Looking for resources on developmental trauma and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)? Check out my recommendations below. And if you struggle to fit in reading time, like I do, most of these book are also available on Audible!
Know of a book that should be on my list? Let me know!
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog
Before it’s too late
This is a devastating story of a family struggling to love and raise two adopted foster children. The unfairness and inadequacy of the system are clear as they navigate trying to raise children with mental illness. When the unimaginable happens, and they discover one of the children has been sexually preying on another, the system utterly fails them. This book is vulnerable and raw.
When I read this several years ago, during some of my darkest days, I suddenly felt not quite so alone. I highly recommend it to parents who are struggling to raise adopted children.
Elea Lee blogs here
Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy: The Special Education Survival Guide
Second Time Foster Child
When Toni and Jim Hoy adopted their son Daniel as a toddler, they did not plan to give him back to the state of Illinois 10 years later. But as Daniel grew older, he began to show signs of serious mental illness that manifested in violent outbursts. When his parents exhausted all other options, they decided to relinquish custody to the state to get Daniel the treatment he needed. Read more here.
JMS is most well known as the creator of Babylon 5, writer of Clint Eastwood’s Changeling which stars Angelina Jolie, and as a prolific writer of sci-fi and comic books. His new memoir shows how he built his career based on hard work and a belief in doing the right thing. What may come as a surprise is the details of his brutal childhood. Read more here.
The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself
If your child has attachment issues, The Boy who Build a Wall Around Himself is the perfect book to cuddle up with. This lovely story by Ali Redford, an adoptive parent, gently describes the emotional wall some children build to protect themselves and keep safe after experiencing early childhood trauma. On one side of this “wall” is the caregiver, and on the other side the child. Read my review here!
Reactive Attachment Disorder(RAD): The Essential Guide for Parents
Keri has lived the journey of raising a son with RAD and has navigated the mental health system for over a decade. This is the resource you’ve been waiting for – you won’t find platitudes or false hopes. What you will find is critical information, practical suggestions, and resource recommendations that will provide a way forward.If you desperately need help to navigate the difficult RAD journey with your child, this book is it. Learn more here.
The Price of Silence
The a-z of Theraputic Parenting
The Explosive Child
Me, the Boy, and the Monster
It’s hard to overstate how much I love this book. I had the joy of proofreading it for Cat (the author) in December and before I’d finished it I was telling my husband he needed to read it too. It’s one of those books that you just want everyone in your life to experience: family, friends, teachers… they all need a copy! Read my full review here
Parenting the Difficult Child: A Biblical Perspective on Reactive Attachment Disorder
Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control
The Whole-Brain Child
The Body Keeps the Score
This book will provide an interesting and enlightening background on the science of trauma. It’s not a how-to, although Dr. Kolk does offer some insight into treatments he’s found useful including yoga. While Dr. Kolk is a highly technical, leading expert he’s repackaged this information in a way that can be easily understood by lay parents. Read my full review here.
Everything You Ever Wanted: A Memoir
Jessie Hogsett was diagnosed with RAD at the age of 12 and grew up acting out of the hurt and trauma of his early childhood. He understands the struggles of a child diagnosed with RAD in a way a parent alone never can. His book is an invaluable window into the psyche of a child struggling to overcome developmental trauma. His advice comes from personal experience and is invaluable to parents and clinicians alike. Read my full review here.
Confessions of an Adoptive Parent
Journey to the Son
On March 22, 2010, my life was forever changed when I became a first-time foster parent to a beautiful 10 day old, two-month premature baby boy. I knew that becoming a foster parent would mean major lifestyle changes, I didn’t know that my connection to this child would change me at the essence of my being. I was told that 99% of children taken at birth don’t go back to their birth parents, but this one fell in the 1%. At six-month-old, this dear sweet baby boy was returned to his birth mother. In the six months I interacted with his birth parents, I learned about what I can now call “generational trauma”. Read more here.