Thursday, July 10, 2008

RADical research

does your "light reading" look like this too? i'm a (former) research scientist by trade, so i tend to dig into a subject to figure it out, control it, and conquer it. we adopted internationally in 8 months! then we adopted domestically in 6 months. that's not typical! whether it's a car, a computer, a company, or a child, i want to read, study, observe, then fix it! make it work! and NOW! so RAD's been a toughie! but dangit, i will learn this! :)
once we figured out that there was indeed a problem, that it was called RAD, and that there was hope, i wanted to fix it. i've read books, websites, forums, articles, even medical research papers. i've listened to broadcasts and conference calls and watched training videos. and i still can't fix it (not yet anyway!)

the most interesting (to me) part of my research is the brain scans of neglected children. it's honestly very hard to remember that our RADicals really can't think right. they're so smart, they should be able to think! but when they're scared, have to make a decision, think they might get in trouble, etc, their brains do not function as they should. they revert back to their hypothalamus (or something, the base part of their brain that toddlers use, hey, it's 3am) instead of the frontal cortex where complex (and common sense) thinking takes place. in that moment (and oh there are so many of those moments) they literally can not think.
so when we're in a rush and i say where are your shoes? mr looks on the ceiling!
when em stands in front of me with wet pants and i say you wet your pants, she says no i didn't!
they're not stupid! they're both very intelligent, their brains just don't work all the time.

here's another great article about effects of neglect on a child's brain development that you'll enjoy if you're as nerdy as me. (but if you are, we would so not be fun at a party together!)

anyway, the scientist part of me digs it. i see the poorly developed cortex and understand perfectly well. their brains aren't developed and that part of me wants to fix it. but the mom part of me just wants them to find their shoes and not pee. :)