[url=http://www.childrenintherapy.org/attachmentdisorder.html]Reactive Attachment Disorder vs. Attachment Disorder[/url]
My son just turned 5 and was diagnosed with anxiety and sensory processing issues earlier this year. Recently, we were told to look into RAD, which lead us to making another appointment with the psychiatrist.
Now, after reading this article posted at the top (and a few others), I'm a bit skeptical. Going by the DSM-IV, he qualifies as RAD. But is that what the psychiatrist actually goes by to diagnose?
I feel like we would all benefit from AT, but... only if it's done right (he's been to three different agencies and worked with different therapists for different reasons, and most of the time I feel they're wasting all our time).
Does anyone have a BTDT with a RAD diagnosis? What has helped/not helped?
The site the article is on is one that is committed to tearing down any professional who tries to help families whose children have attachment issues. Many children who do not have the DSM diagnosis for RAD have mild moderate or severe attachment problems. the term "Attachment disorder" is often use to describe a collection of symptoms associated with attachment problems but not formally diagnosed as RAD. Here are some symptoms of RAD as described by the AACAP:
severe colic and/or feeding difficulties
Օ failure to gain weight
detached and unresponsive behavior
Օ difficulty being comforted
preoccupied and/or defiant behavior
Օ inhibition or hesitancy in social interactions disinhibition or inappropriate familiarity or closeness with strangers.
Find out more here: [url]http://www.aacap.org/App_Themes/AACAP/docs/facts_for_families/85_reactive_attachment_disorder.pdf[/url]
RAD and attachment issues are real. Just because someone happens to say attachment disorder instead of attachment issues or problems doesn't mean they are criminally negligent. Find a Dr. or certified therapist who understands attachment and find out more about attachment and about your child.
Pay no attention to that website.
By the way, the term "Attachment Therapy" in the past, about 10 to 15 years ago, meant holding therapy where the child was held tightly and encouraged to "let out their rage and frustration". It was very controversial and still is. Some therapists think it is necessary for some children, others say it is cruel or harmful. Holding therapy is not often used anymore. It has become widely understood that it is the parent who must carry most of the burden for helping their child heal. Attachment is a relationship and thus the primary caregiver works to build that relational bond with their child. There are a many techniques that a parent can use. Love is the foundation. A therapist can help somewhat, but it is the Mom who does the heavy lifting, building the bond. Just thought you should be aware that when someone says "Attachment Therapy", to a parent it means help with attachment for your child. To some professionals, it means holding or rage therapy, a controversial practice from days gone by.
A psychiatrist will use the DSM to diagnose mental health disorders. They will not use a list of symptoms. My experience shows that RAD is under diagnosed if anything. Psychiatrists are reluctant to diagnose it. Attachment therapy is about attachment between the child and mother. Therapy is never done without the mother in the room. All is focused on that attachment. The therapist is simply a facilitator of that process. The majority of the therapy time is spent teaching the parent how to interact with child in an attachment focused way. The therapist knows that he/she is only with the child for an hour a week, but the parent is with the child 24/7. So the attachment works falls to the parent.
The big problems with the broader 'attachment disorder' diagnosis are:
a) use of this category is common among proponents of the harmful varieties of attachment therapy, and can serve as a warning sign
b) many children put in this category are well-described by other diagnoses, which have a lot more evidence base for treatment (eg ODD, CD, ADHD, etc), and there is evidence to suggest that many of these therapies are just as effective in children with histories of trauma or attachment disruption as in children without such histories
c) the extremely negative portrayal of attachment disordered children can contribute to poorer parent-child relationships, because parents may overestimate the severity of their child's issues or interpret behaviour as manipulation when it is actually genuine
d) related to c), AD is said to get worse if untreated, a claim which has no evidence behind it but may serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy (if parents expect a child to get worse, they probably will)
To answer the OP, check the credentials of the psych working with your child. If they have a degree from a reputable university, chances are they'll be using evidence-based diagnoses and treatments rather than quackery.