Wednesday, June 2, 2010

If Nothing Sticks to Teflon How Does Teflon Stick to the Pan?

It's possible I should have put TM in the post title or something like that. Dear Teflon People, I was not sure.

I've been had. Been had by the RAD. How cute of me to rhyme. To be fair to myself and save some enormous embarrassment, I had taken these certain things into consideration before and I thought I was probably on the right track. Then time kept on ticking ticking ticking into the future and I forgot all about it as Genea started school last fall.

Everyone lean over and grab your Nancy Thomas book. "When Love is not Enough a Guide to Parenting Children with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)". Yes, the purple one. Now, turn to page 21 and read #17. Paraphrased ...."they refuse to speak clearly....many of them are in speech therapy for years with a caring teacher".  Then check on page 36 under Unclear Speech. "Children who whisper, mumble or run their words together in order to get the parent to bend down and say 'what' over and over wear parents out and are not learning clear communication skills" .

After about a year of advocating for Genea to be evaluated by a Speech Pathologist, I was finally able to get her seen at school. They do testing and then they have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting, to decide if she qualifies for therapy at school. These are the tests that she had:.

Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test
Test of Language Development Primary 4
Language Processing Test

The primary issue with her speech is the halting quality that it has. Since starting first grade, it has gotten worse and she has long pauses between words. Sometimes she trails off and can't seem to find the word at all. I did not think it sounded like stuttering and it also did not seem to be made worse by anxiety or stressful situations.

These are some of the areas that were evaluated:
  • Expressive Language
  • Receptive Language
  • Picture Vocabulary
  • Relational Vocabulary
  • Oral Vocabulary
  • Syntactic Understanding
  • Sentence Imitation
  • Morphological Completion
  • Word Discrimination
  • Spoken Language
  • Listening
  • Organizing
  • Speaking
  • Grammar
  • Semantics
  • Associations
  • Categorizations
  • Similarities
  • Differences
  • Multiple Meanings
  • Attributes

Note that Genea's articulation has always been reasonably on track and so language has been much more the concern.

So, what were the results? Genea is normal. Average to low- average. Seriously. We had our little meeting and the SLP told me when they see this much consistency across that many tests, it indicates that she is functioning as well as she can. Hmmm, I said, starting to recall certain passages in a certain purple book. I threw out a few questions about possible neurological causes to try to make myself sound smarter.

Guess what else..... guess where she had the biggest strength.............


To which I said........


Listening, you say. A strength. Huh. How 'bout that.

Once I got home from my panic ridden IEP meeting where it was of course determined that she does not qualify for extra assistance primarily because she does not need it, I took the time to set up a situation. Genea would talk on and on, in her halting and pausing pattern and I looked away every once in awhile. Without fail, every time I randomly looked away---- SHAZAM she thought up the word and kept on going fluently. Sigh. Double sigh.

The good news is though, despite all of the neglect, trauma and medical instability in her life, she is normal-ish!!!! I'll take it!


  1. I have one RADish who mutters constantly. I believe Nancy Thomas says strong parents don't repeat themselves, or something like that. Yeah. When he's doing well he's clear as a bell. My other RADish has serious word finding problems. Was in speech therapy for 5 years but scores well now. Although this will always be a problem and is not usually a manipulation. Being had by RAD. Sucks. Yippee for normalish.

  2. Ugh. Princess does things at home she never does at school and vise-versa. Fortunately, I have a team who's been willing to be educated about RAD and have a lot of experience.

    She does the speech things, too. I've never considered speech therapy (although she has it anyway for language processing), because it gets so obviously worse when she's looking for a tantrum. I usually repeat back to her whatever crazy thing I heard (or I make something up) rather than say "what?" It's more annoying for her, and she usually will rather say it clearly than have me believe she said something remedial.

  3. Normal-ish, AND a freakin' genius. Gotta give the girl props for such consistent and believable attention-getting/controlling behavior. Not just anyone can pull that off. Especially with such a keen mom like you.

  4. We had the SAME THING. By the time my kids got to me, they were experts because they had only been speaking English for two years. Meaning: every adult in their life just assumed it was a speech/language issue.


    Heck, I even treated one of my kids for sensory integration issues ... WHICH SHE DOES NOT HAVE.

    Yup, yup, yup. Been there. WAY done that. Right there with ya'.

  5. I've also been duped. Fun, isn't it?!

  6. Yeah for normal! (ish or not)

  7. Genea and my Phineas sound so much alike.
    At home I do a lot of selective ignoring when he is asking me to repeat himself.
    In public he enlists the sympathies of anyone present, so I find myself telling him, "you heard what I said" very often.
    When he mumbles and whines, same thing. At home I try to ignore it. In public I state loudly, "I cannot hear you when you do not talk like I know you can."
    It is very frustrating.

