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For a large part of the time our son has been with us we have been waiting - and worse still expecting - for there to be a very obvious and significant improvement in his behaviour, waiting for the signs that he had indeed settled and that he had let go of his hurt and anguish and that he had embraced the love and more importantly the security he now had in our family.
A pet peeve of mine is children and parents describing their relationship as a 'friendship'.
Personally I feel that getting on with your child, having a wonderfully close relationship, sharing certain interests, being able to open up and share your feelings with them and encourage them to share theirs with you is not friendship - it is just good parenting.
When I look at our sons -
I see confusion over the disruptions in their lives and the difficult heart wrenching changes they have endured.
I see hurt and anger for what they have suffered.
I see the lack of self worth that has resulted and I see a lack of trust in the adults around them.
A few months after our sons moved in we went to visit a dear friend who was dying, he had arranged for somebody to buy presents for the boys, he engaged with them and he gave them lots of attention. Even though he was very poorly and in quite a bit of pain he made every effort to smile and welcome them and he clearly left an impression.
Due to increasingly difficult behaviour in school - which is now very much spilling over into our home life - my partner and I have been reassessing our son and the behaviour we are facing and we have concluded that he does indeed suffer from Reactive attachment disorder (RAD).