Attachment Disorders & Reactive Attachment Disorder - Poem by James McLain
Obviously, this is not an article That I wrote,
but as we try to better our understanding of what made us what it is that we are,
we must, at least some of us must, come to the realization
that as either a parent or the child of a parent
you are or are in the process of totaly destroying a child.
Some of the other problems that result from this early problem of
Attachment Disorders & Reactive Attachment Disorders
go on to become all that you see when in the mirror you gaze
and know...that your illness is even worse..
and than that your son or daughter is whom, perhaps went on to become that serial killer, of poor 'Emo'...
I will attempt to fetch the URL...http: //helpguide.org/mental/parenting_bonding_reactive _attachment_disorder.htm............
this link so you whom know...
what you are can help love your child even more...
This information is purely plagiarized...
And the physicians at the bottom of the page..
it would be best to resort to...To avoid the creating of those people that are just to exciting to ignore..
and in the ignoring you just make more....
again..obviously this information is not for Mr..or Miss perfect...
you know...my child is the smartest on the planet..
or some failed dream...
like a beauty 'Queen'..that your child must now endure...for the rest of us in reality....
We must face it...we weren't our parents....they are a product of theirs...
and being such....could it have really been worse...?
Some one will cop to the murder..upstairs....untill then..
you must keep from making more...of those like your self...
............URL...http: //helpguide.org/mental/parenting_bonding_reactive _attachment_disorder.htm............
Attachment Disorders & Reactive Attachment Disorder
Symptoms, Treatment & Hope for Children with Insecure Attachment
If you are the parent of a child with an attachment disorder, such as reactive attachment disorder, you may be physically and emotionally exhausted from trying to connect with your child, only to be met with opposition, defiance, or, maybe hardest of all, indifference. A child with insecure attachment or an attachment disorder doesn't have the skills necessary to build meaningful relationships. Although it is never too late to treat and repair attachment difficulties, the earlier attachment issues are recognized, the easier they are to resolve. With the right tools, and a healthy dose of time, effort, patience, and love, attachment repair can and does happen.
In This Article:
Understanding attachment problems and disorders
Early warning signs and symptoms of insecure attachment
Signs and symptoms of attachment disorders
Parenting a child with an attachment disorder
Tips for making your child feel safe and secure
Tips for helping your child feel loved and cared for
Tips for supporting your child's health
Where to go for help
Understanding attachment problems and disorders
Why secure attachment is so important
Just as the brain allows us to see, smell, taste, think, talk, and move, it is the organ that allows us to love—or not. The systems in the human brain that allow us to form and maintain emotional relationships develop during infancy and the first years of life.... Empathy, caring, sharing, inhibition of aggression, capacity to love, and a host of other characteristics of a healthy, happy, and productive person are related to the core attachment capabilities which are formed in infancy and early childhood.
Source: Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children: How You Can Help By Dr. Bruce Perry
Children with attachment disorders or other attachment problems have difficulty connecting to others and managing their own emotions. This results in a lack of trust and self-worth, a fear of getting close to anyone, anger, and a need to be in control. A child with an attachment disorder feels unsafe and alone.
So why do some children develop attachment disorders while others don't? The answer has to do with the attachment process, which relies on the interaction of both parent and child.
Attachment disorders are the result of negative experiences in this early relationship. If young children feel repeatedly abandoned, isolated, powerless, or uncared for—for whatever reason—they will learn that they can't depend on others and the world is a dangerous and frightening place.
What causes reactive attachment disorder and other attachment problems?
Reactive attachment disorder and other attachment problems occur when children have been unable to consistently connect with a parent or primary caregiver. This can happen for many reasons:
A baby cries and no one responds or offers comfort.
A baby is hungry or wet, and they aren't attended to for hours.
No one looks at, talks to, or smiles at the baby, so the baby feels alone.
A young child gets attention only by acting out or displaying other extreme behaviors.
A young child or baby is mistreated or abused.
Sometimes the child's needs are met and sometimes they aren't. The child never knows what to expect.
The infant or young child is hospitalized or separated from his or her parents.
A baby or young child is moved from one caregiver to another (can be the result of adoption, foster care, or the loss of a parent) .
The parent is emotionally unavailable because of depression, an illness, or a substance abuse problem.
As the examples show, sometimes the circumstances that cause the attachment problems are unavoidable. But the child is too young to understand what has happened and why. To a young child, it just feels like no one cares and they lose trust in others and the world becomes an unsafe place.
Early warning signs and symptoms of insecure attachment
For more signs and symptoms:
Download the Child Attachment Checklist and Infant Attachment Checklist.
