Reactive attachment disorder of early childhood

Common Name(s)

Reactive attachment disorder of early childhood

Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) of infancy or early childhood is a disorder where a child or infant has trouble relating socially to other people. RAD often appears at a young age when the affected child avoids their caregiver and physical contact, is difficult to comfort, resists social interaction, and wants to be alone. RAD can be caused by many reasons which have made the child feel unsafe both physically and emotionally, including the caregiver not meeting the child’s basic emotional needs for comfort, stimulation, and affection, and a disregard for the child’s basic physical needs like food, toileting, and play. In addition to these causes, RAD can also develop if the parents are mentally unstable, addicted to drugs, or lack parenting skills. Lastly, RAD may develop if a young child is in multiple foster homes and moves a lot, or is put up for adoption and separated from their birth parents at a very young age and there is no real substitute caregiver available to them (such as in an overcrowded orphanage). Parents who are adopting children from foreign countries or foster children are often warned to watch for signs of RAD. Treatment for RAD begins by placing the child in a safe environment where their emotional and physical needs are met, then establishing a positive relationship between the caregiver and the child. Talk with your doctor to find he best treatment for your child if he or she has been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder.

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Condition Specific Organizations

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Scientific Literature

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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