Thursday, May 1, 2008

meet mr, RADical #2

mr is a cute, silly, sweet, sometimes rotten, scary smart, incredibly clumsy, bright-blue-eyed, blond-haired little boy. mr doesn't have the perfectionism em has though. he's quite content letting people see the real him and letting them know exactly how he feels, whether he's happy or more likely very whiny and defeated. when he's happy, he's a complete joy and is very fun to be around. his laughter is very infectious and i give extra tickles just to hear it often.
when he's not though, there is a storm cloud for all to see with crying, whining, and flopping on the floor saying i can't do it, or this is the worst day of my life, or i'll never get it right. he's near impossible to encourage since he lacks logic and he's hard to comfort since he seems to want to be unhappy. he does the "i want to be in trouble thing" that only RADical parents can understand. oh that's tough to take, but we give him that love and acceptance anyway, and it's slowly sinking in. he does come to me now when he's frustrated, that's a big improvement. he doesn't always hear my wise words and feel better, but at least he seeks me out. he does have some great moments though, where he buckles down, tries hard, and allows himself to succeed. he's just now learning about pride and that it feels good!
mr has a diagnosis of RAD, possible ADD, and a definite coordination disorder with sensory processing issues for which he has weekly occupational therapy, which he LOVES. when he first came here, he was crazy accident prone and we wrote it off to young, excited, and not used to rules and well, parenting. we quickly realized there was more to it, we just didn't realize how much more. that's coming along, improving in some areas but regressing in others, but hopefully with therapy and a "sensory diet" (still reading about that) he'll get there.
while he was the poster child with about every issue on the RAD list, mr has improved incredibly over the past two years. he was the classic kitten killer, toy breaker, crazy liar, constant peer, out of control boy, but is now (mostly) sweet, cuddly, considerate, careful, and pretty obedient. he's younger than em, so it's a little easier for him. he remembers less, needs more help, and it's more natural to carry him, plus he was with me all day every day when dad worked outside the house and the other two were at school. he really responded well to the nurturing activities and it feels like he's "caught up" on the emotional development he missed. his attachment therapist says he seems to finally have a very normal attachment to me now (yay!) he still has trouble identifying or showing emotions and that's what we're focusing on now.
amazingly, mr is a genius. he taught himself not only numbers and letters, but to count, add, and read at 5! i very purposefully did NOT teach him because of the attachment activities. i was (am) treating him like he's 2 (cause emotionally he is and he needs the nurturing he missed), so he doesn't need to be reading! for his kindergarten evaluation, he scored in the 99th percentile in verbal reasoning, but only in the 1st percentile in non-verbal. talk about a brain pulled in two directions! so he can talk on a very grown up level and understand complex ideas, but he can't put his shoes on right or write his name. kindergarten will be interesting this year.
so that's our little mr. now that he's 6, he's finally feeling like my sweet little cuddly toddler!