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Friday, June 26, 2015

MANIPULATION, RAD Symptom Post #1

    I have been thinking about RAD and wondering how to help people understand what it really looks like in daily life. 
   When I read about something that I have not experienced, I find it easier to understand the concept when I am given an example. In light of that I am going to break down the symptom's of RAD and give you a glimpse of what our life looked like at one time.
     As with any diagnosis, what we experienced may look different than what you are experiencing.
     My goal is to help people who are close to a family who is parenting a child with RAD better understand what this family is going through as well as helping them understand why the parents enforce strict boundaries for their child.

MANIPULATION: 
To influence or manage shrewdly or deviously
To tamper with or falsify for personal gain

Perhaps the best example of manipulation in our experience was Braden's anxiety. We began working on a Life Story Book for Braden in his weekly therapy. The therapist, Miss L helped him choose a name for his book and draw picture's on the cover. The next page was about his birth, how much he weighed, where he was born etc. The following page was about Joseph's birth and so on. 
   Miss L said we will follow Braden's cue's, as he will let us know when he needs a break from telling his story.
  We did one page every week and about three to four weeks into it, Braden's behavior changed, he suddenly became very anxious. 
    Miss L told me that anxiety usually plays a large role in children who experienced trauma and she felt we needed to address it. We agreed and Braden's Life Story was put aside while we tackled the anxiety. 
   Braden's anxiety became so severe he couldn't sleep at night. The doctor said there isn't anything on the market that would help a child stay asleep but there are things to help children relax and fall asleep. She gave some suggestions and we increased the dosage until she said there is no way, this child should be able to stay awake. 
    Lia was a baby at the time and she didn't sleep well so when I was up with her at night I would check on Braden. He was always wide awake, his cheeks weren't flushed nor were there "pillow marks"on his face, to suggest he had been sleeping. 
   In the morning he would have big black circle's under his eye's and of course his behavior deteriorated badly.
  Braden worried about everything: is my food safe to eat, will someone come in my window and get me, will I have clothing to wear tomorrow, what if I don't like my snack (there wasn't a food Braden didn't like) what if I fall off the train (His class went on a train ride) and on and on it went. He had no fewer than 100 things to worry about every day. 
  We were concerned because this anxiety popped up out of no where and as far as we knew, nothing had happened to trigger it. Was it simply anxiety or a symptom of another illness?
  Braden's anxiety took over our family life, then one day it stopped. Bang. No more anxiety. Braden and I were driving to an appointment when I asked him about it. 
  "Hey Buddy," I said, "You aren't worrying any more, what happened?" He said, "I decided not to worry anymore, I am tired of it."
  I was speechless for a bit then questioned him further and it turns out he didn't want to work on his Life Story anymore. He also said that he likes to see if he can get people to believe him because it makes him feel big n strong when they believe something that isn't true. He was cheerfully answering my questions when his face suddenly went blank. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he was mad that I knew what he was doing, he wished he hadn't told me. 
  A whole year of worry, sleeplessness and anxiety and both his therapist and his parents fell for it. No wonder he didn't trust us, not if he could fool us that easily. 
    That episode was a stepping stone that helped us realize Braden needed more in depth help than we were providing.
   From that point on Braden had no respect for his therapist because he had proved to us that he was smarter than she was. He knew he could manipulate what he did in therapy so therapy no longer held any value. 
   


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