  They are short and sweet, but give a good overview of the condition and how to effectively handle it in the classroom.  You can find similar fact sheets for several other mental health related conditions here.

Some other good resources I've either used in the past or as inspiration in my own stuff include this article on Oil &Water: The Rad/School Mix.  I like this one, but it's quite long.  The one I used is a condensed version written by the same therapist.  There are also similar but different Fact Sheets written by a different organization than the ones I used, this "Dear Teacher" generic letter (which I've used in the past without a lot of success.  The schools felt it was too negative, impersonal, and generic and rejected it because they didn't see the same things I do. That happened at more than one school.)  I DO however, really like their suggestions for the teacher and I incorporated many of the ideas from this into my own presentation. Especially when my kids were younger, I also used this Adoption Awareness in School Assignments to help teachers think about how their assignments impact adopted children.

5. As many of us know, these meetings can get REALLY heavy and overwhelming if we’re not careful. They can also get sidetracked really easily...which is exactly what makes them longer and more frustrating than they need to be. I've found the best way to keep these meetings as short as possible is to use the very same information packet I give to teachers as my script and stick to it!  My packet is broken into two sections.  The first section is “what they need to know” about the conditions and how they impact my son. We try to get through that part pretty quick. I try to anticipate questions and answer them as part of the presentation, which helps a lot to keep things moving.

The second part is “what they as teachers can do to help.”  I like to slow down a little bit when we hit this part and give specific examples of what I know has and hasn’t worked in the past.  I allow only clarification or relevant to that specific subtopic during the presentation.  Anything else I ask them to hold to the end.  That really helps a lot to keep things on track!   More often than not, many of the questions they have do get answered by the time we’re done.  The ones that do come up at the end are almost always really good quality and well thought out questions that benefit everyone or the teaching team can help answer and help brainstorm ideas for.

6.  I like to end the meetings on a lighter note.  We talk a lot during my presentation about real chameleons and how they change colors to fit their environment, why they do it, and how my son does the very same thing.  We also talk about what chameleons do when they get scared.  They turn black and hiss at you…and my kid will do the same thing.  Adding in the chart on Attachment Disorder this year really drove home the whole chameleon thing, too.  They could all finally very clearly see and understand exactly what that means and how big the difference between the different “colors” can be.

I noticed a couple years ago when I first put this presentation together that our dollar store regularly stocks packages of little plastic chameleons in all sorts of funky colors in their toy section.  I buy them in bulk when I see them.  I keep enough on hand so at any given time I have enough for all my kids’ teachers plus a few extra.  When meeting time rolls around, I take them with me and give them out to the teachers.  I then suggest they put them somewhere in their classroom where they can see it as they teach. That way they have a reminder that they have a human chameleon in their classroom that needs to be handled with care.



The teachers have really enjoyed those chameleons!  They all pick out their favorite color…and they often tell me why they picked the one they did.  Some of them like the ones that look like the red rock deserts, some like the rainbow colors, some like the green ones.  I found some funky glow in the dark ones this year.  They all really liked those!  The best part is that they really do put them up in their classrooms.  My son does know I take them with me to meetings and give them to teachers, but he has no idea what I really do with them, who I give them to, or what they mean.  If he does happen to notice them in the room, all he knows is that mom it to teacher as part of our back to school meeting.

Hopefully you’ve found some new ideas for your own school meetings.  Leave a comment!  I’d love to hear what works for you as well.

17 comments :

Caylee said...

It's an interesting, proactive approach to engaging your children's teacher.

I've got a few questions:

1. How does a child who has difficulty connecting cause with effect manipulate adults?

A kid needs to be pretty sophisticated to get Mr Teacher to do their bidding.

At a minimum, the child must be able to:

- figure out what they want Mr Teacher to do (call it X)
- figure out what is likely to result in Mr Teacher doing X, instead of A, B, C, D, etc.
- figure out who is likely to interfere with Mr Teacher doing X and come up with a means of preventing them from doing so.

All of which are contingent upon a very sophisticated understanding of cause and effect. And that's before factoring in the FASD (ie even if the kid knows something now, there's no telling if he'll know it two hours from now or three days from now or on Crazy Socks Thursday).

2. Why do you refer to "attachment disorder" and "C-PTSD"?

Neither appears in the DSMV and the closest thing to AD is Reactive Attachment Disorder, which doesn't include most of the symptoms of AD:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/reactive-attachment-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20032126

Foster Mom - R said...

Amazing resources!

philip said...

What is "RAD"? What does R-A-D stand for?

Diana said...

