The clinical, medical definition and The Diagnostic Criteria For Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
may be difficult to read and understand. Unless, you are the parent of a RAD child and then for some reason those few paragraphs mean much more.
The symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder parents generally witness are far more specific and obvious. Some of the commons Attachment Disorder Symptoms include:
- A child who is superficially engaging and charming with strangers and visitors.
- A child who is Indiscriminately affectionate with strangers, including hugging and talking about intimate family details.
- A Child who fails to make or maintain eye contact on his or her parent’s terms.
- A child who is not affectionate on his or her parent’s terms, but may be over huggy and clingy on their own terms.
- A Self-destructive and/or accident prone child.
- Hurtful or unsafe with others and material property.
- A child who is cruel to animals.
- Lying about the obvious, nonsense lying. Even when no real motivation for a lie exists.
- Stealing, including items of no use to the child.
- A child with no impulse controls. Often labeled as hyperactive.
- Lack of normal developmental and behavior milestones.
- Learning Lags.
- Unable to understand cause and effect.
- Appears to lack a conscience.
- Eating disorders.
- Poor social and peer relationships.
- Some children are preoccupied with fire .
- Some children are preoccupation with blood and gore.
- Persistent nonsense questions and chatter
- Abnormal speech patterns, baby talk or nonsense talking, gibberish.
- Triangulation of adults. Manipulation of situations between adults.
- False allegations of abuse.
- Presumptive entitlement issues.
- Parents appear hostile and angry and over controlling.
Most parents who are raising a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder read the list above and find only one or two issues their child doesn’t display as symptoms. Parents who adopt an older child or a child with a history of abuse or neglect generally read this list and realize their child has Reactive Attachment Disorder. Treatment can be very difficult to find and children with RAD ordinarily don’t benefit much from standard methods of mental health treatment. A different approach appears to be needed for children to heal from RAD.
Attachment therapy should involve the parents especially the primary caregiver. Some children actually suffer set-backs in their attachment with their adoptive parents if standard therapy is used. Standard therapy even with children is based on building a relationship between the therapists and the patient. Attachment therapy is based on building the relationship between the child and the parent. It is counter productive to have a child with an attachment disorder build a trusting relationship with another person from outside of the family. Attachment therapy should always include the parents’ participation and the therapists is not there to build a trusting relationship with the child, but instead teach the child to have that relationship with his or her parents.