Blog

You’re angry…I totally get it

As a fellow parent of a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), I understand your anger. However, here's what I've learned: While anger is a natural response, it doesn't serve you or your child well. And here's why… […]

Continue Reading

You need a safety plan

If you're raising a child with RAD you almost certainly need a safety plan. Our children's dangerous behaviors can include suicidal ideation, self- harming, violent outbursts, serious property damage, and physical aggression towards others (especially siblings). This is shared from a blog post by Renae and Jason who are grappling with […]

Continue Reading

You can get PTSD from dealing with a young child?

After my son was placed in a psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF) I went to therapy. Something was wrong with me and I needed to fix myself before my son returned home. He was 10 and had been terrorizing our family with his violent and out of control behaviors for several […]

Continue Reading

Why Residential Treatment is good (and not good) for kids with RAD

What's your success been with Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF)? My son, Devon, has been in 2 group homes and 5 psychiatric residential facilities (PRTF).  They feel like 'holding tanks' that have actually made him worse. Unfortunately, they've been necessary to keep Devon and my other children safe. Here's a great pro […]

Continue Reading

Why adoption stories aren’t fairy tales

Adoption finalization is a reason to celebrate. Parents have filled out mountains of paperwork, waited months or years and shed many tears to get to that moment. They wear matching tee-shirts, eat way too much cake and splash photos all over social media. Adoption day is so momentous that it feels […]

Continue Reading

When you feel like you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown…

Unless you've lived through a child's relentless screaming, violent outbursts, physical aggression, and extreme manipulation – hour-after-hour, day-after-day – it may be hard to fathom the long term impact on caregivers. But, the truth is, it can feel like you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Does that seem a […]

Continue Reading

When they say RAD isn’t a “real” diagnosis…

"Saying RAD is not a 'real' diagnosis is like arguing Bipolar I Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder are not 'real' diagnoses." My son was first diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) by a licensed clinician at 11-years-old. He subsequently received this diagnosis from several psychiatrists in mental health treatment facilities and […]

Continue Reading

When suicidal ideations may not be serious

I opened the closet door to find my son Devon squatting in the shadowy darkness with a belt looped loosely around his neck. He was 9. Confident that he wasn’t actually trying to hurt himself, and was only trying to get attention, I hid my fear. I knew if I showed […]

Continue Reading

When pigs fly: the day my son’s therapist apologized…

Today my son’s therapist apologized to me. (Go ahead, take a moment to pick yourself up off the floor, then keep reading…) If you’re the parent of a child diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder (RAD) you know just how significant this is.  As parents of children with developmental trauma, one of our […]

Continue Reading

When a mom struggles to love her child

Originally published by the Institute for Child Development. Carol was bitter and angry—on edge. Shortly after we met through a mutual friend, she told me about her three adopted sons. She adored her youngest son. The older two were regularly suspended from elementary school, lied incessantly, and threw screaming fits daily. […]

Continue Reading

What to do when CPS comes knocking…

An interview with Diane L. Redleaf, a family defense pioneer Nationally-known leaders have called Diane L. Redleaf the “conscience of the child welfare system,” the driving force behind creating a “better, fairer child welfare system” and “the people’s lawyer.” Diane has played a leading role in hundreds of important cases on behalf […]

Continue Reading

What it’s like being the sibling of a child with RAD

“It’s like living in a prison. We can’t go anywhere. All doors are locked. Alarms everywhere. We can’t have friends over. Stuff goes missing. We’ve all had black eyes, split lips and bite marks…we’re the ones who suffer.” – Grace, 14, on living with a sibling with reactive attachment disorder. Grace’s […]

Continue Reading

What is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)?

Kids with RAD have an indefatigable need to control the people and situations around them because they only feel safe when they prove to themselves they are in control. To understand this, we must go back to the underlying causes of the disorder. […]

Continue Reading

What is Conduct Disorder?

I stand in the bathroom stall of the courthouse, texting a friend. “I can't do this,” I write and lean my head against the cold partition of the stall. “You've got this,” she replies. “Breathe, Honey.” I hear the restroom door open and a singsong voice I recognize as my daughter, […]

Continue Reading

USAToday: Broken Adoptions

For tens of thousands of children in the U.S., their ‘forever family’ doesn’t last long. USA TODAY investigates: Why do adoptions fail? USAToday May 19, 2022 In a first of its kind investigation USAToday investigates how many adoptions are disrupted and why. Usually the focus of these conversations is on lack of […]

Continue Reading

The ugly truth about trauma

Understanding the devastating impact of early childhood trauma requires a paradigm shift. It's invisible to the untrained eye so we tend to minimize its severity, but it's like a huge gaping trauma wounds. […]

Continue Reading