My younger sister, now in her twenties, has always had problems connecting to my parents. I've been realizing that she has always had most RAD symptoms at least to a mild degree. Controlling, defiant, manipulative, refuses affection, negative attitude, poor self esteem, hyperactive, self-destructive, prefers to be alone, etc. (This is not just a teen thing- she was like this practically from birth).
Neither of us were adopted or separated from our parents, we have warm, loving, responsible parents and extended family- absolutely nothing resembling neglect or abuse. She's had a host of different diagnoses, from ADHD to ODD to Asberger's, but nothing really fits. Why would someone have an attachment disorder under these circumstances, or is it even possible?
RAD was recognised pretty early on (1950s) in children who were in hospital for months and months when they were babies, but went home to their biological family (though it wasn't called that then). So it's possible.
But there are a whole slew of other disorders like ODD, pathological demand avoidance, and you've mentioned ADHD, which are not dependent on a reaction to something (RAD by definition is a reaction to something that happened).
I know a lot of people now aren't sure that all kids who appear to have RAD actually do, some may have one (or more) of these other disorders (and their birth parents may have had it too which is why they could not care for them).
I have heard of kids who were fostered at birth and really never saw their birth parents being diagnosed with RAD which doesn't really fit the definition, so it seems more likely that some children who are diagnosed with RAD because they are in foster care, actually have something else, than the other way round IYSWIM.
Have you really looked at a RAD checklist, to see some of the really weird behaviors that are linked in the same person? Does your sister have those?
She may have some sort of attachment spectrum situation, w/out being full-blown, too. Or she might have something(s) else, as the other poster mentioned.
Then again, I know a family where the first child was wanted, the second was not, and that was palpable even to outsiders. Also, different children have different temperments, some are easier for parents to get along with, and vice versa. Most of us have seen that many times. So, lots of factors can influence attachment.
There are many other personality disorders which share some traits with Rad. Eg narcissistic personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder, sociopathy, Borderline Personality Disorder etc.
My friends sister is just as you describe and comes from a loving family too, she has Borderline personality disorder.
You could try this test for your sister.
[url=]Personality Disorder Test - Personality Test[/url]
Hmm. Thanks. This is helpful. Especially the borderline personality disorder part. So much of the manipulation and control issues seem to come from this fear of not being loved, and also not processing other people's emotions correctly. It is getting her into some bad relationships so if there's anything that can be done, I want to figure it out.
Yes, bio kids from a "good" home can be RAD. RAD can stem from a mother who didn't feel attached to the baby while in the wound or after the birth (perhaps due to depression, stress or a whole slew of other reasons). Babies who had to spend time in the hospital following birth (preemies, heart issue, etc.) can have RAD. Babies who were very collicky have been shown to have RAD (cried so much they were unable to form early attachment). Early trauma can lead to RAD, even if it had nothing to do with the bio parents. Lots of circumstances make RAD a possibility in bio kids. It's not an adoption disease. (A fellow blogger recently wrote about this. Check it out at: [url=]Pudding. Without Meat.: RAD is not an 'adoption disease'[/url])
I'm agreeing with the other posts...a bio kid can definitely have RAD, a personality dx., or another mental health dx. RAD is based on the attachment between parent and child and is not exclusive to adoption or foster care.