Source: Walter D. Buenning, Ph.D. & Assoc.
Attachment problems fall on a spectrum, from mild problems that are easily addressed to the most serious form, known as reactive attachment disorder.
The earlier you spot the symptoms of insecure attachment and take steps to repair them, the better. With early detection, you can avoid a more serious problem. Caught in infancy, attachment problems are often easy to correct with the right help and support.
Signs and symptoms of insecure attachment in infants:
Avoids eye contact
Doesn't reach out to be picked up
Rejects your efforts to calm, soothe, and connect
Doesn't seem to notice or care when you leave them alone
Doesn't coo or make sounds
Doesn't follow you with his or her eyes
Isn't interested in playing interactive games or playing with toys
Spend a lot of time rocking or comforting themselves
It's important to note that the early symptoms of insecure attachment are similar to the early symptoms of other issues such as ADHD and autism. If you spot any of these warning signs, make an appointment with your pediatrician to determine what the problem may be.
Comforting a Crying Baby
It's common to feel frustration, anxiety, and even anger when faced with a crying baby—especially if your baby wails for hours on end and won't calm down. Equally frustrating is a baby who seems indifferent, who won't cuddle or make eye contact with you. In these situations, you need to find ways to get your own stress into balance. When you're calm and centered, you'll be better able to figure out what's going on with your child and soothe his or her cries.
Read: When Baby Won't Stop Crying: How to Comfort and Soothe an Upset Baby
Signs and symptoms of reactive attachment disorder
Children with reactive attachment disorder have been so disrupted in early life that their future relationships are also impaired. They have difficulty relating to others and are often developmentally delayed. Reactive attachment disorder is common in children who have been abused, bounced around in foster care, lived in orphanages, or taken away from their primary caregiver after establishing a bond.
Common signs and symptoms of reactive attachment disorder
An aversion to touch and physical affection. Children with reactive attachment disorder often flinch, laugh, or even say "Ouch" when touched. Rather than producing positive feelings, touch and affection are perceived as a threat.
Control issues. Most children with reactive attachment disorder go to great lengths to prevent feeling helpless and remain in control. They are often disobedient, defiant, and argumentative.
Anger problems. Anger may be expressed directly, in tantrums or acting out, or through manipulative, passive-aggressive behavior. Children with reactive attachment disorder may hide their anger in socially acceptable actions, like giving a high five that hurts or hugging someone too hard.
Difficulty showing genuine care and affection. For example, children with reactive attachment disorder may act inappropriately affectionate with strangers while displaying little or no affection towards their parents.
An underdeveloped conscience. Children with reactive attachment disorder may act like they don't have a conscience and fail to show guilt, regret, or remorse after behaving badly.
Inhibited reactive attachment disorder vs. disinhibited reactive attachment disorder
As children with reactive attachment disorder grow older, they often develop either an inhibited or a disinhibited pattern of symptoms:
Inhibited symptoms of reactive attachment disorder. The child is extremely withdrawn, emotionally detached, and resistant to comforting. The child is aware of what's going on around him or her—hypervigilant even—but doesn't react or respond. He or she may push others away, ignore them, or even act out in aggression when others try to get close.
Disinhibited symptoms of reactive attachment disorder. The child doesn't seem to prefer his or her parents over other people, even strangers. The child seeks comfort and attention from virtually anyone, without distinction. He or she is extremely dependent, acts much younger than his or her age, and may appear chronically anxious.
Parenting a child with an attachment disorder: What you need to know
Parenting a child with insecure attachment or reactive attachment disorder can be exhausting, frustrating, and emotionally trying. It is hard to put your best parenting foot forward without the reassurance of a loving connection with your child. Sometimes you may wonder if your efforts are worth it, but be assured that they are. With time, patience, and concerted effort, attachment disorders can be repaired. The key is to remain calm, yet firm as you interact with your child. This will teach your child that he or she is safe and can trust you.
Have realistic expectations. Helping your child with an attachment disorder may be a long road. Focus on making small steps forward and celebrate every sign of success.
Patience is essential. The process may not be as rapid as you like, and you can expect bumps along the way. But by remaining patient and focusing on small improvements, you create an atmosphere of safety for your child.
Foster a sense of humor and joy. Joy and humor go a long way toward repairing attachment problems and energizing you even in the midst of hard work. Find at least a couple of people or activities that help you laugh and feel good.
Take care of yourself and manage stress. Reduce other demands on your time and make time for yourself. Rest, good nutrition, and parenting breaks help you relax and recharge your batteries so you can give your attention to your child.
