View Full Version : Rad

04-03-2012, 12:24 PM
Our nearly 18yo son believes he has RAD (reactive attachment disorder) and says he realizes he has abandonment issues. He was adopted at age 3 weeks. I have done a little research but, to be honest, it overhwelms me in knowing which author/medical professional to trust.

Do you have any experience with this?

Do you recommend a specific book or website?

What type of professional helps with RAD? (I am looking on the Internet at local counselors/therapists, and none list this as one of their specialties.)

Thank you for any help you can offer! :hi:

Mary FL
04-03-2012, 12:47 PM
Katie, I think I have a couple of links. I'll post once I track them down.
ETA I just checked my email account, and I must have deleted the links. I will contact my friend and ask her to resend them to me.

Further edit: Katie, I see Marsha replied below. :)

Robin in Colorado
04-03-2012, 01:07 PM

I have a good friend who is an adoptive mom, and because of her work is considered an "adoption specialist" for our region.

I'll ask her how to figure this out.

Marsha in Fl
04-03-2012, 07:01 PM
It is great that he sees this and can verbalize it!!:clap::clap:
RAD can happen with any trauma and adoption (loss of birthmother) is considered a trauma, even though it is preverbal in many cases. More studies are being done with stress during pregnancy and the affect on the fetus/baby. RAd can be considered on a continuim, like autism. Some are burning down the house/kill the cat kind and others are more subtle and would be correct in calling it "attachment issues" rather than full blown RAD. I'm not sure where your son is on the continuim. Some of the sites I will recommend will have a list of signs/symptoms.

One blog that is exceptionally good is a4everfamily (not sure if it is .com or .org, it should come up with a google search.) Another group is Attach-china that is a closed group of a. parents but has many all kinds of adoption scenerios (and even some birth children who experienced medical trauma). You don't have to have adopted from China to join.

We have had huge improvement by alternative therapies. One thing we did was attachment parenting. It is easier with a 3 and 1 yr old, which was how old my girls were when we started. Our ped. didn't really agree when we brought our ambivilently/avoidant attached daughter into our bed, he didn't understand when we reintroduced a bottle, but in my mommy gut I knew when I dropped her off at the church nursery/daycare (I worked full time) and she didn't look back or cry for me, there was problems.... BIG PROBLEMS. We also did neuroreorganization (NR). Google Bette Lamont. Sounds crazy, I know but it made a HUGE difference in meltdowns, incessant chatter, etc. We still deal with anxiety and might try some targeted amino acid therapy. I know that if we had discussed these issues w/ our ped he would have been pushing adhd meds because it can resemble it but my husband was willing to try attachment parenting and "exercises" NR and it has made a tremendous difference. There wasn't anything we were doing that went against our Christian beliefs, just doing things differently and the Lord has blessed us with a new set of friends (adopted children and birth children in the group) who hold the same parenting philosophy.

One thing I will tell you that is a huge red flag for going to a therapist is if they want to see your son w/o you. You need to be in those appointments. I know he is an adult, (or almost one) but the therapist needs to use you to facilitate attachment and working thru the abandonment trauma. Traditional talk therapy won't really work with RAD.

I can tell you more, but honestly it would be easier to talk on the phone. PM me if you want my number. I would be glad to talk to you.

Robin in Colorado
04-03-2012, 07:07 PM
I emailed you. :group:

04-03-2012, 10:30 PM
I don't have any info. for you really, but I have always wondered about this with my son, who went through so much medical trauma as a baby. It's hard when our kids are struggling. I hope you find your answers. :group:

04-03-2012, 11:13 PM
I have a list of resources, but are you intersted in books for you,or for him? I think for him,the MOST beneficial thing would be to find a counselor that specializes in attachment. I know a really good one in Madison, but I know that's really far for you. I can ask her if she knows of anyone in your area.

One really awesome site is Nancy Thomas,(google Nancy Thomas +Attachment disorder
She might have a list of Wisconsin attachment therapists on her site.

04-04-2012, 07:20 AM
Each one of you has been so helpful ~ thank you! More comments are welcome and, for now, I will share with my husband what you have suggested.


04-04-2012, 01:28 PM
Even though your son is (technically ) an adult, just for you and your dh to read info on RAD will be extremely helpful in knowing how to deal with his behavior. Check out the Nancy Thomas website for a list of resource, and especially helpful one is "When love is not enough". Some of the ideas might not work for a child his age, but some will.

Mary FL
04-05-2012, 03:44 PM
Katie, this blog might be helpful. I stumbled upon it today.