It is possible for any child to have reactive attachment disorder (RAD); however, children who have experienced divorce or adoption are more at risk. It can also happen to children who have experienced neglect or any form of separation from a parent. Children who have RAD may exhibit signs of:
- Aversion to touch or physical affection.
- Control issues.
- Anger problems.
- Difficulty showing affection.
- An underdeveloped conscience (an inability to show guilt, regret, or remorse).
Those with RAD may seem withdrawn, unable to be comforted by their parents, and as if they are purposely pushing others away from them. Some may even go to the extremes of avoiding relationships altogether out of fear of losing people. Youth who have RAD may act younger socially and emotionally than their actual age and may need to be responded to as if they were their mental age (i.e. using non-verbal methods of soothing and caring).
How Can Turn-About Ranch Help?
The horsemanship program at Turn-About Ranch provides students with a great outlet for working on their RAD. Equine therapy has proved quite beneficial for youth struggling with the disorder. Learn about one woman’s experience with equine therapy and her adopted daughter on Adoption.org.