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My Brother Has RAD – What Does It Mean?

At Sundance Canyon Academy, we focus on a family-centered therapy approach. When teens come to our school for help, we know that there are other members of the family who have been affected by our new student’s behavior. We are writing on this topic to help siblings who have a brother with RAD understand the diagnosis and make sense of their brother’s behavior. Contact us today for more information about treatment options for teens with RAD.

Sibling relationships can be tough. You might argue with each other, and you almost certainly get on each other’s nerves from time to time. Ideally, you love each other and get along more often than you fight, and you always have each other’s backs when it counts. Sibling relationships are the first real friendships you form in many families, and those bonds often last forever.

This isn’t the case for all families, though. Sibling relationships aren’t always friendly and wonderful. Sometimes the relationship with your sibling can be rocky and distressing. You might not feel like you can trust your sibling, or you might feel like they don’t care about anyone else in the family. You might even feel like your brother is dangerous or like he wants to make your life miserable.

When your sibling’s behavior is causing trouble within the family, you’ve also felt the impact of it. You may not have always understood what was going on, but you knew that his actions have made life tough for everyone. If your brother was recently diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), his diagnosis will explain some of his behavior.

What is RAD?

RAD is a disorder that stems from abuse or neglect during early childhood. When babies or toddlers live in an unstable environment, they might not bond with their caregivers the way they should. When this happens, the child begins to develop without learning how to connect with other people properly.

As the child continues to grow up, RAD can cause many behavioral problems that can wreak havoc in a family.

Some common symptoms of RAD in teens are:

  1. Struggling to connect with parents and siblings

  2. Having an easier time connecting with strangers than with family

  3. Not making eye contact during conversations

  4. Being likable, but their behavior is fake

  5. Having