A Guide to Reactive Attachment Disorder

Reactive attachment disorder, or RAD, occurs when a child does not form a secure, healthy emotional bond with their parents or primary caregivers. It typically affects children between the ages of 9 months and 5 years, causing related behavioral complications that are a disheartening challenge for parents. If you believe you need to make an appointment with a child psychiatrist regarding this disorder, learn more about it to benefit the conversation.

What Causes Reactive Attachment Disorder?

Infants require consistency to form healthy attachments to their parents or other caregivers, such as parents who say “I love you,” and hug, kiss, and cuddle with their children many times every day. Babies and toddlers who do not enjoy consistent, loving care can feel alone, scared, and abandoned. Common actions and situations that increase the risk of RAD include babies who cry and are not given food or comfort for hours, infants who are not held, talked to, and cuddled for hours, and toddlers or young children who only receive attention when they act out.

Any other type of physical and emotional neglect might result in the disorder as well. Examples include affection that is given on rare occasions only and care by multiple different people that prevents bonding with at least one individual.

Baton Rouge Depression Treatment.revo2pzi What Are the Symptoms?

RAD symptoms can manifest in infancy or thereafter and include an unwillingness to smile, avoiding eye contact with primary caregivers, unexplained anger or resentment, irritability, social withdrawal, and sadness. Children experiencing RAD may also be affectionate towards non-caregivers, such as teachers and older cousins. Additional signs include failing to seek comfort following an upsetting event and barely reacting when comfort is given.

How Is It Treated?

If you believe your child has RAD, see a child psychiatrist for an official diagnosis. The treatment varies by patient, social and family dynamics.

Work with the compassionate team of child psychiatrists at  PTI we are statewide…fyi to help your young one’s emotional development. Client-centered treatments are available for children and adults who live throughout the state, and the team always ensures the patient is matched with the right mental health professional. Call (225) 751-5412 today to make an appointment or book  hyperlink is wrong. You should us the hyperlink: https://www.mypsychnetwork.com/make-an-appointment/  an appointment using our Virtual Psych Network™ (VPN) telehealth service.