Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a controversial DSM V diagnosis. Some therapists are adamant children should not be identified with this diagnosis, while other therapists believe there is a place for such a diagnosis. The symptoms include a myriad of identifying characteristics, and often stem from significant abuse or neglect before the age of five.
If you are one of the many foster parents, caseworkers, adoptive parents, or grandparents that have rescued a child from an abusive situation the following is meant for you. The rescue is noble, it is selfless, it is to nurture an abused child. Then something else happens, the rescue becomes an endless series of arguments, physical aggression, defiance, poor social skills, and more. Now what; live in turmoil for the next several years, give up, give the child back? Of course not, but caring for a child displaying significant anger outbursts, defiance, and manipulation can take a toll on the caregiver.
I attend training and classes to learn new information about traumatized children and RAD. There is always an outline of the power point, flyers, packets, and the opportunity to buy something to learn more about the newest discovery. I think to myself throughout the training, “This is great knowledge, and good information. But what can be used to treat trauma and RAD?” “What can be utilized to minimize symptoms?” I do feel the frustration of caregivers when I educate them about the many facets of trauma and RAD, and I sense they are asking the same question, “Yes, that is nice information, but what can I do about it?”
The answer is trying a number of different techniques over and over. Repetition of different skills sets and strategies. Knowing one strategy may only work for a couple weeks, and something new has to be implemented. Learning from other caregivers helpful ideas on managing negative behaviors. These are a few, and throughout the years I have learned, from caregivers like you, new ideas. Never give up and be creative.
If you believe that your child may have RAD symptoms, call today
Tami Lang, LIMHP
1001 S 70th Street
Lincoln, NE 68510