Written by Denise Kullman, mom of a child with reactive attachment disorder
“Tell mom I said I’m sorry,” Tyler said. The reasons for why he said sorry didn’t matter to me anymore.
To most folks, this sounds like such a small sentiment. For a mom of a child with reactive attachment disorder, however, an apology is huge. Tyler has apologized to me maybe four times in twelve years. While our teenager desperately wants healthy relationships in his life, he hurts his family and makes poor choices regarding peers. It’s hard enough to be a teenager. To top it off, Tyler battles his reactive attachment disorder, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and depression every day (learn about the correlation between reactive attachment disorder and mental health issues).
Thanks to the Institute for Attachment and Child Development, Tyler and our family have learned so much about living with reactive attachment disorder. We’ve learned that sometimes we can help him ourselves and sometimes we have to reach out for help. Tyler’s stay in the Institute’s treatment home has helped him become a more positive family member, understand the importance of therapeutic counseling, and given him healthy coping skills as he works through his issues.
As parents, we also got a much-needed break from the daily drama while he was at the treatment home. We are rested, revived, and are better prepared to work with him on this journey to healthy mental stability.
I’m sorry too Tyler. I’m sorry I wasn’t with you when you were born and during those first three years. You were still a toddler when you came to us but you’re a part of our family now and always will be. Love, Mom.
Please call and invite Forrest Lien, Executive Director of the Institute for Attachment and Child Development, to speak at your parent and professional groups worldwide at (303) 674-1910. When we learn together, we can work together to advocate for children and families struggling with reactive attachment disorder.