Sunday, October 19, 2008

that "talking thing" is a conversation!

my RADical em asked a funny (kinda) question today after church. we were walking out with a friend and my friend saw another friend and stopped and had a typical conversation. i thought nothing of it of course, but i guess em was pondering it.

mom, how do grown-ups do that talking thing?
what talking thing?
you know where they start talking and just keep doing it.
you mean a conversation?
i don't know, just where they start talking and keep talking and don't stop.
(realization dawns... she doesn't know) oh honey, that's called a conversation. people do that because they care about each other. they want to know how the other person is doing so they say hi, ask questions, and talk about how they are. you'll get better at that as you learn how to love and let people love you. it's really fun.

it's hard to fathom not having the understanding that seems so basic of caring about others. it feels good when someone cares about you and asks about your week, although to em, it's more like a test i guess. what answer are they expecting me to give so i get this right and stay safe? she's pretty inconsiderate, but not to be rude, she just really doesn't know. and that's a hard thing to teach. we've modeled it for years now, but maybe one day it'll rub off.


Maia said...

Just found your blog and read back through a few months. I am so glad to have found it! I run a residential treatment program for foster kids (many of whom have RAD) and have several adopted siblings (one of whom has diagnosed RAD). Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to reading back further!

FaerieMama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FaerieMama said...

Yay for Em for noticing the "talking thing"! I never thought I'd EVER hear of another child who didn't know what a conversation was! Anastasia had the same conversation with me two years ago at the YMCA. I remember it vividly bc I couldnt believe she didnt understand. It was a real lightbulb moment for me as well as her! I'm so glad to read of Em noticing, because next comes EMulating (lol), testing the waters. You go, girl!

familygregg said...

Yes, this is such a good example of the basic building blocks that are missing. The things...most others naturally pick up on and incorporate into their worlds seemlessly.

Our girlie has had many similar moments and it took me a while to really see what was happening or not happening. I used to be quite freaked out...sooooo worried about her future etc.

Then as attachment was like her brain/heart/world opened up (continues to open up.) She started reacting/responding appropriately to things....initiating appropriate behaviors...putting appropriate thoughts together etc. It's like a veil has lifted.

I think kids/adults w/RAD are so concerned about their own well being that they can only see directly in front of them and have no clue that the world around them is large and active....that there really is a "whole wide big world happening out here." (which is what I would say to my girlie....when she was obviously so caught up in herself.)

She is almost 12 now....came home at 4 1/2. The external/noticeable growth in this area only started about 2 years ago. What a relief it was!

P.S. Like the pink :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's very insightful on your daughter's part. When I was her age I thought grown-ups either gossiped or bragged. I had no idea they were genuinely interested in each other and wanted to hear how they were doing. And I was so-called "normal" -- living with my parents and never diagnosed with any emotional problems. It's funny how kids see the world differently from adults.
Your children are gorgeous. Do they dislike getting their picture taken? They look a little apprehensive even when they're smiling.

familygregg said...

encouragement: don't let the negativity of some get you down