So far so good - I think. (Please no one walk up to them if you know us in "real life" and tell them they are doing good or they will resort to bodily functions!)
Andrew and Crystal are RADishes. I know what to expect from their "good times". It is going about the same way as I expect. (In case you are wondering raising my expectations will result in my looking off guard or feeling disappointment, not a change in behavior - so please don't tell me to expect better of them.) They are both trying every little chance to "get away" with something. It is their lives' desire to somehow feel like they are a step ahead of me. I have to be as overvigilant as they are. They try to go past their limitations in how far from supervision they can be. They try to get into the kitchen area without being noticed. They try to "borrow" things from the other children in hopes that the other kids might let their guard down and receive something broken back or not at all. They try to get more of the "family books" off of the shelf than they are allowed to have at once. They try to do ANYTHING that they aren't allowed to do. If I don't catch them on something then they will try to go a step farther. Their hope is to "gain control", "manipulate", or "deceive" most of the time.
That being said, they are doing well considering. Their attempts are quickly met with a quick reminder that I DO see them. I DO know where they are heading. I will not let them get by with it. After probably 100 attempts in the first 24 hours at getting by with something - ANYTHING, they have slowed down a lot. Andrew has been saying "I am sorry" when he loses a privelege or gets a verbal reprimand. He has complied with doing his "remedial math" that is necessary until he quits playing dumb on his normal math. This is good since I am making him write his numbers over and over, which he hates the redundancy of doing. He even admitted to playing dumb on his language assignment and apologized after correcting. Crystal is doing ok. She has a look on her face too much of the time that says she is not wanting to attach further. At other times she is more willing though and is giving some real hugs at bedtime (I think).
Forrest and Jose are very glad to have received clemency as well. They don't have full blown RAD. They have more what would be called "attachment issues" or I think it is more "foster care issues". They are the issues that every child who has come to me ( at least the ones over age 4 when they moved in full time and I don't know about some of the others yet) seem to possess. They tear up clothing, or have food issues, or lie alot, or try to get pity from others, or are set in mediocracy with feet dug in and refusal to try to succeed, or constantly trying to get something by in some set area, or testing to see if they are really loved, or push to see if you'll really "keep" them. Those are just behaviors that I expect. I know to expect them and I generally know how to modify them as well. It can be slow going. It is NOTHING compared with the RAD kids. RAD kids do all of those behaviors all at the same time and add in a lot of other components as well. They seem to appreciate that they didn't have to finish those reports that were piling up. They also seem to not want to go "back" to that hole that they were digging for themselves.
Clemency worked out very well. I don't recommend that you ever do it often. I don't want my kids to ever have hope that it might happen to get them out or they might not care to dig that hole. I do want them to know that I loved having a good weekend with them all. I loved seeing them all out of trouble at the same time. I loved movie time where everyone had priveleges. I loved seeing all the boys playing ball together without anyone sitting out. I loved seeing what it will be like when God brings them all through their rough spells. I remind myself that God is going to bring them all through. I praise Him for that.