By Denise Kullman, Mom of a young man with reactive attachment disorder
From well meaning folks we’ve heard…
Maybe he has a brain tumor?
He needs a good paddling!
How can he be so ungrateful?
What is he so mad about?
We’re sending you a book on exorcism!
How can he remember things that happened when he was a baby?
Maybe you need to hug him more?
I could laugh or cry from the advice we’ve gotten over the years in regard to our son with attachment disorder. It’s definitely been entertaining but I have had my share of tears as well. Families of kids with attachment disorder are like an underground population that people don’t know exists. No one really talks about RAD. We’ve adopted three times and no one even mentioned the word attachment disorder to us. Even though RAD is prevalent amongst adopted children, most adoptive parents have no idea that their children could have a profound disorder that’ll turn their lives completely upside down. Even though RAD is prevalent amongst adopted children, most adoptive parents have no idea that their children could have a profound disorder that’ll turn their lives completely upside down.
Unveiling the Unknown Disorder
I really wish someone would’ve told us about RAD when the kids were little. If we had the guidance from IACD then that we have now, we could’ve avoided a lot of heartache. I hope to reach families like mine early on.
I welcome the opportunity to answer people’s questions and tell our story. Our family advocates and educates for not only attachment disorder but also adoption, mood disorders, ADD, and blended and transracial families. My hope is that we can help more people understand these issues.
Attachment disorder is hard to understand for people who haven’t lived with it in their own homes. They can’t accept that the brain develops differently when a child experiences trauma such as severe abuse, neglect, or a disruption in caregivers.
As parents of children with attachment disorder, the best we can do is advocate for our kids and families. As more people spread the word, we can help to improve early education and services. Share your story with friends and family. Or, share IACD stories and facts. Whatever you do, don’t give up.
And no, grandma. Our son doesn’t have a brain tumor, honest!