Friday, September 17, 2010

Is RAD bologna?

"I am so sick of the "RAD" baloney going on. RAD is a very serious illness that is also very, very, very rare. I am sure you are intelligent adults so why are you falling for the stupidity that these "attachment therapists" are selling? It is all about making money for these guys. It is Americas new legal child abuse. Kids are dying for gods sake. If you want to know more about the TRUTH visit'

This comment was left on my blog. My first gut reaction was to hit "delete", but then I stopped. If my purpose to to provide support, educate and find other moms who have kids with RAD this statement can help a lot of us. All I ask is that you look for the feelings under the statement.  This is a person who has been hurt and could use both education and support. Whether they accept it or not is up to them but we all sure know how to give it.

First, I want to apologize for my absence.  Between my internship, moving, and some acting out on the part of a couple of boys, plus a wedding and a daughter leaving for college, I seem to have swung behind and am just now feeling like I am catching up. We sold our old house yesterday which was quite a load off. Now I feel like we can really work toward settling in and nesting here.

Back to the above statement.  Those of us who are mom's so wish RAD was bologna.  In the DSM-IV the guidelines for a child developing RAD are pretty specific.  When a child has been abused, neglected and abandoned, it is of course going to change the way they can trust or feel safe.  These are called attachment issues. When it interferes to the point of the child trusting no one, spending all the time on guard and living their lives in fear, as though in a war zone; they have RAD.  It makes complete sense.  I only have 4 weeks left in internship and then begin the process of becoming licensed.  I will be working with an attachment therapist, doe her agency,  but will  work in the town in which I live. I will be the only attachment therapist in my town, that I know of.  Am I going into it for the money? No. I am going into it because I am passionate about helping these kids.  They are the future of our nation.  They need help now. As far as attachment therapy being abusive: It has changed so much in the last 3-5 years.  It is very child centered, empathetic, educational, mindful... I could go on and on.  It is a loving form of therapy and I'm proud to be a part of it!.  I'm not sure I addressed all the above individual said. She/he did leave a website but I want to check it out pretty carefully before I post it as to make sure it is safe and appropriate. It sounded legit, but you know how it is.

Anyway, it feels good to be back.  I will be talking with my new supervisor soon about the direction of my blog. My current thought is that it will be still written from the perspective of a mom of kids with RAD but I may throw in some educational pieces as I come across them.  I'm hoping as I finish my internship that I'll have more time for awhile while my practice is in its infancy.

I hope and pray you are all doing well! I'll be "visiting" you all this evening on your blogs to catch up. Off to my internship!


GB's Mom said...

Every once in a while, I got anonymous comments with the same sort of flavor. Sometimes I delete them, sometimes I leave them. I don't have the energy at the moment to educate them. I am glad you do.

Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD said...

The purpose of a diagnosis it to determine what is the appropriate treatment. Different conditions require different treatments. If you believe you have one treatment good for everything, then diagnosis is irrelevant. While Reactive Attachment Disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of specifying what the child and family may need to heal.

A much better construct is Complex Trauma. This is a clinical construct and not a psychiatric diagnosis. It describes the possible impairments caused by chronic early maltreatment within a care-giving relationship. The domains to be considered are:
Behavioral Regulation
Emotional Regulation

Brenda said...

Thank you Dr. Beck-Weidman. I appreciate this answer. And I will repeat to the commenter that treatments for NONE of those domains include child abuse, which I know Dr. Becker-Weidman would agree whole heartedly.

Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD said...

I agree. Child Abuse has no place in child care. Evidence-based treatments for Complex Trauma and Disorders of Attachment include such approaches as Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, an evidence-based, effective, and empirically validated treatment.

Great Blog, thanks. B.

Tammy said...

I'm glad you're back :o)

Tara - SanitySrchr said...

Although the diagnosis is different in our house, many of the same concepts and behaviors are applicable. I originally began reading because I was skeptical when a close friend's child was diagnosed as RAD, as was she. I've researched and become educated and she remains the skeptic. That skepticism is present with respect to my children's PTSD and Bi-Polar disorder, but the skepticism isn't limited to just this friend, but to their bio mom, the school, and much of society in general. They don't WANT to believe...hello, I don't either...but, it is what it is and we can only move forward. Many people think that the behaviors are due to a lack of discipline, lack of parenting, or many other explanations. No one WANTS to understand. I'm grateful you do, and I'm grateful that over a year ago I stumbled upon your blog. It's been very helpful to us.

Anonymous said...

Candace Newmaker and the dozens of other children who were killed or abused by so-called "therapists" could tell you that there is big money is diagnosing children with RAD, a diagnosis that many members of the medical fraternity believe does not exist.
No child should be forcibly held, sat on, smothered, screamed at or otherwise abused in the name of therapy.
There is no evidence to support making an older child drink from a baby bottle or be hand-fed candies in some looney quasi-New Age belief in re-training a child's brain.
Attempting to force a child to be loving and "fun to be with" is manipulative and wrong.
Remember, there is big money to be made in AT circles. Frustrated parents shell out thousands of dollars to learn how to mistreat their children in this fashion without ever asking themselves, "would I want to be treated this way?" They need to wake up and realize they're being conned by very clever and persuasive people.
I predict that in 20 years AT will be a shameful reminder of the dark ages of child and family therapy.

Erika said...

I like Becker-Weidman's thoughts on the matter. Especially since so many take a diagnosis of RAD and determine that the child is un-parentable, unable to accept love, etc. I also think that many of the diagnoses in the DSM are not conceptualized with categorical precision. I prefer to think of my child as having a constellation of complex trauma symptoms, including some reactive behaviors in relationships. I should also confess that I've been a Becker-Weidman and Daniel Hughes fan forever. While I cannot see either of them for therapeutic support because of location, I read and re-read and apply and have seen amazing growth as a result.

Suzie said...

I suppose that the comment you mentionned in this post was referring to "Attachment therapy", which indeed seems to be very harmful, since it relays on provoking the child, stirring up bad emotions, physical restraint. That's exactely what a child who went through abuse and/or neglect does not need.
Furthermore, it caused several fatalities...

However, the approach you describe seems to be completely different: understand what the child expresses, avoid anger, avoid provocation, try to reassure, desescalate.

It looks full of common sense to me. It seems quite demanding on the parents, but I think indeed that they can achieve a lot by not escalating situations and not fall into the trap of confrontation.

So I suppose that you are no proponent of "attachment therapy" as it is described in the link above.