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Understanding Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

We want children to develop relationships that are meaningful, fulfilling, and nurturing. But for those with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), this is a difficult task as the disorder significantly impacts the development of healthy attachment patterns in individuals.

Establishing healthy relationships for those suffering from RAD is a challenge faced by many families in California. Although RAD is not talked about as much as other developmental disorders, it can have serious implications on social and emotional functioning. In this article, we will explore what RAD is, and how its symptoms manifest themselves.

What is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a serious and complex mental health disorder that affects children's ability to form strong, healthy attachments with adults. It is marked by significant difficulties in social and emotional development, which can lead to problems in relationships and functioning in everyday life. The condition is thought to be caused by early neglect or severe abuse from the child's caregiver, leaving the child to feel abandoned or disconnected from others.

RAD typically manifests in adopted teens who may have experienced a traumatic history or have been affected by unstable family dynamics during their development. As a result, adopted teens may have difficulty forming emotionally secure attachments with adults and peers. They may also show signs of detachment from their caregivers and struggle to trust other people.