  8. we have whisperers and put something over your mouth and look down talkers... usually when in trouble... I hear you though!

  9. Great listening it! Not helpful when they don't use them at home, right?!

    I can imagine the frustration you are going through with this whole thing...what's "normalish", what qualifies her for services, what can/can't change. You just seem like a very informed, loving, and normalish mom to me....

  10. I don't think my son has RAD. I thought I knew what it was...until I read your post. It is only recently that we have been saying to him "Was that even English!?" but that doesn't happen very often. Instead, he is a whiner and a crier when the going gets tough. But, the minute, nay, the second he is able to move on from the toughish situation, he's done with that crying buisness. I never really considered that that might be an attention-getting ploy. With him, I've got to rethink this parenting thing; he is a horse of an other colour.

  11. Did you hear the "Aaaaahhh!" from east of you?

    For the past six months or so, Anastasia has developed this annoying habit of talking softly, and a mile-a-minute, and unclearly, so that I have to say "What?" "What...? Honey, slow down!" "Speak up!"


  12. Same here!m Both of my little guys drive me insane with the mumbling, pausing, whispering or sometimes being so loud it hurts my ears. I had them both evaluated and Bingo. Both Normal. Guess it's just me. Maybe I should go have my ears checked....

  13. Wow. I actually do the same thing, sort of. I OFTEN can't think of the word I should be saying next and I'll stop until I can come up with it. Sometimes, I can't. My husband has gotten into the habit of trying to suggest the word I might need and he's very good at it now. I think that's why I like writing. I don't think of it as an actual stutter, but more of like a stutter in my brain. It's not that disruptive though, I can imagine there are people who have it much worse than that.

  14. The staff at Genea's school are lovely but the fact is if I started talking about RAD they would immediately give me the carrot-growing-out- of- my- ear look. She passes really well there.

    Annie, JH, the unclear speech is a minor possible componant of RAD not one that defines it. It's more a secondary symptom.

    AJ, that's what Genea sounds like, like the words just disappeared as she was talking.

    I'm pretty obnoxious about the "what? what?" business. If she says it, I repeat at triple volume. If she talks too quietly I pretend I did not even notice she was talking at all. She overkilled that little trick way early on and I got fed up right away!


  15. So...good news! Let's just play cup-half-full today, okay?

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  17. oh hun, don't fret it. I've been had by Sissy a few times. She plays that "i can't talk" game and I just say, "I won't listen to you until you speak clearly" but that was AFTER Nancy thomas....

    So how have I been duped? Sissy had me and her teachers convinced she had a vision problem two years ago. Took her to the eye doctor. BETTER than 20/20. I think I grabbed her by the ear and dragged her sorry a$$ out of that doctor's office, I was so mad!!!

    and now the sleeping game, which I've talked about recently on my blog. I firmly believe she has had us all convinced she's not sleeping through the night based solely on her word. (DUH!!!! Geez, you'd think I'd have learned) Since we put the baby monitor in this week, guess what? Suddenly she's sleeping oh, so peacefully.

    It's not the fact that we've been had. What's important is that we don't CONTINUE to be had. Every little nuance we turn upside down is one step closer to healing.


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  19. Ah, yes...normalish. One of my children's therapists told me to be thankful said child was able to function in "one arena," i.e., school. PS: Said child has been in speech therapy for ten years. Oh and a friendly reminder...of course Genea passes really well at school...another strong characteristic of RAD. You are crazy. The child is perfect. This is why we stick together and cling to our purple preserve our sanity!

  20. Jennie- Genea wakes up 2-3 nights a week to come and find me to tell me she is not asleep. Usually I am up reading blogs :) She is either dreaming that she is awake or she wakes up for a minute or two and convinces herself it's been hours. I could probably stick a baby monitor in her room and tell her it will make her stay asleep and it would work. LOL!
    SPP, I alternate a few books at a time but I always have one (or more) of the biggies within 12 inches of my right arm!
    I like that she does well in school because if she can fake it that well in school she'll be able to fake it at a job someday and that means she'll be able to support herself. I hope.

  21. Jennie - my Bob did this when she was about 7. It started out with wanting to move to another part of the room so she told the teacher she couldn't read the board - the whole family is nearsighted so we'd warned the teacher it might become an issue. The teacher got tired of moving her and we were told to get her a vision test. My husband had been unemployed for over a year and we told her this had better be real (don't remember why we weren't convinced). When she couldn't read the big E and then the letters on a card they put in her lap I knew she was lying! I confronted her and she said she wanted glasses like her cousins. *argh!* Ironically within 2 years she really needed glasses.

    Mumbling - thanks for the reminder, my son does it to make me crazy, especially when he doesn't really want to answer. If I ask him to repeat himself he says he hates repeating himself and refuses to do it. Convenient?! I think not. *grr* One more thing I need to remember not to let him get away with. *sigh*

    Mary in TX


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