20 Apr Reactive Attachment Disorder
Permanent But Preventable
When a child misses out on the experience of one loving consistent caregiver the consequences can be devastating. The first 24-36 months of life are critical for brain development. Healthy growth depends on a child’s interaction with a mother figure. Cooing, eye contact, loving touch, consistent feeding and dependable soothing are all fundamental to nerve connections in the brain.
If these do not happen consistently, a child may develop Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) which will present lifelong difficulty in forming human bonds and relationships.
These months constitute a critical period: a window of time that can never be reclaimed.
Attachment is defined as a lasting psychological connectedness between two human beings which develops through mutual care seeking and care giving. If a caregiver is detached, physically absent or psychologically absent, RAD may result. Without learning to trust others in early childhood, these children go on to lack healthy relationships later in life.
The consequences of this preventable disease are far-reaching. Typical adults with RAD can end up violent and incarcerated, with absence of guilt or conscience after committing aberrant acts. They may suffer from antisocial personality disorder, which impacts their ability to become productive member of society.
RAD is incurable, but entirely preventable.
We can prevent RAD from occurring simply by ensuring a baby has one consistent, nurturing caregiver during the first 36 months of life. That is what makes Angels different. Once a child is in the care of an Angels family, that child will stay until they are reunified with their birth family or are adopted.
Infants who are pathologically neglected or abused need to be placed into a stable home where appropriate interactions between themselves and their caregiver are the norm in order to prevent RAD. Angels is pioneering a model that prevents this incurable disease by requiring foster parents to commit to care until final placement is decided.
Watch the video as Dr. Richard Levak talks about Reactive Attachment Disorder and the importance of healthy bonding.