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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. […]

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RAD Symptoms – which are most common?

Parents of kids diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) are all too familiar with the symptoms. Anecdotally we often list food hoarding, violent outbursts, crazy lying, to name a few. However, there is little research on just how common each of these symptoms are… […]

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Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD): The Essential Guide for Parents

If you are struggling to parent a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), this is the resource you need. No platitudes or false hopes here, only practical suggestions that actually work! Understand developmental trauma and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)Learn tips and tricks to help you to navigate "the system"Get resource recommendations […]

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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 […]

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An Introduction to Developmental Trauma

To better serve children with developmental trauma, Kolk has proposed adding a new diagnosis to the DSM called Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD). The new diagnostic criteria requires exposure to chronic trauma before the age of 5. This diagnosis would fully encompass the symptoms of developmental trauma bringing them under one umbrella. […]

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How to Discipline a Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

It’s the million-dollar question. How do we manage the behavior of children with RAD? Therapeutic approaches can seem scarily permissive. Meanwhile, traditional parenting approaches backfire spectacularly. At the root, most behaviors children with RAD engage in are intended for self-preservation – by sabotaging relationships and controlling their environments. It’s unlikely, however, […]

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Raising a Child with Developmental Trauma

Raising a child with developmental trauma can be incredibly difficult and isolating. The more you understand your child’s trauma history, and learn about the science of trauma and therapeutic parenting, the better equipped you will be to help your child heal. […]

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95% of adoptive parents jump in heart-first, but unprepared

Our recent Facebook poll showed up to 95% of adoptive parents are not sufficiently trained on developmental trauma and the related diagnoses including Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Survey by @RaisingDevon March 2019 While adoptive parents don't understand the scope and magnitude of developmental trauma, they do do expect children coming out […]

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A to Z of Therapeutic Parenting

The a-z Of Therapeutic Parenting has real strategies and solutions for kids with developmental trauma. Enough said. Seriously, for most adoptive parents I could end my review here. That's how incredibly rare it is to find practical strategies that make sense. […]

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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 […]

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Before you adopt…

Two-year-old Kayla was shy with dimples that winked when she laughed. Her brother, three-year-old Devon, had curly brown hair, freckles and a quick smile. We’d long dreamed of adopting foster kids and my husband and I jumped in heart-first. During the mandatory three-month pre-adoption waiting period, Devon and Kayla had some […]

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For teachers of children experiencing the effects of early trauma

If you are a classroom teacher you almost certainly have students who have experienced childhood trauma. A recent national survey on children’s health found that 47% of all children in the United States have had at least one adverse childhood experience (footnote below). For some, the unfortunate result is reactive attachment […]

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The Boy Who Cried Abuse

Devon was a boy who cried wolf. On several occasions, he claimed workers had purposely hurt him. When he mumbled about Mr. Myron beating him up. My stomach churned not knowing what was true, what was exaggeration, and what was an outright lie. It was hard to imagine a worker beating Devon, […]

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Dear friends & family

Dear Friend, I’ve told you before how I’m struggling with my child’s behavior but I’m not sure you understand how serious—how desperate—things are. Here’s the unvarnished truth—my child relies on manipulation and melt-downs to control his surroundings. He refuses to follow the simplest of instructions and turns everything into a tug-of-war […]

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How parents of kids with RAD get PTSD

"It’s unreasonable to force a parent to bond with a child whose behaviors have led to his or her PTSD,” said Institute for Attachment and Child Development Executive Director Forrest Lien. “The whole family needs healing in order to foster parent-child attachments." Published by the Institute for Attachment and Child Development. […]

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Open letter to a therapist from a mom of a child with RAD

Dear Therapist, I am desperate for your help. I apologize ahead of time if I seem angry and defensive. I’m just burnt out and afraid you won’t understand. My son is completely out of control and nothing works. I’ve tried to get help before from therapists and teachers, even police officers, but […]

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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. […]

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