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The Trouble With Alex: A Child Too Damaged To Love

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
What a tragic story


These people had the patience of Saints. I can't say that I would have been so tolerant and patient. I think I would have given up on the child within weeks of the onset of the demonstrated problems.
post #2 of 14
My husbands Son has a child (My husbands grandson) who was diagnosed with RAD. From what I gather the Mother of this child was very similar to the one in this article. This child was so bad he was doing things that were really really bad starting at a very young age. My husbands Son eventually gave up his parental rights to this child. They did everything they could to help this kid but he was very much like Alex. It is very sad. What kind of adults will they be when they get out on there own. Without emotion will they turn into a criminal that has no conscience?
post #3 of 14
That reminds me of a movie a saw about a true story where an adopted 5 year old girl tried to murder her parents and kill her younger brother, and stabbed the family dog. She was raped by her birthdad, so she had horrific nightmares about it, and when she woke up she went into a rage. 2 or 3 years later of help and she made some progress, and that was the end of the movie, you never know what happened to her?
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by abbycats View Post
What kind of adults will they be when they get out on there own. Without emotion will they turn into a criminal that has no conscience?
I have seen the "stare" that Ms. Allen describes. I call it "lizard eyes" because they are so devoid of emotion. One of the persons was a self-confessed murderess and the other is a man who is an arsonist. I wonder if there is any help for such people
post #5 of 14
Wouldn't that little girl be considered a Sociopath?
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Wouldn't that little girl be considered a Sociopath?
Schizophrenia for sure, based on the internal voices she hears. And probably Sociopathic as well given the fact that she shows no remorse and appears to be devoid of feelings. In fact she probably has some other pyschological disorders too. It's unfortunate that she has fallen through the cracks and isn't getting any pyschological help or counselling.

I know that they tried to get the adoption reversed so that they could wash their hands of the girl, but that didn't happen and they are still her legal parents, but while they go and see her they aren't being proactive in trying to get her further counselling and psychiatric help. Instead it sounds like they are blaming Social Services for failing them. And in fact IMHO her parents have abandoned her despite visiting 3 times a year.
post #7 of 14
In the case of my husbands grandson this kid was really dangerous at a young age. He has committed bad crimes before he was a teenager. I had to listen to the phone conversation My husband had with his Son for 2 years with all the stuff that was going on. It finally came to the point where he relinqished all rights as a parent. His son is in a State institution in Colorado now. I can't make a judgement call on this matter cause RAD is bad. I can imagine what Alex's parents are going through.
post #8 of 14
I can't judge these people. Their marriage is ruined and they have another child that was in danger. The social services people seemed to act they were child abusers or something. Horrible situation, I feel nothing but sympathy toward the adoptive parents.
post #9 of 14
Oh I feel so sorry for this poor little (now grown) girl and for the lives of the people she touched.

My youngest son has high-functioning autism and if I ever felt frustrated by his behavior, I find a new sense of appreciation at how lucky we are sometimes after reading situations like this.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I know that they tried to get the adoption reversed so that they could wash their hands of the girl, but that didn't happen and they are still her legal parents, but while they go and see her they aren't being proactive in trying to get her further counselling and psychiatric help. Instead it sounds like they are blaming Social Services for failing them. And in fact IMHO her parents have abandoned her despite visiting 3 times a year.
Seems like you read a different article than I did. `Wash their hands' of her? How on earth did you reach that conclusion? They would not have waited six years if all they were trying to do was get rid of her. She attempted to MURDER her mother - and failed. They didn't kick her out then, either.

Aren't being proactive? Um... please tell me, what more could they do than what they had already done? If you aren't being listened to, if you aren't being helped, if your calls are ignored and your desperate please for help being ignored, what can you do? She got an apology from Social Services - would that not indicate that they are acknowledging responsibility in this case?

Obviously all they could do was write a book to bring their story to the public, seeing as nobody else was listening. It seems to me like you think along the same lines as all the many, many people they desperately tried to get help from - no wonder they didn't get anywhere.

But I'm really confused - you started the thread saying they had the patience of saints, and then a bit further down you said they weren't being proactive enough in trying to help her. And then accused them of abandoning her. I don't get it??
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Seems like you read a different article than I did. `Wash their hands' of her? How on earth did you reach that conclusion?
I based my statement on the whole article, especially this part, and when combined, with the following statement, that's my conclusion.

