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    Hello, I'm new here. I was given this site by the "Ranch For Children' in Montana. I am raising my nine year old grandson who for five of his nine years was abused by his father.This has left "David"( not his real name) with PTSD, Anxiety disorders, ADHD, and attachment problems. He went from a normal four years old boy( when the father first took him) to the mental age of 2 just after one year, and never progressed past that point until we got him back, last year at this time. Since the one year I have had him he has progressed to the mental age of 7 but still I'm told he is considered to be mildly retarded I'm not sure if "David" suffered brain damage during the abuse or if it's the trauma itself. I guess at this point it really doesn't matter.They have even stated that "David " may have ashburgers. I"m sure I'm not spelling that right. Nobody really knows what has caused his inabilitiy to learn or why he has short term memory loss. Our biggest COPING problem at this point is the attachment problem. And honestly I don't even know how to start to tell you the level in which he has. BECAUSE there is no support groups, foundations or professionals anywhere I know of around here. Most people when reading such a story tends to not want to approach me, because maybe they feel they can't give appropriate advise,or maybe they just are scared to talk about such an issue. I don't know.. Well I am here to ask you to not shy away from me, ANY advise can be helpful at this point. The damage was aready done before I posted on this site.

  • #2
    hi lasha,
    thanks for visiting us. yours is a very horrible story. i am very sorry for you and your grandson. i am sure he has terrible attachment issues at this point. there is a group home in my area where a couple is finding great success in helping children w/attachment issues. i would try calling them to see what advice they can give you and where you could possibly go locally. these people tend to network and may prove resourceful.

    i have ideas for things you could do, but am not a counselor, and would think that, at this point, is what you all need.


    • #3
      Hi Lash,
      Thank you for being there for your grandson!
      Are you able to be with him as much as possible?
      I am sure he is craving security and unconditional love, as he did not get that with his father. I am sure his delays are a special issue I cannot speak about, but would still recommend Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Cohen as a frame of mind to explore.

      Have you looked into a local API group?


      • #4
        Thanks for reply...

        Last year David could not attend school, because of his emotional issues. So i homeschooled him. This August he started public school with a special contained class. mostly to lessen his anxiety and fear of being around people. He is doing okay, with some minor issues. He is in counseling once a week and is on mild meds to help him sleep at night. As you can imagine this was quite an issue for the first year. He is potty trained now and speaks very well. But can still not read or write past kindergarten level. His social skills are non existent.When we first got him back you were unable to hug or kiss him and only touch him if he was aware you wanted to do so.. But now he will let you hug him and he does give a restrained ( stiff ) hug back. He will constantly tell you that he loves you, but does it without feeling. He sees his Mother and half siblings every weekend, but doesn't like the noise and fast movement that goes on when you have several children. Plus the siblings are very loving and tend to run up behind him and grab him without notice. ( which in turn he strikes back and usually hurts them)So alot of the weekends are short lived. It's sort of like he has separated himself , and is living in a prefabricated world of his own. There are days, at my home, that he acts like a normal child. But then he will turn around , without cause , and go back into his "world." I do not work so I can give him my full attention. He does not have friends and DOES NOT want them. The therapist said this is not healthly and David should be forced to particapate with other children his age. David can not deal with anyone from outside the home. How can I force him to make friends and communicate with his peers if he is not mentally on the same level as his peers? I do good if I keep him from crawling under the beds to play alone!! I feel like I am out of solutions for helping him. ( not to say I'm giving up!!) While his father had him ,he was placed in a children psychiatric hospital seven times. I will not do this to him, ever! Short of that I'm open to any ideas.
        Last edited by lasha; 12-02-2008, 01:21 PM. Reason: spelling


        • #5
          lasha, good for you for insisting that he stay w/you, not in a hospital. i hope that by providing the info that i did, you did not understand that i think he should be in a home. i only meant that the people in this particular organization have been working w/children who've been abandoned and abused and have attachment issues. they actually give parenting seminars to help parents be the source of attachment for their children.

          your story reminds me of a book i read not too long ago called "A Slant of Sun". her child was not abused, but did have PDD-NOS (similar to Asperger's). she talks about how she dealt w/his obsessions, w/drawn-ness and resistance to peers.


          • #6
            This sounds a little harsh!
            David should be forced to participate
            AS I said before I have no insight or training into those with special challenges, although I did work as an assistant in a self-contained special education room ..I guess that could count? I also had some (undiagnosed) issues as a child with social skills....

            Anyway, you might also want to look at Hold On to your Kids for a view on peer-oriented children.

            I don't think forcing sociability is the answer. I am sure providing opportunities for socialization is helpful, but just dropping him in the middle of a party would only make me fearful of people!

            Oh, my spell checker is not working sorry!
            Last edited by naomifrederickmd; 12-03-2008, 08:38 AM. Reason: spell checker working now


            • #7
              I agree that forcing a child to socialize is not likely an ideal situation, I am not a professionally-trained therapist but a mother of two children on the autism spectrum. When my oldest was a bit younger, we found that play therapy really helped with his anxiety issues. The therapist was fantastic and everything was dealt with through play. The first few sessions, my son wouldn't leave the little tent in her office (she keeps it there because many kids find it comforting) and she never pushed the issue at once. She gained his trust and when he was ready, he came out.

              Here's the website for the Association for Play Therapists which is how we found the therapist we used (she is a licensed clinical social worker) -

              I did a quick search and there are 23 play therapists in Montana listed.


              • #8
                FYI I've no idea what I'm talking about as my children are not special needs. But... I was just wondering what he would do with a plant or pet to take care of?


                • #9

                  Thanks for just responding!! You would not believe the times I have tried to just have someone to talk to. David can't have a pet of his own. He doesn't understand how to not hurt animals. We have a large dog and he hurts him in play. He doesn't feel pain like a normal child. So he don't know how rough to be. And plants he loves the feeling of the soft leaves sooo much he kills them.Melissa, I think I accidently,mislead you . I live in central Mississippi. There is just nothing here. The therapist we do have is more confused than I am!! I looked at this thing called sensory disorder. David has SOOOO many of these symptoms. Can someone explain this disorder to me??
                  Last edited by lasha; 12-03-2008, 10:39 PM. Reason: spelling


                  • #10
                    Sensory processing disorder (SPD) sometimes referred to as sensory intergration dysfunction (SID), is when your body doesn't process your senses properly. so, noises may be extra loud, tags in shirts may bother you, the lights may cause you physical pain, eating food can be an overwhelming experience, etc.

                    Sensory Integration Therapy can do amazing things for these types of disorders. usually done by an occupation therapist or physical therapist, it can really help. you can read "The Out of Sync Child" and the follow-up "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun" for detailed info and ways to help him at home.

                    let me know if you have more ?s.


                    • #11
                      Oops sorry about that - there are 33 play therapists in Mississippi - you can search their directory.

                      The two books Dedra suggested are really great sources for information on SPD and the "Has Fun" book offers a lot of practical ideas that you can implement at home that are fun.

                      A great web-based resource is I have found that "Heavy Work" activities really help both of my kiddos (sensory issues are extremely common among individuals on the autism spectrum).


                      • #12

                        You said in your first post:

                        Originally posted by lasha View Post
                        Our biggest COPING problem at this point is the attachment problem.
                        I'm not sure exactly what his means. Can you give us an example?


                        • #13
                          Do you mean you think he's too attached to you?