With school in session, some parents wonder whether they should seek treatment for their children with reactive attachment disorder. They worry about disrupting their new school year. If you have the same worry, here’s my advice—school can wait.
Don’t wait until next summer for healing
You wouldn’t send a child into his or her soccer game with a broken leg. Your child and the other players would suffer for it. Instead, you’d wait until her leg was strong again before you sent her out on the field.
It’s the same idea to send your child to school with broken attachment. Reactive attachment doesn’t go away when school starts. The disorder interferes with school and your family continues to suffer, everyday. That’s not fair to you, your spouse, your child, or your other children. Reactive attachment disorder will interfere with your child’s ability to learn and thrive in school. Give him the chance to heal before you “put him in the game”.
3 reasons kids do better in school after treatment for reactive attachment disorder:
- They have more confidence after treatment.
- They focus more on learning than manipulating their environments (kids who suffer from reactive attachment disorder try to control everything to feel safe).
- They are more “available” emotionally to take tests.
Education and healing work together at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development
If you choose to send your child to the Institute for Attachment and Child Development, you won’t need to make the choice between education and treatment at all. In our treatment model, kids live and attend school in a small community. The close-knit school staff works with us consistently. They understand our kids needs and help them adjust. Our treatment parents work closely with the teachers and principal to help kids academically during their time with us.
Wherever you choose treatment for your child, I urge you to make treatment your first priority. The choice between school and treatment for reactive attachment disorder might feel confusing. As parents, we always wonder if we’re making the right decisions for our children. Education is important. But healing from trauma needs to come first for the sake of your child and his or her future. Give her the gift of confidence and inner wellness so she can succeed not only in school, but also in life.
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