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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wretched TV & Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)


Until this weekend I had never heard of Wretched TV. When I saw it's video on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) come through my social media feed I clicked on it, not expecting to invest 20 minutes. I actually ended up watching the whole way through and found it quite interesting.

It isn't a perfect video. I find the presentation style over the top, very church-centric and kind of annoying. There are also some inaccuracies.  For example, every adopted child doesn't have RAD. RAD is a rare but serious condition.


What are being called RAD symptoms are actually common behaviors seen in children who come from trauma backgrounds. There is a wide range of attachment disorders in adopted children. Most adoptees will fall somewhere on this spectrum.

People who are considering adoption should watch this video because every potential adoptive parent needs to be prepared for what they may encounter. There are no guarantees you will, but also none you wont.

Those who know someone who is adopting or has recently adopted should watch this video because it present a pretty clear picture of what adoptive parent deal with every day. While Wretched singles out the church, I would like to see everyone linked to an adoptive family provide them with support and understanding. 

Here is a list of the behavioral issues listed in the video. Please note, they are not clinical symptoms used to diagnose RAD. 

20. Superficially charming
19. Lack of eye contact on parents' terms
18. Indiscriminately affectionate with strangers
17. Not affectionate on parents' terms
16. Destructive to self, others and material things
15. Cruelty to animals
14. Lying about the obvious
13. Stealing
12. No impulse control
11. Lack of conscience
10. Abnormal eating patterns
9. Poor peer relationships
8. Preoccupation with fire
7. Preoccupation with blood and gore
6. Preoccupation with bodily functions
5. Persistent nonsense questions and chatter
4. Non-stop demanding of attention
3. Triangulation of adults
2. False allegations of abuse
1. Creating chaos

Buddy doesn't have RAD, but we have experienced issues related to loss, control and attachment. I would say, of the 20 "symptoms", we deal regularly with 11 and occasionally with 7. We have never seen any presentation of only 2. We are lucky, though, I know families who have been through much worse.

If your child is suffering from a severe attachment problem, especially reactive attachment disorder, seek professional help. 

Where to find help for reactive attachment disorder or insecure attachment:

In the U.S.:

State Part C Coordinators: Find contact details for your state’s early intervention coordinator. 
ZERO TO THREE: National Center For Infants, Toddlers and Families: (202) 638-1144 
The New York Foundling24-Hour Parent Helpline: 1-888-435-7553

In the UK: Cambian Group Helpline for Parents and Professionals 0800-197-3907
In Australia: Early Childhood Australia: Helpline 1800-356-900

Other Helpful Links

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