Welcome to the Attachment Disorder Site. Here you will find a wide variety of information regarding attachment issues. A major problem with the diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder is the painful truth that many of the very people we parents turn to for help - professionals in the mental health, neurological, and medical fields - often lack the knowledge and expertise to treat our children.
One of the first doctors I took my son to told me that my son would end up institutionalized and that if a PET scan were done on his brain, it would look like swiss cheese - black holes of non activity where there should be brain activity. That there is nothing much I could do for him as "...these Romanian children were hopeless cases..." My son was 6 years old when I was told this by a prominent neurologist.
I didn't believe
in giving up. This child was my responsibility and I would work hard to
figure out how to help him. How I would have loved it if there were professionals
willing and able to treat my son - who believed in positive change in
his life. I called and talked to over 140 mental health professionals
on our insurance - this was a 4 state span - and either I was told that
they did not know much or anything about this disorder or they had heard
of it but didn't know how to treat it.
This site is my attempt to pass on my knowledge from reading and learning everything I could find on attachment disorder so that I could help our son - which we were able to do with the help of a wonderful therapist that we eventually found. My son is 21 now and is not institutionalized but lives a happy life.
So, as you read, keep in mind that the information that I have written on these pages is purely what I have learned and clearly anecdotal at best.
To those of you who are parents of these most special children, I say there is hope. My son was diagnosed with severe attachment disorder with some of the most violent and frightening symptoms and he made it. He loves, trust and is healing every day!
To those of you who are professionals working with these troubled families trying to find ways to help them, I say thank you.
To those of you who have not joined in to find a way to help us, I say start learning, pitch in, and help.
To our nation - these children are not just those from Romania or other countries, they are children here at home. Ultimately, all adults have a responsibility towards all children no matter where they are from. It is time to embrace and seek the truth about those early years of life and how they shape who we eventually become.
With the addition of hundreds of children adopted from institutional settings and from the foster care system, it is important for all of us to become educated regarding the potential and unique problems these children and their families face. It is by this understanding that we can forge ahead and learn to help our families heal.
Attachment Disorders range in severity. I believe that attachment is on a continuum that runs from securely attached through degrees of attachment issues all the way to those who suffer from severe attachment disorder as in my son's case.
We must also remember that all adopted and foster care kids do not suffer from attachment disorder. A lot has to do with the individuals themselves - their physiological and psychological make-up, the type of environment they were in and the duration they were in that environment and a myriad of other variables. With this in mind, we do not want people to become wary of adoption because of attachment disorder. We want people to become educated about it. I often wish I had known what was wrong sooner as I look back on years that were spent utilizing ineffective therapies and parenting strategies. We would have started on the road to healing sooner.
are not the only individuals that can suffer from attachment issues. Adults
who did not get their emotional and physical needs met in the first few
years as well as families who have biological children who, for whatever
reason, did not have a strong connection with their primary caregiver.
Some of the causes of attachment problems are very subtle and often go
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Any information on the Attachment Disorder Site does not replace professional advice. This site is my attempt to pass on my knowledge from reading and learning everything I could find on this issue so that I could help our son and maybe help others who are walking this same path.
The resources on this entire site are provided for your personal perusal. I have no way to guarantee the accuracy or appropriateness of any information or advice for a particular situation. Nothing on the Attachment Disorder Site constitutes medical, legal or other professional advice and I assume no liability or responsibility for any diagnosis, treatment, decision made, or action taken in reliance upon information contained on these sites including any sites linked to it or your use of the Internet.