Have thought long and hard about the doctor’s off the cuff diagnosis of Bubba (seriously, he didn’t even discuss it with me, I just read the dreaded RAD on the sheet of paper…how professional and caring is THAT?). I have discussed this with several people involved in Bubba’s life in a professional manner (foster kids tend to have a lot of “peeps”) as well.
No one (and this includes peeps who are very experienced with RAD kiddos) believes that Bubba is truly RAD.
To be honest, I really don’t think he is either. And no, its not because I am in denial about Bubba’s struggles.
The truth is, Bubba isn’t fitting any one “diagnosis” neatly.
The aforementioned psychiatrist has labeled Bubba as: ADHD (no one denies this), anxiety disorder NOS (no one argues with this one either), and, at our last meeting, tossed down RAD on his paperwork.
His counselor believes that the majority of Bubba’s behaviors are due to ADHD, seperation anxiety, sensory issues, and the unfortunate legacy of being in foster care.
His mental health worker says that he is at high risk for RAD, but she isn’t seeing that with him at this time. Definitely sensory issues, anxiety, ADHD, and possibly Aspegers.
He has great difficulty with emotional regulation. Certainly more so than the average 3 year old. This does fit RAD.
His social/emotional development is easily 18 months behind his chronological age. he is not very interested in playing with other kids his own age, prefering instead to play by himself. in school he is currently participating with the class/following classroom routines 50 percent of the time. Aspergers, maybe? Or is he simply delayed in this area due to the trauma of being in foster care and having multiple moves? As I noted in an earlier post, the majority of his visitation with his birthmom took place in a playgroup setting….I tend to think PTSD is coming into play right now, as his classroom is structured very much like playgroup.
Transistions are pure hell for Bubba. Any transition. This could be some kind of Asperger-ey behavior. This could also be another expression of PTSD.
Bubba does not do well in larger groups or “busy” environments. he tends to get very clingy and anxious. Hence activities that one would think an active three year old boy would enjoy (such as going to the farm/corn maze/pumkin patch/petting zoo/tractor ride event) are very overwhelming for Bubba. That being said, given enough time (not to mention being willing to carry all 38 pounds of him around due to his mysterious temporary leg paralysis disorder mentioned in a previous post) he does eventually relax and have fun.
Bubba is incredibly oppositional at times. Exhaustingly oppositional. He also works very hard at being the center of attention. This can be seen as being RAD-like. Then again, he is very ADHD. And he is 3.
Maybe I need to spend my time focusing on practical ways in which to address his (for lack of a better word) “symptoms” and set aside the search for a “proper diagnosis.”