Aug 172018

Hi Readers!

I recently toured a place that employs people with special needs, and they agreed to take Lilly!

What would she be doing? This place is a little thrift shop where toys, furniture, appliances, and clothes are sold. It has garage bays in the back, where DD employees clean, fix, and paint things that were donated. Someone puts price tags on items, and another person runs a cash register.

I was impressed, not with the cleanliness, (because it was kinda messy), but with the laughter and general activity going on there. They also had a room designated as a “sensory room,” for when someone needs to chill out before acting out.

I wondered if this might work out for Lilly? I also wondered if she would literally trash the place if she ever got mad enough. She could.

We who parent kids from places of deep trauma have to be ever hopeful, but not too disapointed if things don’t work out for our kids.

While we were there, Lilly begged me to buy a strange metal decoration. She said, “MOM! Look at this! I LOVE it! Please, please, can you get it for my room?”

“Lilly, you have some of your own money, and if you want that thing, you’ll have to use your own money.”

I got a little glare from her before she returned it to where she found it.

A couple minutes later Lilly was paying for a pair of platform shoes with her own money, lol, and she never ran that purchase by me! I don’t know how much she will make at her first real job, but I know she will spend most of her paycheck there. 🙂






How to Stay Calm in RAD Land

 Chasing Lilly, Foster children  Comments Off on How to Stay Calm in RAD Land
Aug 032018

Canva-Field-of-Flowers-Nealie-RoseIf you are a parent of a Developmental Trauma or RAD child, it’s the hardest thing to stay calm. I know first-hand. (See page 168 of Chasing Lilly when I could have creamed Lilly in the locker room, lol!)

There are some things that you can do to help stay calm.

When your child acts out in a big way, don’t say a n y t h i n g. Secure the area for safety, and as long as nobody is in danger, keep quiet. At least until you can think clearly instead of react. Your heart may be hammering so hard inside your rib cage that you think you’ll stroke out, but staying quiet instead of screaming helps, if you can do it. 🙂

Pay attention to your body’s signals. Do you clentch your fists when you are angry? Then when that begins, make a point of holding your hands open so that you can’t form a stress-fist. If you clamp your jaw or grind your teeth before a rage, make a point of keeping your jaw relaxed and slightly open. Do you get all red and hot? Put an ice cube on your forehead or in your mouth. You can close your eyes and breathe for a minute while you pray.

Doing these things could actually help you keep from doing something foolish while you work on an appropriate response to your child.


P.S. If you’ve never listened to an audio book and would like to try Audibles so you can listen to Chasing Lilly, here’s the link!


Lilly’s Countdown to Community Living

 Chasing Lilly  Comments Off on Lilly’s Countdown to Community Living
Jul 202018

Canva-Freedom-Chasing-LillyHi Friends,

Lilly has a court hearing this week, and after the hearing she will be released into the community. Sounds scary if you’ve read her story. (And it is scary!)

She will have 24/7 staffing and be in a house with a few other disabled tenants. The things that swirl through my mind are about how she will get along with her staff and fellow house people. And the neighbors -yikes, let’s not forget the neighbors. And will she stay put?

Lilly has a lot of apprehension about this because she previously hasn’t been able “to succeed in the community,” as DD guidelines call it.  The rule book words it as “the least restrictive environment.”

The “least restrictive environment” wording has changed so much in the lives of many Developmentally Disabled people. Some changes are for the good. Others are awful. I feel that one important word is missing, and that is the word SAFE. The guidelines should say, “least restrictive SAFE environment.”

Lilly has been anything but safe in her community placements up to now, and that’s why we all have misgivings going into this weekend. I am hopeful and talking positively with her, but nervous inside. If you have a DD son or daughter, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Prayers appreciated, Nealie

Jul 092018


I had two grandchildren with me when I happened to see Lora. She has a 12 year old daughter with RAD (Developmental Trauma). Before we parted she said, “You make it look so easy.”

I kept thinking about that. We had lots of hard times with Lilly for years. Lilly is being cared for now by full time professionals, and she does not live with us, as told in Chasing Lilly. It wasn’t easy!

Things look different now. Lilly isn’t in my home, cannot hurt me physically, cannot run away from home, cannot hurt pets or break my windows.

Is life easy now? I still talk to her at least once a day, often listening to rantings, and sometimes she hangs up on me. That’s fun. I have multiple emails and meetings concerning Lilly, and we visit her.

When she is doing well, and I feel safe, she comes home for 4 to 6 hours for a visit. That’s all I can handle, and it’s hard not to be anxious while she is here. I find myself going over things in my head like:

Did I put away the knives and scissors? Are medications that were in the bathroom put away? Where are the cats? Will she take a “no” in a good way, or will it set her off? Will she run away while she is here? Where did I leave the candle-lighter? Should I check her pockets?

Almost every time she comes Lilly asks me why she can’t stay the night. I tell her she is too old to spend the night, and grown daughters don’t do that. I don’t tell her she can’t because I wouldn’t be able to sleep with her in the house. She’s told me too many times about a dream she’s had of killing me with a knife. But I think she knows why she can’t stay over without going into it.

Yes, I make it look easy, but it must be because I’m in a safe spot in my life now. I pray all my friends with RAD children will get to a safe spot eventually, and that they will have more success healing trauma in the lives of their children. That’s what needs to happen. Healing.