Philip - RAD is Reactive Attachment Disorder, often referred to as just attachment disorder.

Diana said...

Caylee -

I'm not a practitioner of anything, but I am a parent who lives with it day in and day out. In short, "Attachment Disorder" aka RAD/DAD/other "official" named disorders) is a very complex condition. It's so complex that even the so called “experts” can't agree on what to even call it, let alone how to treat it!! As such, I've yet to find any one website, book, or source that presents a truly accurate picture of what it really is and the various ways it can manifest itself. For example, both my boys present symptoms very differently in real life, but both still have the same diagnoses on paper. One is primarily an internalizer who is more like a pressure cooker that keeps things bottled up until he explodes. The other an externalizer who is very outwardly aggressive and externally reacts very quickly to things before he processes it internally. Both have symptoms of multiple attachment styles and both "officially named" types of attachment disorder (Reactive Attachment Disorder and Disinhibited Attachment Disorder.)

It’s that lack of consistency that makes finding accurate information and good resources so tough...both for parents and professionals. It is also why, with the input of several other parents, I finally created a resource myself that DOES work and does accurately describe the condition and then shared it so others could use it as well.

I used C-PTSD in the sample graphic because my children’s psychiatrist still uses it, even though she’s very well versed on DSM-V. Complex PTSD is still in there, just not as a stand-alone disorder as it had been proposed. They lumped all the symptoms of it as a subset of PTSD. Sadly, those who compiled DSM-V also didn’t do our kids or us as parents or professionals any favors by rejecting DTD (Developmental Trauma Disorder) which would have described what they really struggle with very well and would have eliminated much of the inconsistencies in diagnoses and treatment. For whatever reasons they had, though, they chose not to add it. Even if they would have added one or the other (either C-PTSD or DTD) it would have been a great benefit to many. Rejecting both AND redefining attachment disorder and splitting it into two separate conditions really hurt a lot of people. I changed the sample graphic (which is not my children’s real information or photo by the way) to say just PTSD just for you.

Diana said...

As for manipulation vs. cause and effect: No one said these kids are stupid. They aren’t! In most cases, they are very, very, VERY smart and can pull off stuff that most of us would never even think about doing or checking for. What they lack is the ability to use and apply that intelligence in healthy and meaningful ways. The difference between manipulation and cause and effect is that manipulation has to do with the selfish, self-gratifying internal world and making sure they get their own needs/wants met in that moment and exactly how they want them met. It has nothing to do with anything or anyone else around them. There is no regard or recognition for the effects that their actions might have on others. Cause and effect, on the other hand, has everything to do with relationships and the external world. It’s about recognizing the connections and interdependency of various elements in the environment. It’s seeing that if A happens, then it will change B this way, C this way, and the result will be D. This type of thinking is necessary in order to learn from mistakes, understand consequences, forward think, and understand the reactions and actions of others. It’s also important when it comes to things like math and reading. When they don’t have that ability to recognize relationships and how changing one part affects everything else (and to think ahead before making that change), those subjects become very frustrating for the kids. They can't be manipulated according to their own will. When they can't see those relationships and they can no longer get by with just memorization, everything becomes disconnected bits of information and they get lost in the chaos...which often ramps up manipulation strategies in other ways to try to get them out of having to do stuff that requires cause and effect thinking and recognizing the consequences of their own actions.

Caylee said...

Diana,

My apologies -- I never, not for a second, meant to imply your child (or anyone else's) with any sort of mental illness was "stupid". I found your blog via Essie's and my longstanding interest in mental health/illness mostly that they run in my family (and my sister and I, plus my kids inherited a boatload of them).

I'm still a bit confused about your explanation of manipulation vs cause-and-effect thinking thing -- as the latter is necessary to triangulate grownups.

If manipulation is doing whatever is necessary to get an immediate need met -- it's intentionally getting oneself kicked out of math class (to avoid failing a test) or finangling a free lunch (by convincing the lunch lady your parents do not send you to school with a lunch), yes?

Then cause-and-effect is required to triangulate adults. Because it'll take a kid weeks/months to convince Mrs Teacher his parents are neglectful/abusive. The stories the kid tells have to be plausible enough to be believable yet disturbing enough to worry Mrs Teacher (against a backdrop of all kids complaining about all parents because that's what kids do at 11. Or 15). The story/behavior must be consistent enough to withstand Mrs Teacher discussing her concerns regarding said kid with Mr Volleyball Coach. That's a tall order for any kid... and seemingly impossible for one with PTSD. Or FASD.

