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I know this board has been inactive for awhile but I felt inpsired to post an update today....

Quotes are from my post here in October 2006

DS1 - Age 15, adopted at almost 9 years of age from Vietnam. Very bright, athletically talented kid with lots of potential. His biggest issues have been with honesty and stealing, specifically stealing within the family. Very, very frustrating. His first mother died when he had just turned 8 and that has been a life alterting event for him (not surprisingly, of course). His first dad as best I can tell was a dishonest, philandering drug addict. A petty thief who was in and out of jail and sent DS1 out to steal and act as look out. He pulled DS1 out of school to care for his sister when the mom died. Ultimately he placed them for adoption saying he couldn't afford to school them.

Anyway, DS1 clearly has some significant attachment issues (i.e. I don't think he is attached at all) and has PTSD and is a great manipulator. Just very discouraging...

This is where we have had the greatest turnaround with things getting worse then dramatically better.

After I posted that DS1 had a disastrous freshman year. His attitude was terrible and he made little effort in school. He refused help. Ultimately we decided that the more important issue to work on was attachment and his emotional issues so we sent him to a psychologist. He resisted going and we told him we would pay him to go. He agreed and has been seeing the psychologist weekly for a little over a year. For the first few months it looked like nothing much was happening. He ended up failing 3 subjects his freshman year and lousy grades in most of the others (the only help he would take was weekly English tutoring). He went to summer school in English. The first day of class the teacher asked everyone what they struggled with in English. He said he didn't struggle at all...just didn't do his homework. He did well in summer school and turned 16 in the summer. Like most kids that age, he wanted to drive. We told him what our expectations were -- good attitude at home and A's and B's in school. This year he has retaken the geography and Spanish courses he failed last year. He hated not being in honors classes with his friends in some subjects.

As I write this he has truly done well since last summer. I hesitate to say that as he has always had a tendency to backslide. When he does well it has usually been followed by something awful. But...he does have all A's and B's. He has been doing well in school and in therapy and at home. I was at his regional bowling tournament today (he tried out for the bowling team despite not knowing how to bowl...made the team and has learned to bowl and done well) and one of the coaches actually told me how much he admired my son... admired his work ethic.

DS2 - Age 12, bio son. Extremely gifted academically but with severe ADHD. He had a reading LD early on (dyslexic) but that was remediated through the school. Currently in 9th grade (higher in some subjects) but attends a wonderful therapeutic school. Yesterday due to him rolling around in the bed after his medication patch was applied (Daytrana) he went to school without his patch. The program director called me and said that the school could now verify that DS2 is a child who greatly benefits from his medication...

Doing well in school, now in 10th grade. Has made great strides in math in the last 18 months. In October, 2006 he was in the early part of learning Algebra II. Now he is about to finish calculus. He is soon to turn 14 and is girl crazy.... ADHD is still severe and he is taking Vyvanse instead of patch now. We are going to try neurofeedback with him.

DD - Age 10, bio sister to DS1. She has had significant attachment issues but has improved a great deal. I don't think that she is entirely unattached. She has improved a lot in the last year or two. Still she has some major issues particularly around the issue of food.

She deterioriated quite a bit and the attachment issues really got much worse. She has been seeing a therapist for the last several months and is beginning to make some improvements. Still a lot of issues that aren't resolve though.
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