This is the fourth in a new IACD video series called Parent Talk about RAD. Please hear Brian and Cindy share their story from the beginning here.
Brian and Cindy know first-hand about the financial strains of raising a child with reactive attachment disorder. They’ve paid an outstanding amount of money on medications, overnight hospital stays at mental health institutions, and various types of therapy. Many people assume that adoption subsidies or insurance would cover the costs of raising a foster or adopted child with RAD. Sometimes that can be true—but not entirely.
The financial resources most parents of children with RAD have typically only cover minimal expenses or they cover ineffective treatments. Brian and Cindy discovered that their insurance company paid for multiple and extended stays in mental health facilities. Yet, such facilities did nothing for their son.
Many parents of children with RAD, if they have the means, spend money out-of-pocket for respite care and effective therapy. If they don’t have the financial means to do so but have insurance, their only option is to send their children to emergency rooms or other short-term options. They are left in a rotating circle of therapies and medications that don’t work. Some parents don’t even have the insurance available for any help at all.
Feeling the pinch
Last year, Brian and Cindy felt the pinch after years of expenses to help their son overcome the early trauma he experienced before they adopted him. Nothing had helped though and their son continued to be violent. They were tired and overwhelmed.When they finally found us at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development, they felt relieved. Someone finally understood what their son needed and offered therapeutic respite care—a way for them to get a temporary break to catch their breath while their son was in good hands. However, they still felt conflicted financially.
Cindy and Brian found out that, thankfully, they didn’t have to weigh the option of getting a much-needed break. Generous donors provided it for them, without the burden of financial responsibilities. For just a while, they had a break from worry.
While emotional and financial worries don’t end after respite time, the break does help along the journey of raising children with RAD. Cindy and Brian had a chance to relax, breathe, and enjoy a time of normalcy over a weekend. “We savored the simplicity of conversation without feeling edgy,” said Cindy. “We didn’t worry that our son may kick or hit me or destroy something in our home. We slept with peace that we hadn’t known in years—a peace not only for ourselves, but for our son as well because we knew he was safe too. Our son was at a place where he fit in and with people who understood him and wanted to help. He wasn’t in just another institution where he was shuffled through their “standard” program.”
Give the gift of rest (if you’re able and rested yourself)
If you’re able, please consider giving the gift of rest to other parents like Brian and Cindy. When parents of children with RAD have time to rest and recover, they are better able to parent with more patience, wherewithal, and compassion. If you are in the trenches yourself, please continue to reach out and speak up. When we collectively raise our voices, we reach more people and advocate for families of children with RAD with greater clarity and strength.
Watch the Parent Talk about RAD full series of Brian & Cindy (the final clip will publish early January 2017):