Posted by: amica | January 16, 2010


I know some people don’t like labels, especially with our kids. I, however, have wanted  labels. NEEDED labels. I want to know what we are up against and there were so many years no one knew. I had therapists tell me a range of things, one even said they were perfectly fine, nothing they said was helpful. I spent years trying to CONVINCE therapists there was SOMETHING going on. The when we received the RAD diagnosis I had never been so relieved. Prior to, I had begun second guessing myself, people telling me all kids do these things, I should spank them, I wasn’t hard enough on them, I was too strict…I wasn’ t a good mom. I began to see a therapist because my depression was getting out of control.  Then I learned about RAD and the more I read, the more I cried. THIS is it. It fit exactly as to how we had been living! The last year has been a bumpy one but the best yet in how much I have learned and for once, I have finally seen improvement! But I knew there was more to their stories. There were more labels lurking beneath RAD and I wanted to know them, I needed to know that I was/am doing all that I can to help my kids. So both M and H completed a series of psychological testing in the last few weeks and yesterday, I went to learn the results.

Nothing was surprising to learn. Both are definite RADicals. Both have PTSD. M also has somewhat severe depression. His answers to many things were dark and morbid. There was little sign of happiness and looking forward to the future. Suicidal thoughts and actions will need to be watched for. He will also be monitored for ADHD, she isn’t ready to diagnose this since the other issues could be causing the same problems. H has severe anxiety and will be monitored for psychosis. She is on the verge of not living in reality but there is a chance to bring her back. She is obsessed with her bio-mom, feeling guilty and wanting to live with her. I wasn’t aware since she doesn’t talk about her much. She also immolates her mother to feel closer to her. She is all about the boys, she doesn’t have girlfriends because they are a threat with the boys. She acts out sexually because of what she witnessed while living with her mom. She completed the following sentences:

Men: are sometimes cute and fun

Women: are mean and try to steal your mom’s boyfriends

If she continues down this path, alcohol and drugs are a huge risk. This is true for them both though.

So now we find a psychiatrist to help with the depression and anxiety. I am a bit concerned about the suicidal tendencies young people have experienced on antidepressants. But I have also lived with both without medication and it’s a nightmare.

The therapist wanted me to know this was gonna take years. I knew this already. But we have a plan and I have already learned so much this year. One day at a time, right?

H asked me yesterday how I became such a good mom and I answered honestly: My awesome kids have made me a good mom!



  1. Yes, I too was relieved when we got our diagnosis. Friends thought it was devastating news for us, but I felt so liberated, legitimized, and relieved. It gave us something concrete to go on — a direction of learning and hopefully progress to move in.

    And isn’t it amazing how our kids can turn us into better people?!

  2. Congrats on being the best Mom! Nominated and selected by the ones that count.

  3. I ,too, know the comfort of labels. I knew when I first got them that they were not neuro-typical. But they look SO normal, without the labels, society’s expectations are unreasonable and impossible for my kids to meet.

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