Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Does my child have Reactive Attachment Disorder?

This post is for any of you parents who have kids and wonder.  Maybe you have been to many doctors and therapists and no one can help. You cannot figure out what is going on with your child. I don't think you can get a diagnosis on line from reading some hick lady's blog from Nebraska. But I can tell you some things that would be a red flag that would say "It's time to meet with an attachment therapist for an evaluation".  Attachment therapy is different than other therapies and even when all others have failed there is a chance for success. So here we go:

Things that break attachment

adoption, foster care, early childhood illness that requires hospitalization or prolonged pain, parent physical or mental illness that separates them from the child physically or emotionally, changes in primary caregiver during the first three years.....These events do not always break attachment. They can just cause some attachment issues. There are some of those remarkable kids out there who are resiliant and get through it. It does effect many.


I'd like to say first and very very importantly that these symptoms can be symptoms of other problems. Don't read them and say "Ah this is it". They do need to see a professional to rule out other things that have the same symptoms.
Attachment Disorder Symptoms
• Superficially engaging & charming

• Lack of eye contact on parents terms

• Indiscriminately affectionate with strangers

• Not affectionate on Parents’ terms (not cuddly)

• Destructive to self, others and material things (accident prone)

• Cruelty to animals

• Lying about the obvious (crazy lying)

• Stealing

• No impulse controls (frequently acts hyperactive)

• Learning Lags

• Lack of cause and effect thinking

• Lack of conscience

• Abnormal eating patterns

• Poor peer relationships

• Preoccupation with fire

• Preoccupation with blood & gore

• Persistent nonsense questions & chatter

• Inappropriately demanding & clingy

• Abnormal speech patterns

• Triangulation of adults

• False allegations of abuse

• Presumptive entitlement issues

• Parents appear hostile and angry

This list is from Nancy Thomas' site.

I hope this helps some mom who is searching.  There are answers. Get help. Find support. To the right you will see a list of blogs from adoptive moms.  If my style is not one you relate to find one that you do. You are not alone.


Anonymous said...

I have never commented on a blog before. But I just want to say that for a few months I've used your blog to find information on RAD, to discover new sites, and to calm down when I'm feeling angry over dealing with my daughter who is a RAD child. So I want to say thank you, and please keep doing what you are doing... it helps.

Brenda said...

Bless your heart. Thanks for sharing. It is a tough road. (((((hugs))))

peggysue said...

Well if you find that 'hick' lady from Nebraska you can tell her that her blog has been a lifeline for me not only because it has a positive attitude and spin on things, she tells us to never give up (as opposed to another small group I knew where now three out of six families have disrupted) she also tells great stories that help me know I'm not alone.

Kathy said...

Trying to find a rad therapist is the tough part! We live in the middle of nowhere Idaho and boy, could we keep a rad therapist in business around here.

Brenda said...

Peggy Sue much love to you.

Kathy~I see awareness in more and more therapists. I hope one comes near you soon.

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prcsanglash said...

I have believed for a long time this is what my step daughter suffers from. We are now at another new psychologist who is testing her for everything. Her school swears its ADD or PTSD, but with her history I just know. I found your site while conducting research for my psych paper and it's very resourceful. I bookmarked it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have a 15-year old daughter that my former husband and I adopted at birth. Immediately, I noticed "something wasn't quite right," and I talked to the pediatrician. My husband and I already had a six-year old biological daughter, so I knew what milestones the baby should be reaching. As an infant, she didn't want to make eye contact, she wouldn't smile, and her limbs were always stiff, but no one knew of RAD 15 years ago. Still, a mother's instinct told me to wholeheartedly love and nurture this child. All went relatively well until she was 5, when were surprised with a pregnancy and another daughter, but then then my husband and I divorced. I was fortunate enough to keep our home and continue to be a stay-at-home mother, but (Sarah) began exhibiting unusual behavior (lying, hording food in her room, and stealing). In a few years, she began harming animals, hurting other children (physically and sexually), and she had her first psychiatric evaluation at age 8. We knew something was wrong, but no one could put a diagnosis to it, and she was put in ADD medication and anti-depressants, and it was so strange because she was so charming, articulate and wonderful with strangers, but not her own family. Things continued to escalate with more stealing (jewelry and personal family items), but when she barricaded her two younger sisters into a playhouse, and threatened to kill them with a gun and then fired it we knew there were severe psychological problems. In the last year, the lying, stealing, hidden drugs (syringes, medication), and now running away are too much for me. I released custody to my former husband to protect my two younger daughters, but now her grades have fallen to failing, and she continues to run away. We resorted to Catholic schools to help reinforce values, but it was useless. We attempted residential treatment centers, but our insurance would not cover, and we simply could not afford $14,000+ per month for care, and we were told we "made too much" to qualify for State help, so where does that leave middle class parents with children who desperately need help? It is so sad to see this absolutely beautiful child fall through the cracks and to think what become of her life when she becomes an adult. To others who have walked in my shoes, it is not easy, but just to have found out about the diagnosis of RAD helped a bit because it gave understanding to our lives of confusion and hurt.

Anonymous said...

Very nice and intrestingss story.

Ranjeet said...

Some of the above Symptoms can be shown by a normal child also.You cannot totally conclude that he is suffering from RAD.I was not aware of this Disorder until one of my classmate said me that he was suffering from RAD in childhood because he was adopted.I read few articles and find interesting fact about RAD.RAD is tiring and i feel pity for those mom who is undergoing this.This is also one article which has good information about Reactive Attachment disorder.
Reactive attachment disorder

Anonymous said...

I found out that my step daughter has RAD. I really don't know what to do, because her dad has stopped therapy, and now it is getting bad again. So far she has thrown one brother into traffic. Has choked him twice, and yesterday he found a lighter in his room. Both of us kinda flipped out. She has also put a pillow case ove my 4 year olds head and tied him up with a scarf and tied it to a bed post. She is a very dangerous girl, and everyone is haveing a great time just ignoring it. What should I do? I can't leave, because I believe that my step son will die. I know she goes after him when noone is looking.