Find support and ask for help. Rely on friends, family, community resources, and respite care (if available) . Try to ask for help before you really need it to avoid getting stressed to a breaking point. You may also want to consider joining a support group for parents.
Stay positive and hopeful. Be sensitive to the fact that children pick up on feelings. If they sense you're discouraged, it will be discouraging to them. When you are feeling down, turn to others for reassurance.
A note to parents of adopted or foster care children with reactive attachment disorder
If you have adopted a child, you may not have been aware of reactive attachment disorder. Anger or unresponsiveness from your new child can be heartbreaking and difficult to understand. Try to remember that your adopted child isn't acting out because of lack of love for you. Their experience hasn't prepared them to bond with you, and they can't yet recognize you as a source of love and comfort. Your efforts to love them will have an impact—it just may take some time.
Repairing reactive attachment disorder: Tips for making your child feel safe and secure
Safety is the core issue for children with reactive attachment disorder and other attachment problems. They are distant and distrustful because they feel unsafe in the world. They keep their guard up to protect themselves, but it also prevents them from accepting love and support. So before anything else, it is essential to build up your child's sense of security. You can accomplish this by establishing clear expectations and rules of behavior, and by responding consistently so your child knows what to expect when he or she acts a certain way and—even more importantly—knows that no matter what happens, you can be counted on.
Set limits and boundaries. Consistent, loving boundaries make the world seem more predictable and less scary to children with attachment problems such as reactive attachment disorder. It's important that they understand what behavior is expected of them, what is and isn't acceptable, and what the consequences will be if they disregard the rules. This also teaches them that they have more control over what happens to them than they think.
Take charge, yet remain calm when your child is upset or misbehaving. Remember that "bad" behavior means that your child doesn't know how to handle what he or she is feeling and needs your help. By staying calm, you show your child that the feeling is manageable. If he or she is being purposefully defiant, follow through with the pre-established consequences in a cool, matter-of-fact manner. But never discipline a child with an attachment disorder when you're in an emotionally-charged state. This makes the child feel more unsafe and may even reinforce the bad behavior, since it's clear it pushes your buttons.
Be immediately available to reconnect following a conflict. For children with insecure attachment and attachment disorders, conflict can be especially disturbing. After a conflict or tantrum where you've had to discipline your child, be ready to reconnect as soon as he or she is ready. This reinforces your consistency and love, and will help your child develop a trust that you'll be there through thick and thin.
Own up to mistakes and initiate repair. When you let frustration or anger get the best of you or you do something you realize is insensitive, quickly address the mistake. Your willingness to take responsibility and make amends can strengthen the attachment bond. Children with reactive attachment disorder or other attachment problems need to learn that although you may not be perfect, they will be loved, no matter what.
Try to maintain predictable routines and schedules. A child with an attachment disorder won't instinctively rely on loved ones, and may feel threatened by transition and inconsistency—for example when traveling or during school vacations. A familiar routine or schedule can provide comfort during times of change.
Do you need extra help?
If you're having trouble staying calm, positive, and focused when interacting with your child and are feeling overwhelmed by the attachment problems, you may benefit from learning the skills of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence helps you manage stress in the moment, keep your emotional balance, understand what your child's feeling, handle tantrums and conflicts, and find ways to connect with your child.
To learn more, visit Help guide sister site, Emotional Intelligence Central.
Repairing reactive attachment disorders: Tips for helping your child feel loved and cared for
A child who has not bonded early in life will have a hard time accepting love, especially physical expressions of love. But you can help them learn to accept your love with time, consistency, and repetition. Trust and security come from seeing loving actions, hearing reassuring words, and feeling comforted over and over again.
Find things that feel good to your child. If possible, show your child love through rocking, cuddling, and holding—attachment experiences he or she missed out on earlier. But always be respectful of what feels comfortable and good to your child. In cases of previous abuse and trauma, you may have to go very slowly because your child may be very resistant to physical touch.
Respond to your child's emotional age. Children with attachment disorders often act like younger children both socially and emotionally. You may need to treat them as though they were much younger, using more non-verbal methods of soothing and comforting than you might otherwise.
Help your child identify emotions and express his or her needs. Children with attachment disorders may not know what they are feeling or how to ask for what they need. Reinforce the idea that all feelings are okay and show them healthy ways to express their emotions.
Listen, talk, and play with your child. Carve out times when you're able to give your child your full, focused attention in ways that feel comfortable to him or her. It may seem hard to dropp everything, eliminate distractions, and just be in the moment, but quality time together provides a great opportunity for your child to open up to you and feel your focused attention and care.
