Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
Is your child Attachment Challenged?
This type of challenge is known as Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).
Attachment is defined as a lasting psychological connectedness between two human beings which develops through mutual care seeking and care giving. If a caregiver is detached, physically absent or psychologically absent, a child may experience long term difficulties with attachments in relationships.
Trauma, neglect, or other long term stress in the first 3-5 years of a child’s life can create major distrust. In addition it changes the normal path of brain development for the child. The resulting fear and changes in the brains of these children makes the relationship between parent and child especially difficult.
Signs and Symptoms…
• Withdrawing from others
• Difficulty sleeping
• Avoiding or dismissing comforting comments or gestures
• Acting aggressively toward peers
• Watching others closely but not engaging in social interaction
• Failing to ask for support or assistance, extreme independence
• Obvious and consistent awkwardness or discomfort
• Masking feelings of anger or distress
• Alcohol or drug abuse in adolescents
• As children with reactive attachment disorder grow older, they may develop either inhibited or disinhibited behavior patterns. While some children have signs and symptoms of just one type of behavior, many exhibit both types.
o Inhibited behavior. Children with inhibited behavior shun relationships and attachments to virtually everyone. This may happen when a baby never has the chance to develop an attachment to any caregiver.
o Disinhibited behavior. Children with disinhibited behavior seek attention from virtually everyone, including strangers. This may happen when a baby has multiple caregivers or frequent changes in caregivers. Children with this type of reactive attachment disorder may frequently ask for help doing tasks, have inappropriately childish behavior or appear anxious.
(Mayo Clinic Website)
What should parents do…
Parents should seek out trained professionals with experience working with Attachment Issues. Attachment is not a condition you can diagnose at home. Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is a lifelong condition, but with treatment children can develop more stable and healthy relationships with caregivers and others. Safe and proven treatments for reactive attachment disorder include psychological counseling and parent or caregiver education.
When you have a child who is Attachment Challenged, “normal” parenting and “normal” therapy will not help. Attachment Therapy is a specialized therapy for a child and for the parents who need specific bonding techniques.
Here at CCM Counseling & Wellness, we offer a comprehensive two week intensive therapy process. Within these two weeks the emotional and psychological impact of RAD is addressed for both the child and the parents.
Changing brain patterns takes “focus and repetition”, “insights and action.” The “2 week intensive” therapy is the means to initiating new brain patterns while sharing insights and support for parents. In order to provide continued repetition to optimize long-term results we strongly recommend that families consider 6-8 follow up sessions. These sessions also provide for additional parental support and when necessary gives an infusion of energy in order that the family and specifically the child can sustain the new actions they have initiated.
A parent-to-parent message…
Due to the concentrated format of this therapy there is a preliminary process to complete. Please feel free to call our office (920-498-3383) for further information and details