Helping Boys with Reactive Attachment Disorder or Suffering Detachment Due to an Early Childhood AdoptionWe can help your son if he suffers from Reactive Attachment Disorder (or RAD), a rare but serious condition in which he has been unable to form a healthy emotional attachment with mother (or primary caregiver). RAD is often the result of a separation very early in life, from a mother or family. Though adopted by a caring family, he may have to struggle to establish any close relationships, and that all comes to the forefront in the teen years. Children with attachment disorders or other attachment problems have difficulty connecting to others and managing their own emotions. This results in a lack of trust and self-worth, a fear of getting close to anyone, anger, and a need to be in control. A boy with an attachment disorder feels unsafe and alone. There are two types of RAD (sometimes also known as Radical Attachment Disorder). One may find him aloof, emotionally indifferent, self-conscious or introverted. On the other hand, the other kind may cause him to be unsuitably familiar or affectionate toward total strangers in an unhealthy way
Common signs and symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
- An aversion to touch and physical affection. Children with reactive attachment disorder often flinch, laugh, or even say “Ouch” when touched. Rather than producing positive feelings, touch and affection are perceived as a threat.
- Control issues. Most children with reactive attachment disorder go to great lengths to remain in control and avoid feeling helpless. They are often disobedient, defiant, and argumentative.
- Anger problems. Anger may be expressed directly, in tantrums or acting out, or through manipulative, passive-aggressive behavior. Children with reactive attachment disorder may hide their anger in socially acceptable actions, like giving a high five that hurts or hugging someone too hard.
- Difficulty showing genuine care and affection. For example, children with reactive attachment disorder may act inappropriately affectionate with strangers while displaying little or no affection towards their parents.
- An underdeveloped conscience. Children with reactive attachment disorder may act like they don’t have a conscience and fail to show guilt, regret, or remorse after behaving badly.