No, I have not come down with a sudden case of turrets syndrome.
About a month or so after being back in the US the thought crossed my mind that we may be dealing with R.A.D. I quickly dismissed it believing I hadn't given SV sufficient time to adjust, after all he'd only been home a month. And I can't decide if the month he spent with me in Russia counts towards his adjustment period. Now, six months into this I've decided he is going to be adjusting the rest of his life.
About 3 months ago R.A.D. made it's way into my thoughts again. It was the day he punched his teacher in the stomach. And a week later R.A.D. was knocking on my brain yet again because SV got in a fight on the playground. And again I made R.A.D. disappear. I didn't want to think about R.A.D. I mean who does R.A.D. think it is? How dare R.A.D. suggest my child could be a "son of R.A.D." a "RADison"? No way, uhn uh, I am NOT inviting R.A.D. into my house! I told R.A.D. to shut the hell up and get out of my brain. Thankfully R.A.D. left...
Until yesterday. Then R.A.D. came crashing back. First gently into my brain through an email from a new friend who has two RADlings of her own. Then furiously and without remorse like a semi crashing into my chest. I followed my new friends advice and checked out RadKid.org and I looked over the signs and symptoms of R.A.D. in children. The semi truck hit my chest at that moment, it showed NO MERCY and I could hear R.A.D. laughing at me inside my head.
Yep, I'd been avoiding R.A.D. for 6 months, and now R.A.D. was having it's revenge. I hadn't wanted to think about it, I knew then, and I know now if R.A.D. was what we are dealing with then not just MY life will be forever changed, but the lives of my other two children, my marriage, even the lives of my friends and in-laws will be forever changed. I don't want that. I DON'T WANT IT. I DO NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH R.A.D. I do not want my other children to deal with R.A.D. and I do not want my MARRIAGE to have to deal with R.A.D.
R.A.D. however, does not care what I want. R.A.D it seems is here to stay, the univited guest. And whether SV is ever "properly" diagnoised, this is all the proof I need: all of the signs/symptoms that are highlighted and/or underlined SV exhibits on a daily basis.
Symptoms of RAD in Children
• Superficially charming and engaging, particularly around strangers or those who they feel they can manipulate
• Indiscriminate affection, often to strangers; but not affectionate on parent’s terms
• Problems making eye contact, except when angry or lying
• A severe need to control everything and everyone; worsens as the child gets older
• Hyperactive, yet lazy in performing tasks
• Argumentative, often over silly or insignificant things
• Frequent tantrums or rage, often over trivial issues
*Demanding or clingy, often at inappropriate times
• Trouble understanding cause and effect
• Poor impulse control
• Lacks morals, values, and spiritual faith
• Little or no empathy; often have not developed a conscience
• Cruelty to animals
• Lying for no apparent reason
• False allegations of abuse
• Destructive to property or self
• Constant chatter; nonsense questions
• Abnormal speech patterns; uninterested in learning communication skills
• Developmental / Learning delays
• Fascination with fire, blood and gore, weapons, evil; will usually make the bad choice
• Problems with food; either hoarding it or refusing to eat
• Concerned with details, but ignoring the main issues
• Few or no long term friends; tend to be loners
• Attitude of entitlement and self-importance
• Sneaks things without permission even if he could have had them by asking
• Triangulation of adults; pitting one against the other
• A darkness behind the eyes when raging
And the very first symptom up there, this one "Superficially charming and engaging, particularly around strangers or those who they feel they can manipulate" that explains how we didn't know... that explains the DRASTIC difference between the child we thought we were bringing home, and the child we actually have.