My 2020 Vision: Spread Love and Hope to RAD Families
I have a friend who is a huge purveyor of gratitude. In fact, she is so excited about gratitude that she literally “wrote the book” on the topic. I often try to follow the exercises in The 28-Day Gratitude Workout and find it helps me reframe my perspective and develop a better mindset.
Today I was reflecting on the things I was grateful for and at the top of my list is most definitely overcoming and moving past reactive attachment disorder. We spent so many years living in fear: fear for our son’s future, fear of the judgement from others, fear that we’d run out of money for all the treatments and therapies we needed, and fear that our child would someday hurt or kill one of us... most likely me.
Things have changed SO much in the past few years and for that I am eternally grateful. Last year, I published a book about our harrowing and inspiring journey and have been incredibly pleased with the reviews so far, but I realize I’m not done. I cannot bear the thought that others are suffering from this horrible diagnosis. My heart goes out to the kids who can’t access the logical part of their brains and are using anger as a protective shield; and to the parents living in frustration, manipulated and hurt by their own children.
I know that our story can help people. If nothing else, it would be great to give a copy of Love Never Quits to families and friends of those suffering from a RAD diagnosis to help them understand some of what is going on, to explain the behaviors of these kids, and to give some hope to RAD parents that there could be a light at the end of this very dark tunnel. But the book is not enough. In 2020, I have some very big plans to expand my reach.
Beginning next week, I will be posting short videos on Facebook every Tuesday with tips, ideas, and inspiration for RAD families. I’m 100% NOT comfortable on video, but one of my goals for the year is to do the things that terrify me. So here I go.
I am honored to have been chosen as a speaker for TEDx in Grand Junction this March and hope to virally spread the word about the societal impacts of childhood trauma – pushing for better insurance coverage, better mental health services, and more trauma-informed schools. Should you know of any organizations or events in need of a speaker on the topic of childhood trauma and RAD, please pass my name along. Again, doing things that terrify me.
I am also developing an online class specifically designed for RAD parents, teachers, and caregivers. The course will cover the basics of what RAD does to a child’s brain and developing a trauma mindset, along with resources and techniques that we found helpful with our own son. It will in no way attempt to replace therapy, but will provide some information that I would have loved to have known sooner in my own journey. As a teacher, designer, and online learning developer, this idea uses my superpowers and I can’t wait to share!
My goal this year is to help others get the early intervention required to really help these kids heal. For many RAD kids, there is a very good chance to move past the trauma and live a normal life, complete with healthy relationships and opportunities for growth. Every kid deserves to thrive.
I am grateful that RAD is mostly in our past and will now focus on making that happen for more families. My 2020 Vision is peace and love for all of us. Happy New Year, everyone!
Stay tuned to my Facebook page (Gina Heumann, Author & Speaker) and my website (http://loveneverquitsbook.com) for more information!
Gina Heumann is the author of Love Never Quits: Surviving and Thriving After Infertility, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder. Purchase her best-selling book, GOLD recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award here: Love Never Quits