Quote:
"I don't know how much I can take of this," he whispered. "I want my life back."

Tense and on edge, we decided we had only one option - to get the adoption annulled.

Instead, we'd foster Alex.

That would free her from the expectations to attach to us, and us from the expectations of making her our daughter.

And, if it got no easier, we could hand her back.

Our announcement to Alex's social worker was like a bomb going off.

Suddenly, the authorities went into action, doing anything to prevent us annulling the adoption.
You may not agree with my conclusion, and that's fine

Quote:
you started the thread saying they had the patience of saints, and then a bit further down you said they weren't being proactive enough in trying to help her. And then accused them of abandoning her.
They did have the patience of a Saint to let the kid live with them as long as they did. She fired a nail gun at the woman for heaven's sake and tried to drown their other child!

They aren't being proactive in getting this kid help. Not anymore. They gave up and now the kid is languishing in some facility getting no psychiatric care. They admit she fell through the cracks, but they haven't done anything further for her other than visit her 3 times a year.

And IMHO they have abandoned her. They tried to get the adoption annulled, and the only reason they didn't was because of the campaign against them, questioning their parenting skills so they backed down. The kid was pushed into some facility and they visit her 3 times a year. Big deal. That isn't helping her any. Why aren't they paying to have her undergo psychiatric treatment/counselling? Sure they visit her, but other than that they've seemingly washed their hands of her. The only reason they visit her is out of a moral obligation because there is a piece of paper saying that she's their daughter. Had the adoption been annulled think they would be visiting her 3 times a year? I doubt it.
post #12 of 14
They didn't want to give her up, despite everything.
The social workers brought them to court and accused them of harming Alex by saying she had RAD and heard voices.

"Social Services were seeking a care order which meant Alex could never return to us."

The parents wanted to fight, and were terrified of losing Daniel too, but because Alex wasn't showing "enough disturbed behaviour to convince the judge just how damaged she truly was" they didn't have a hope of clearing their name, and thus getting the help they needed to raise a child like her.

I wouldn't have blamed them if they had left her on a social worker's doorstep.

Social services have completely failed to adequately care for this child, and the parents tried on numerous occasions to seek help for her via social services.

"The next day I rang the hospital, begging for news about our appointment - only to discover our social worker had never even referred us.

We gave Social Services one last chance: a week to confirm a date for a hospital assessment.

The deadline came and went. We'd been abandoned."
post #13 of 14
What a horrible, tragic story! That poor child has been abandoned and let down at every turn, as were the parents who tried to adopt and help her. I work in the psych field, and have met some children who are so damaged by drug exposure in utero, and abuse, that they just cannot function like normal kids would. I once helped care for a red headed, freckle faced little boy. He was adorable, and very loveable. However, he felt trapped in his foster family home, so in an effort to get moved to a new home, he killed the family pet. (It worked...he got moved.) These children just do not react like one would expect a child to react.
I have met countless foster parents who love and care for troubled children. They ARE saints, and deserve the benefit of the doubt when trying to care for these kids. I even remember several birth parents who have children who seem sociopathic for some reason. Sometimes you can trace to a reason (drug exposure, early neglect or abuse), but other times you just don't know why. But seeing a little bit of how painful it is to have such a child makes my heart go out to Alex's adoptive parents.
The girl in the story, Alex, should have never been placed into a home without extensive assistance. A psychologist who ignores the facts does not count as assistance. I am not familiar with RAD, but Alex deserved better.
post #14 of 14
I read a book once about this sort of thing. It theorized that children with this condition somehow failed to form a bond with a primary caregiver while they were an infant, and so they never learned how to love. They had quotes from children in the book who said they felt empty inside, and very angry.

There was a treatment spoken of in the book (that must be performed by a trained individual only) where they hold the child down with help from an assistant (children with this condition hate being restrained) and the child fights them and screams, but eventually has to relinquish control to the therapist and through this learns to let someone else have control, and they learn to form a bond with the therapist and primary caregiver. Multiple sessions of this take place.

I think that method had controversy around it though, but the book said it was pretty successful with the children it had been used on, and that the younger the child, the more likely you will have a full rehabilitation.

The book was called "Children Without A Conscience" I think.
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