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A Guide To Parenting A Child With RAD

Are you considering adopting an older child? You'll want to read this guide.

Ryann Sefcik July 30, 2017

Reactive attachment disorder, or RAD, affects so many children who have been in foster care and who were adopted as older children. It is a condition found in children who have been severely neglected and haven’t been able to properly form healthy, loving bonds with any caregiver before the age of five. Their emotional needs are not met and therefore the children do not understand how to properly and appropriately react in many different social situations, including when a parent, or other trusted adult, truly does love them. Children with RAD can exhibit many different symptoms including detaching emotionally, angry, sometimes violent, outbursts, and forming inappropriate relationships with others.

Lyn and Rob are parents to 8 year old Jillian. Jillian was placed in their home in August of 2015 when she was 6 years old. Her adoption was finalized in March of 2016. Jillian was diagnosed with RAD, and her parents are strong advocates for their daughter and for educating people about this condition. They graciously allowed me to ask them some questions and share their story about their amazing family.

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Ryann Sefcik

Ryann Sefcik never intended to be a writer but has always loved storytelling. Since she was 8, Ryann has performed on stages all over Northeast Ohio, using scripts and songs to tell the stories of different characters, but now it’s time for her to tell her own. Ryann began blogging with a friend at Betrothed Babies Blog after they both became moms 10 days apart from one another—one through pregnancy and one through adoption. As an adoptive mom and a step mom, Ryann personifies the thought that love, not blood, is what makes a family. By day, Ryann is an elementary music teacher and directs a children’s choir as well as a middle school drama club, but her favorite job is taking care of her three boys: ages 8, 6 months, and 35 (Her husband—he requires the most adult supervision!) She hopes to be able to bring comfort, joy, laughter, and empathy to the Adoption.com audience through her writing.


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