Daniel and Beth* are prepared to do whatever it
takes to help their children adjust to life with Reactive
Attachment Disorder (RAD).”
They adopted three siblings after caring for them as foster children. They were not aware of the severity of RAD in each child, but did know that their biological mother had been in and out of jail on drug and prostitution charges.
All three children are in counseling and play therapy has been helpful in treating their RAD, but life is still very challenging. Beth spends her time taking children to counseling or therapy and meeting with teachers and principals. “The easiest way to explain what RAD is, is to say that my children have no conscience. They know right from wrong, they just don’t care,” Beth explained. “If they want something, they will steal it. If they want to hit someone, they will, and the consequences don’t matter,” she added.
Beth also shared that by age 20, 50% of RAD children will be dead, either due to suicide or risk taking behaviors; 25% will be in jail, and 25% will have responded to treatment and learned to cope with their illness. “I refuse to let my children be part of the 75%,” Beth said. “That’s why the workshop on RAD offered by the Partnership for Youth Coalition was so helpful to us. There’s not a lot of information available for parents,” she commented. “It’s good to know that we’re not alone,” Daniel added.
*names changed for confidentiality