Repairing reactive attachment disorder: Tips for supporting your child's health
A child's eating, sleep, and exercise habits are always important, but they're even more so in kids with attachment problems. Healthy lifestyle habits can go a long way in reducing your child's stress levels and leveling out mood swings. When children with attachment disorders are relaxed, well-rested, and feeling good, it will be much easier for them to handle life's challenges.
Diet - Make sure your child eats a diet full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Be sure to skip the sugar and add plenty of good fats - like fish, flax seed, avocados and olive oil—for optimal brain health.
Sleep - Sleep is also essential, and often makes. If your child is tired during the day, it will be that much harder for them to focus on learning new things. Make their sleep schedule (bedtime and wake time) consistent.
Exercise - Exercise or any type of physical activity can be a great antidote to stress, frustration, and pent up emotion, triggering endorphins to make your child feel good. Physical activity is especially important for the angry child. If your child isn't naturally active, try some different classes or sports to find something that is appealing.
Any one of these things—food, rest and exercise—can make the difference between a good and a bad day with a child who has an attachment disorder. These basics will help ensure your child's brain is healthy and ready to connect.
See Nutrition for Children and Teens: Helping Your Kids Develop Healthy Eating Habits and Tips for Getting Better Sleep.
Professional treatment for reactive attachment disorder
If your child is suffering from a severe attachment problem, especially reactive attachment disorder, seek professional help. Extra support can make a dramatic and positive change in your child's life, and the earlier you seek help, the better.
If you suspect your child might have an issue with attachment, your pediatrician, a child development specialist, or the resources listed below are a good place to start:
State Locator for Early Intervention Services (NICHCY) : 1-800-695-0285
ZERO TO THREE: National Center For Infants, Toddlers and Families: (202) 638-1144
24-Hour Parent Helpline: 1-888-435-7553
Bonding with Your Baby
Parenting Advice For Developing a Secure Attachment Bond
Separation Anxiety and Separation Anxiety Disorder
How to Ease Your Child's Separation Anxiety
More Helpguide Articles:
Attachment in Adults: How Attachment Style Affects Your Relationships
Postpartum Depression: Signs, Symptoms, and Help for New Moms
Stepparenting and Blended Family Advice: Bonding with Stepchildren and Dealing with Problems
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Symptoms, Treatment and Self Help
Related links for reactive attachment disorder and insecure attachment
General information on attachment disorders and insecure attachment
Children's Attachment Relationships - Introduction to attachment relationships and warning signs of attachment problems in children. (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy)
Reactive Attachment Disorder - Information on signs, symptoms, and treatment of reactive attachment disorder, as well as coping and support tips. (Mayo Clinic)
Reactive Attachment Disorder: Fact Sheet for the Classroom (PDF) - Fact sheet written for teachers and educators. Includes symptoms behaviors and educational issues. (Kansas State Department of Education)
Attachment Explained - Explains what attachment is, how attachment disorders develop, and what the warning signs are. (Attachment Treatment and Training Institute)
Parenting a child with attachment problems or reactive attachment disorder
Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children: How You Can Help - Child development expert Bruce Perry provides tips on interacting with and nurturing children who may have insecure attachments (Scholastic.com)
Parenting the Child with Attachment Difficulties - Practical tips for parents on how to help a child with reactive attachment disorder or another attachment problem. (Attachment Disorder Maryland)
Parenting Children with RAD and PTSD - In-depth article for parents of children with reactive attachment disorder on how to set limits, establish consequences, validate feelings, and encourage cuddling. (Attach-China International)
Repairing Relationships with a Time-In (PDF) - Simple tips for staying calm when your child is upset and promoting attachment repair. (Circle of Security)
Activities to Promote Attachment - List of practical things parents and others can do to promote secure attachment and repair attachment problems. (Attach-China International)
Getting help for attachment problems or reactive attachment disorder
A Parent's Guide to Early Intervention (PDF) - Explains what early intervention is and how to get help for your child. (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities)
Guide to Early Intervention Services by State - Government resource with a state-by-state guide of early intervention services for you and your child. (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities)
Gina Kemp, M.A., Melinda Smith, M.A., Joanna Saisan, MSW, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. contributed to this article. Last reviewed: December 2009...URL...http: //helpguide.org/mental/parenting_bonding_reactive _attachment_disorder.htm............
Comments about Attachment Disorders & Reactive Attachment Disorder by James McLain
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Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You