Reactive Attachment Disorder
Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), often get diagnosed with several disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression, anger managment issues, ADD/ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, or PTSD) before an accurate diagnosis is made. Many children with RAD are seen as having ADD/ADHD by the school system. While the symptoms of ADD/ADHD and RAD may look similar, they are totally different mental health issues requiring different types of treatment. ADD/ADHD tends to have a genetic component to it, while RAD is developed in response to extreme abuse and/or neglect.
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a severe form of trauma. I believe that RAD is the basis of several disorders (e.g., oppositional-defiant disorder, conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder). As the adoptive parent of a child with RAD, I understand the effects that RAD can have on an individual and the family if left untreated. As a counselor and play therapist, I believe parents need support, encouragement, and concrete behavioral management strategies in managing their children. Children need support and encouragement, as well, during the treatment process.
In working with children with trauma and attachment disorder, I tend to use EMDR, Hypnosis, Attachment-Focused Play Therapy, Rhythmic Movement Therapy, and Dyadic Development Therapy. Play therapy is generally not an effective form of treatment of RAD. I tend to use Attachment-Focused Play Therapy with younger children and with older children, I tend to use Dyadic Development Therapy. This decision is based upon the child's developmental age, as opposed to his or her chronological age. Since traditional parenting techniques tend not to work with a child with RAD, I also provide parents with education and behavioral management techniques regarding parenting. Additionally, I assist parents and schools with IEP strategies to assist your child at school.
I provide supportive therapy, using a variety of techniques, to children who are being adopted or who have been adopted. As a counselor, I want to provide parents the tools to help them better manage their child's behavior. Traditional behavior managment techniques tend not to work with the child with RAD. I am a firm believer in attachment parenting. During our sessions, I like to teach parents different skills based on attachment parenting. To learn more about my treatment approach with RAD checkout my treatment protocol at www.ATTACh.org or click here.