The flipside is that any kid capable of executing such a sophisticated medium-to-longterm plan to get their parents in trouble has spectacular, five-standard-deviations-from-the-mean cause-and-effect skills... and, well, capable of anything. Or everything. A kid with absolutely unlimited potential. Pretty cool.

(My loved-from-the-second-she-was-conceived, never deprived of food kid spent most of her kindergarten year eating a second breakfast at school, having determined the Head Start kids got fed in an adjacent classroom. Once caught, she unabashedly told her teacher school breakfast was yummier than home breakfast. True, seeing as my girlies get cereal most mornings and chocolate-frosted donuts five days a week is never, ever gonna happen :-)

Diana said...

You didn't offend me. :-) But, I am glad to know a bit more about you. I do get a fair amount of trolls who seek to rip apart everything any of us parents say. Sometimes it's hard to tell at first if people I don't know are legit or not.

Cause and effect thinking is a pretty complex, later developing brain function that relies heavily on logic and in-tact frontal lobe function. It’s the thinking process that allows a person to look at all dimensions of relationships, analyze them, and anticipate outcomes before any action is taken. It applies to both human relationships and abstract concepts such as math and reading. It's what allows you to see in advance what will happen if you take 8 watermellons off a stack of 10, move the sofa to the other side of the room, predict the ending of a book, learn from your own mistakes and/or the mistakes of others, and maintain lasting relationships with other people. It's what allows a kid to see in advance what happens when you pull the bottom blocks out of a tower, drive without a license, eat spoiled food, spend more money on something than you have in your bank account, put your fist through a plate glass window, or shout obscenities and kick another kid on the playground. It’s the ability to anticipate what will happen if they do something AND predict the consequences and long term outcomes of that choice before they do it that people as law abiding citizens and keep them from making really stupid choices. Really and truly, the only time people really get in trouble is when that cause and effect functioning is impaired (such as with drugs, alcohol, or trauma) or is developmentally underdeveloped.

Cause and effect (aka logic and reasoning) is the last part of the brain to develop even in healthy, well-adjusted humans. It develops on the foundation of all other previously and correctly developed brain functions. If other functions are impaired or miswired, It’s also why insurance companies charge a premium for young drivers! They know that teenagers (especially teenage boys) get in more accidents than adults do because that cause and effect/logic and reasoning part of their brain are still developing until about age 25.

Attachment disordered kids of any age are very lacking in this area. Especially if they are still in the early stages of healing, regardless of their chronological age, everything else is so miswired that there is precious little to no front lobe functioning. What they are seeking is instantaneous “in this very moment” action/reaction type of thing. They are, indeed, HIGHLY skilled manipulators, but there is absolutely no logic or forethought involved. They don’t give any thought to what the consequences of their actions might be, or how what they do right now will affect themselves or others down the road. Oh, sure, they are very opportunistic and look for opportunities to pull off crazy stuff, but there’s no logical connection to any of it. They’re more like monkeys that are trained to press the same button over and over again expecting the same result each time. When the results change, they simply raise the stakes and pull out even more stops in order to get their same desired result...which is usually chaos.

Diana said...

Triangulation of adults has nothing to do with wanting to deliberately hurt the adults or make them mad. It’s all about taking the adults’ focus off themselves and stirring up chaos in that moment…often because it’s familiar and the kids have pressed that button enough times to know that if they make the adults crazy, they can get out of doing stuff they don’t want to do and get away with doing whatever they want while the adults are busy bickering with each other. Again, they are only looking for an immediate reaction to change their immediate situation or feelings. It's all about right now, right this minute, right this second.
Likewise, there is no logic or master planning involved when they tell stories. It's not a deliberate, well crafted scheme to destroy their parents. It's exactly the same concept as your very young child manipulating breakfast. It tasted good, so she wanted it and did whatever she had to in that moment to get it. Even babies learn pretty quickly how to work their parents and get what they want when they want it.

When attachment challenged kids tell stories, it's all about "I feel crappy right this second and I sense I can manipulate this person into feeling sorry for me and coddling me if I tell this sad tale that my parents abuse me." All they are looking for is someone gullible enough to buy their story right there in that second. They don’t see the reports to the police or DCFS involvement that will follow. They don’t get that if someone really does believe them that their parents could end up in jail and they would have no family. They don’t get why their parents are so angry at them when the police come knocking. By the time all that stuff happens, they’ve forgotten all about the situation and likely don’t even remember the details of the story they told. They got what they needed out of it in that moment and moved on. Our kids also have sonar radar capabilities. They can tell pretty quickly who will and who won't listen to them. They don't bother even trying to tell stuff to people who might question them.

