Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's all our fault.

Dear All,

This post is probably going to get me into some trouble, but unpopular speech every once in a while must be embraced even with the limpest of arms. So, any mean, nasty or inflammatory posts will be automatically deleted.

It is our faults you know. Everyone knows what cancer is. Everyone knows what AIDS is. Everyone knows what bi-polar is. Almost no one knows what R.A.D. is. And it's us that we have to blame. We live in a world were information is transferred at light speed. We are more connected to one another than any other time in human history, and yet Reactive Attachment Disorder always receives the same response:

"What the hell is that".

Since my community portal has opened, I have been on the phone with reporters, doctors and social workers and the answer is always the same. "What is Reactive Attachment Disorder?" While blogging is a great way to expose the myth's of the disorder, more can be done. We can get out, we can speak, we can become united as a community and bring this terrible disorder to the table and begin a dialogue.

One of the problems (And this is just my opinion) that while blogging, forum browsing is a great way to get the message out online, it's not the kind of fundamental action that will FORCE school officials, lawmakers and members of our communities to listen to us. Each of our stories is an important puzzle of R.A.D. and each story is special.

I have heard the argument lately "Too many parents are scared of legal repercussions" by telling their stories. They are afraid they or their children will get into trouble. While I understand that fear, we have to consider as a community what good this is doing. Sure, we may be hiding behind the cloak of "Safety" but we aren't changing the minds and the perceptions of those around us. We are huddling together in our little online forums and blogs discussing issues that we already know about. We are a cliche and that's even worse then saying nothing.

As long as we as a R.A.D. community hide in the shadows afraid of the big bad bear another family may very well be trying to recover a picture out of a burned down home. This happened, recently in Ogden, Utah. Our inability to move past the realm of the online world is WHY no one knows what Reactive Attachment Disorder is. We need to do more and we can do more.

Every blogger out there has the strength, the courage and the fortitude that many other's in the world don't have. We should capitalize on that bravery and galvanize our group. We as an RAD community must come together and begin grassroots programs that don't depend on the online presence. Not everyone has a connection to the net, and not everyone can afford it. Some families have children right now clutching a kitchen knife threatening to kill someone. Are they somehow to magically find our blogs in hopes of some solace and understanding?

Once again, I am not saying the bloggers and forums aren't a great tool, they are. I salute everyone with the bravery to come forward. We must transcend this online world and step into the real one with our messages. They are all powerful messages. Your words could and may very well save a life, TODAY.

We can no longer hope that a family in trouble will find us. We need to find them. Our unified message of hope and healing should no longer remain in the shadows of a blog or a forum.

It's our fault the world doesn't know what R.A.D. is.

Tomorrow, however, is a different story.



brenkachicka said...

Well said.
I used to be a PRIDE co-trainer. When the topic of RAD came up, the trainer (who was a social worker) told the class that they would not come across RAD kids in foster care. She said if they had RAD they would be in an institution! I was outraged! I tried to explain that I KNEW OF KIDS IN THE SYSTEM IN FOSTER CARE WITH A RAD DX. She just shook her head. It was as though that ugly truth needed to be hidden or we might scare away potential foster homes.
I PRAY for the day when our family is financially stable again and in our own home so I can be a foster parent again and do my part. One child, one family at a time. The system has it's flaws, but at the heart of it there are people who care. People who will walk to the ends of the earth to help a child that may not even be in their home for very long, a child who may not even remember them.
But I remember them ALL. Every single child I have cared for, no matter how short the time period, they are in my heart forever.

Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD said...

One study found that 50% of children in the child welfare system had symptoms of attachment disorder while another study found that nearly 80% of maltreated infants had symptoms of attachment disorder. Odd that the Pride trainer did not now this. The first study is from the National Adoption Center and the second is by several well-known and respected researchers.

One Future At A Time said...

Un be lievable. It's my personal mission to change this. I know, I know I don't have the fancy traning and the letters after my name, but I have one thing that doctors don't have.

Practicle real life experience. :)

My mission is set :)