"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Friday, July 23, 2010

RAD Meets the Pioneers

I have not run across any information on RAD and creativity, so if anyone has any, chime in. I do know that I view Princess as, well.....not very. She draws, a lot. But every drawing is fundamentally the same: her in a field of something. She writes, a lot. But every page of writing is fundamentally the same: I love (whoever), or copying a page out of a book. She has difficulty with creative play; she is unable to come up with her own scenarios, and when she is playing someone else's her contributions tend to be rejected as not making sense, or being completely different from the already established game.

So when I saw this:

I was so shocked I was almost in tears.

This is a covered wagon. Princess is Laura. The Cuddle Bear is baby Carrie, and Peanut is Mary. Jack is just outside the frame, played unwillingly by Jorge.

She thought of this herself. As in, no one was in the room when she built it, and then she successfully engaged Peanut and the Cuddle Bear in playing Little House on the Prairie. Herself.

I don't know if the lack of creativity has been a brain thing, or a confidence thing, but either way I'm thrilled to see signs of whatever it is resolving.


  1. Genea had no ability to pretend for a long time. As she got "better", so did her imagination. I think maybe the brain is so caught up in the immediate world of right now, that pretending puts that hypervigilance at risk. JMO.
    LHOTP is awesome, a great thing to play!

  2. This maybe a long comment, I have never found any sites in this area... but I have a degree in Art and Movement so I came up with things we did when I was doing my community potion of my degree which was aimed towards kids with special needs.
    if we do a craft I always make sure there are words to go with it.. so like Love grateful words that they have to think about. If they draw I always ask them to draw something that is making them happy sad confused and so on...I never just let them have total free range. we do a lot of movement to.... they make up songs which is always interesting, songs about how they feel or a poem, I have even had them dance their feelings out .... dance is a good one cause it does help with imaginations and play ... play being a fairy and dance the fairy dance ..or be the wind, we even dressed up as 80's disco diva's the other day and blasted out 80's disco music ... they had a blast. Hope that helps

  3. My kids were older when we adopted so it's hard to say what they played like when they were little, but I see very little creativity. My daughter does play dolls, but the "storylines" seem to be more acting out her trauma rather than made up stories.

    I've never seen one creative thing come from my son artistically or academically. He wants everything handed to him and if the answer is not right there he cannot infer.

    Neither child seems to have the ability to think abstractly. If I try to give an example or an allegory they can only take it literally. I believe this is because of the effects of trauma on their development. Having difficulties with things like object permanance means they have difficulties with abstract concepts.

    I've seen some improvement in my daughter as she gets older and heals. I don't see my son (who is not healing) even trying to be creative.

    Mary in TX

  4. This is a fascinating topic. Anastasia has always loved imaginative play around a full-sized baby doll. She can be creative in terms of decorative arts. But I do think there is a dearth there....she'll never put voices to dolls, or make up "stories". She, too, copies, copies, copies books.

    The big thing is that sometimes I almost feel that she doesn't have a personality. Does that make sense? Or, maybe I just don't personally find her personality interesting....short on emotional coloration and big on the things I lack - organization, math ability, analysis rather than compassion... I don't know.

    It is hard to see where her personality starts and where early trauma leaves off. What is which? And maybe all of our personalities are built from those early experiences, good and bad.

  5. @Essie- that's an interesting thought, about the hyper vigilance.

    @Annie- No, I get what you mean about the personality. But it's hard to sort out, because if she and I did a Myers-Briggs test, I know we would come out opposite. Josh is MUCH better at understanding her. Plus, my other three are above average bright and creative, which makes comparison difficult. Is personality a luxury some kids can't afford?

  6. we watched the same thing happen with our kids and I must admit it was a beautiful transition to watch. Calvin is a lot better about it than Fudge is but he is getting there. Essie is bang on though and once they feel safe they can learn to be kids but it is hard for them to do.

  7. I could have written the same about my RADlet. She has worked HARD to learn to play, and now usually involves re-enacting movies. But when she came home 11 months ago...nothing. She literally just stared at the dolls. She did not know what to do. Like others have said, the more healed she becomes- the better it seems to get. But she also struggles with making inferences and associations, as well as language processing. LOVE that she likes LHOTP. Wish mine would get into it, we are still about 5/6 social/emotionally so we are "TINKERBELL!" fanatics. :)