The biggest difference between a "normal" kid and one with attachment disorder is that kids with AD don't move out of this egocentric, gotta have it RIGHT NOW and I don't care what it takes to get it developmental stage. Most kids have started outgrowing it by the time they hit preschool. Normally developing kids might test the waters and try stuff once or twice, but they learn pretty quickly that the consequences aren't worth it so they stop doing it. As their brains develop, they start thinking through what might happen before they do it. They realize mom will find out and put a stop to it and not be very happy. Then it’s no fun for them.

Kids with AD don't figure that out. Just like that trained monkey, they just keep pushing the same button over and over and over again and keep raising the stakes higher and higher in order to keep getting the same results. Many of them also do pretty well in school as long as they can either cheat their way through it or spit out memorized facts. As soon as they have to start connecting information and thinking things through what those connections mean and finding relationships between pieces of information, things go downhill in a hurry. This is often when the behavior issues start showing up at school, too.

composinghope said...

Hi! I love this information! Thank you! Is there any way you could make the narrative packet available to print? Maybe making it typeable so we could change the info to match our kids? Thanks again for these wonderful resources!

Kassie Heisserer said...

This was very helpful; thank you! I hope to incorporate some ideas into our upcoming IEP meetings!

Diana said...

Composinghope - I tried doing that several years ago. It didn't end up working very well. :-( There isn't a good universal format that allows documents to be shared, but still editable without them getting really screwed up in the process. I also don't own the copyrights to all the pictures so I couldn't include them.

I put the whole thing in first person as if my kid is the one telling the teachers what he needs. I added pictures of what my child looks like when they're dissociated, used a picture of someone pointing a gun right at you to explain triggers. I explained that the only way you can usually tell that my child is triggered is through behavior and then listed those behaviors as well as known triggers. I talked about bullying and some other academic issues specific to my child. For the "How You Can Help Me" section, I used a lot of ideas from the "Dear Teacher" letter I linked to in this post, but also made it very specific to my child and his needs.

Caylee said...

Thank you for the explanation. I think I get it now -- your kids are not intentionally "manipulating" as instinctively reacting.

I'm saddened and somewhat surprised to that your kids don't run out of teachers / grownups to believe their stories in any given venue (school, church, etc)... my experience with my girls is the behavior is sufficiently "off" to warrant calling a parent. Or for half the class to tell the teacher to call a parent (me, my husband; the school secretary has the number for the home-away-from-home pediatric psych unit at a specific hospital if it's really, really bad). The fiasco that resulted from the one and only teacher who refused to do -- even after a gaggle of 5 yo classmates kept insisting she do so -- has never, ever been repeated.

Presumably the teachers who hotline your family are mandated reporters and thus legally obligated to do so -- and you've got any number of doctors to back up your (vs your boys) version of events.


Diana said...

My kids are very charming and endearing to outsiders. They can fool even the best of them into believing anything. It is, unfortunately for them, a learned survival skill.

Thankfully we haven't been reported by the schools for a long time. The last teacher that reported us got way more than she bargained for, both from us AND our kid later on. Church people, on the other hand...they are among the most gullible. They fall for the charm every time.

Carl Young said...

Awesome resource. Our youngest has RAD, OCD and a few other things... this is by far the most concise layout that explains RAD to the non-initiated.

I shared it on my blog http://www.whynotfathers.com as well.

thank you for putting this out there!

Begining2013 said...

I'm a foster mum to 4 AD/RAD siblings and have just discovered this blog and your resources via the RAD bubble chart that was being shared on Facebook (on some closed RAD forums). Wow, your advice, resources and information is just fantastic and I wish I'd had it years ago! Truly, that bubble chart is the best thing I've ever seen in clearly and simply educating about RAD. I've had such problems getting my kids' teacher to understand RAD or even believe RAD exists! Your teacher info pack is now what I will distribute each year to each new teacher. Just excellent. Thank you, THANKYOU so much for sharing your knowledge. I wanna give you a huge hug of thanks!!! :)

Alex Chase said...

Thank you so much for posting this! We have had incredible school experiences, all because of one teacher who helped my son feel safe at school. That year wasn't easy, and yet it built a solid foundation for him. He now feels like an important community member! We are so happy. Building off of his experience, I wrote this letter for my other son's teacher: http://www.thisradmom.com/2014/08/dear-teacher-my-child-needs-us-to-be.html She took it to heart and he is excelling! Building team is so important and I LOVE your positive approach!