So, first of all, I would like to again thank all the friends and family that have reached out to be supportive during this time. Whether it be a comment on the blog, my facebook page, or a phone call-it is much appreciated. Establishing a support system is one of the priorities in the book which says that it is important to surround yourself with people, who understand, that you can call and process your thoughts, vent your rage or have respite care. So, thanks!! We feel loved!
Now onto the topic of food issues with Trenton. Some would look at him and think "wow, he is so skinny, does he eat?" Of course he eats!!!....he eats, and eats, and eats, and eats........ Which, in all actuality, that is the problem. I know most would think he is just a growing boy and that he needs to eat all the time-who knows, maybe it is a growth spurt...right? WRONG.... It couldn't be more wrong. See, children should have three well balanced meals a day with two snacks (a morning and evening snack). With Trenton, the first issue we have is gorging (another symptom of RAD). He will eat a meal and want more or he would go to a buffet and eat till he got sick to his stomach. We have had family members state that "all he did was eat while he was with us"! He was so hungry! Again, this IS a problem. What the book recommends is that we give him those balanced meals and snacks during somewhat of a scheduled time-you know...the normal time of day for those meals! Then, if they want more during each meal, allow them to have more. Offer them nutritional additions like apples, carrots, a piece of cheese, etc. to each meal if they ask for more. Eventually, the more you offer them they will eventually say-no, I am full (and feel full of love too...:).
So, why does he gorge his food??? It's simple really. Most likely, at one point during his first three years he was not given food when he requested it. Whether he cried for a bottle and didn't get it or asked for a meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and wasn't provided with one. Now, it may not be that he wasn't provided with one at all but even if his request was ignored and he wasn't fed till a much later time, it can cause issues with food! Food is a basic need right? It's like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. You can't move up the pyramid until you have the needs in each level met. In this case the bottom of the pyramid which is his physiological needs weren't met. It makes it difficult to go to the next level which is safety/security. Once each need is met he can then move forward with love/belonging, esteem and then self-actualization. I have learned that I will never deny him food-HOWEVER, it is very important that he have food during those structured meal times. Never send him to bed without dinner either, that is another important lesson learned!!!
Okay, the other food issue we are dealing with has gotten increasingly worse over the years and we noticed it more (or found it) over the past six months. He hoards food. Yes, he takes food when we aren't looking or around, and shoves as much of it as he can in his mouth. We don't see this but what we are finding the empty wrappers, drink boxes, etc. We figured at some point he takes the food and hides it till he can quickly empty it into his mouth. We have caught him a few times but more often we find the empty wrappers. One morning, Jonnie caught him naked eating M & M's. He was getting dressed downstairs for school and after undressing out of his pajamas, he located the M & M's and then started shoving them in his mouth! He didn't even get dressed first! We started hiding treats and quickly found that he will search for them anyway. We found empty bags of gummy worms and bears that we brought back from Disney. We found six empty packs of fruit snacks that he probably shoved in his mouth in one sitting-we found those in the pantry. Jonnie found 6 empty capri suns in the garage (he must have taken them from the garage fridge) which he also most likely drank in one sitting. I know no longer try to limit his sweets....I give him dessert every night! When he hoards like this it is his need to gain control and feel comforted. I am trying to parent him in a way that now lets him now I won't deny him food, take food away from him, or ignore his basic "need" of hunger.
So, another step in the right direction. School issues are currently being worked on so I am feeling like once his new IEP is in place we will have better results! And....one last note-he hasn't taken a shower in two days. The book says it's common for poor hygiene. So, rather than forcing him to do it or yell and make a big deal out of it. I let him go to bed 2 nights in a row without a shower! BUT...when he does take a shower I will throw myself at him, jump up and down, and make sure he knows how good he smells!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let the count down begin:)
Love to all!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Any regrets in raising Trenton? No, not one. You can ask me again in 10 years and I will say it again...no regrets. We kept him from being able to go to parades, trick or treating and birthday parties but I firmly believe we made the right choice! According to the wonderful book I am reading, When Love is Not Enough by Nancy Thomas, we are and HAVE been doing the right thing! Those are privileges and for a child with RAD-privileges have to be earned! Big time...... They earn them by being respectful, honest, responsible and fun to be around. You shouldn't push them and you shouldn't have to remind them of their basic daily chores. Wow! So all the years that Jonnie and I have been giving him chores and making him be responsible, we were doing the RIGHT thing! Yea for that! My only regret??? Not pushing all the Dr.'s much sooner to look at a different diagnosis other than ADHD. I knew there was some true mental health issues with him and I just didn't know how to help him.
Tonight he was definitely difficult but I feel we made a very small step. He was having a hard time following through and completing the task asked of him (to remove the sheets from his bed to be washed since they were urinated in). We sweetly offered for him to rest since he was too tired and exhuasted to do what was asked (a tip in our book). He didn't like that at all..he promptly went into a full on tantrum in which he took every picture in his room of myself and/or Jonnie and threw them face down. It was a bit heartbreaking but I knew that he was angry with us and that is to be expected. After given time to calm down, I approached him and tried to get him to tell me why he was so angry. He immediately went into wanting to see his sisters (he has half sisters who live with his biological mother) and other family members where he knows he can be in control. He hated that we were in control today!
He eventually broke down into tears and was able to talk about his anger. He said it was his fault that he doesn't see or live with his mother anymore. He blames himself for her giving up custody of him-his words exactly "it's all my fault because my mom couldn't handle me anymore". I told him it wasn't his fault, it was a choice she made. Unfortunately, he is suffering the consequences which is the hardest aspect of all of this. He is so broken and his heart is so broken. I wish I could fix it for him and I wish he would let us love him.
On another note, Lucas and I had a little respite getaway to my Dad's on Saturday. It was peaceful, restful and quite nice! Luke played, I cleaned off my old computer, and we rested......quietly. I feel a bit refreshed! Hopeful of a calmer week ahead!