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Ramblings on Reactive Attachment Disorder

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RAD – three little letters that strike fear into the hearts of adoptive parents.  Bonding is so important to developing brains that disruptions to normal attachment can create major issues for life.  When it comes to adoption, I think attachment issues are far more common than officially diagnosed.  Take this stat from the American Bar Association page on RAD: “While RAD is rare in the general population, it is common in abuse cases. In one study of toddlers in foster care who had been maltreated, 38-40% of the children met the diagnostic criteria for RAD. Many older children who have delayed disclosure of their early abuse also suffer from undiagnosed RAD.” In Born for Love by the famous Dr. Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz, they write about the hormones involved in bonding: “In children whose infancies involved normal parenting, oxytocin rose in response to being held by their mother—but this response wasn’t seen in orphanage children held by their adoptive mothers, even though they