Georgia Center For Resources & Support
Serving Adoptive Families



Reactive Attachment Disorder Chat PDF Print E-mail


Thursday, the 10th of October 2002

The opinions and statements made in this chat session belong to the individuals posting them and appear in unedited form to promote the free exchange of information. However, they may not represent the views and/or policies of the Georgia Center for Resources and Support.

Amy Parks: Jeff Atkinson is with us and is a therapist specializing in RAD. Maybe he might give us a disorder "summary".

chatadmin: Jeff, can you give us some

jeffatkinson: ATTACH is a good start. Our center alos has a website

Cathy: I have 2 families that attend my support group that have RAD children

chatadmin: of these links

Amy Parks: Byrds? Do you have any descriptions from a parent's perspective?

karen: but can u describe basic symptoms?pls

Kim: - has joined the chat -

jeffatkinson: AD is a disorder that begins with the child not developing a bond with the primary care giver mother due to an obstacle in the attachment process.

Parent 5: Yes, I would also like to know basic sympts.

Shannon H: Oftentimes there is misdiagnosis by school staff due to certain characteristics. Is there anything that sets RAD apart from other disorders?

The Byrds: We are just getting into this.... kids diagnosed a few months ago.

jeffatkinson: The obstacles may be drug abuse/neglect, pain that the child is facing which all lead up to unresolved pain

Parent 5: Byrds, what age were your children when you adopted?

Kim: Hello Everyone

The Byrds: 7,9 and 10

karen: jeff is thr a pt of no retrn for thse kids?in yr opinion

Shannon H: I was wondering the same.

jeffatkinson: basic symptoms include: superficially charming, constant fighting for control, sneaky deceitful behaviors, pre-occupation with death, withdrawl to their own world, and parents prsenting as hostile and angry

The Byrds: Amy, sorry ... missed your earlier question ... the stories we could tell about our Rad kids.

chatadmin: Jeff, can you tell us about the services in Georgia?

Amy Parks: I know that some basic symptoms might be hyerpvigilence, poor cause and effect...

cindy: can these symptoms be confused with ADHD?

Amy Parks: No remorse, highly controlled, superficially charming and distrusting.

The Byrds: Our kids fit Jeff's symptoms but what about touchy-feely? One of the kids likes hugs. Does that mean they would not be RAD?

jeffatkinson: As far as no return, we have the most difficulty with kids who are 16 or older, who do not have a committed parent.

Shannon H: And are these services available all over Georgia?

jeffatkinson: The STate of GA has trained teams of therapists such as myself to be available in certain regions of the STate. The great number of us are in the metro area, but we do travel some.

Parent 5: Jeff, what is the youngest child that you have had in therapy for RAD?

karen: - has joined the chat -

jeffatkinson: 2 yrs of age

Parent 5: 2 yrs. seems so young, what caused the parents to believe that the child had attachement issues?

Amy Parks: Susan at CNC? Do you have RAD kids?

Shannon H: Jeff, I would be interested at some point in finding out where in the state the services can best be met.

jeffatkinson: These symptoms can be confused with ADHD due to the hyper activity and impulsivity

Cathy: Jeff, how far do your teams go south?

Amy Parks: Cathy, there is a team based in Savannah, I think (Coastal GA).

Shannon H: That's my question also, Kim

Shannon H: Sorry, I meant Cathy

karen: even w/ a committed parent, older kids need to choose to change dont they?

Amy Parks: There is a new team forming also. Isn't it around Macan, Jeff?

jeffatkinson: There is a center in Savannah, Augusta, Macon , Athens, and two in Atlanta

cindy: whats the name of the team in Savannah?

Veda: Jeff, I had read that we should not refer to these children who have the disorder as RAD children. A Better, more sensitive description would be to say " a child with the Dx of RAD or a child with RAD. Do you agree with using this description? of

jeffatkinson: Yes older kids have to be much more commital

karen: do the terapists always work in teams of 2?

The Byrds: good question, Karen.

jeffatkinson: Yes Laveda

Amy Parks: That's a good point Veda!

Last Nerve: - has joined the chat -

cindy: what happens when these children become parents?

Amy Parks: Sorry!

karen: Susan, do you have adopted children?

Shannon H: Is there anything in the Columbus area.

The Byrds: Jeff, do kids who are RAD have to match ALL symptoms of RAD to be RAD, or are there exceptions?

Amy Parks: Cindy, the Savannah team is called the Attachment Center of Coastal GA.

Susan_at_CNC: No, I don't. I'm just trying to learn about RAD

jeffatkinson: We were trained to work in teams of two for better effectiveness and liability reasons

karen: oh, thanks for coming

cindy: How can parents explain this to the child in a way that would help to understand and be receptive to therapy?

chatadmin: Hello, "last nerve". You might want to read the chat log at the top of the page.

jeffatkinson: I am lagging some sorry

jeffatkinson: We try to get the child to commit to therapy by asking them if they want to be the boss...of their feelings

Last Nerve: Anybody have any ideas on how to stop child from using "bedroom" as a "restroom"?

cindy: thanks, Amy, I'll check with them tomorrow

karen: Jeff are there grps for the kids to be together to lrn social skills and healthy relating?

Parent 5: Jeff, That's okay, we appreciate the info.

Shannon H: Is inattentive parenting at the core of most of these children's lives? It is seen so much in the children identified in state custody, but surely there are very attentive and loving parents who find themselves facing this dilemma.

karen: lots of floor scrubbing and underwear washing by hand might help last nerve

cindy: Last Nerve how old is the child?

Parent 5: - has left the chat -

The Byrds: Last Nerve, how old is your child?

jeffatkinson: We do not have a group right now. The kids we are working with who have RAD are not very good with groups, but we can refer you to groups if thats apparopriate

Last Nerve: Is this board slow for everyone???

Amy Parks: Last nerve, is that a control issue?

jeffatkinson: Parents sometimes end of dealing with RAD behavior if the child had a sever illness at infancy or some type of breal like that

Last Nerve: I think it reminds child of the way the birth home smelled

Shannon H: Yes it is, at least for me.

Amy Parks: I have heard that there is a good support group online for parents w/ children w/ RAD Dx

The Byrds: That's part of the problem parenting these kids... who feels comfortable praising a child for urinating in the bedroom. Seems like your own sensibilities get turned upside down in all this process.

jeffatkinson: This board is very sloooow

Shannon H: That would be great info

karen: ther eseem to be varying degrees of ad and attachment issues. Do you think so jeff?

chatadmin: Jeff, we sometimes hear from parents who have a child who seems to bond to Dad but not Mom. Families ask if this is "attachment disorder". Any suggestions for them to figure out what is really the problem or severity?

Kim: - has joined the chat -

cindy: how can you help the older child deal with this, as most of them don't think they have a problem?

Shannon H: I have also heard about what Chatadmin is talking about. How does the paretn outside the situation best deal with this.

jeffatkinson: That sounds like there is a possibility that Dad is getting manipulated, schmoozed, where mom gets the brunt of the behavior.

Amy Parks: about help for Last Nerve on urinating in bedroom???

karen: did you all fall off the face of the earth?

The Byrds: Folks, we're signing off. The board is as frustrating than dealing with RAD.

cindy: Hi kim, Last Nerve has a child using bedroom and restroom any suggestions?

Amy Parks: Sorry, Byrds...thanks for coming.

chatadmin: No doubt. Suggestions?

jeffatkinson: there is varying degrees of AD, a continuum if you will

karen: it was important for my husband and me to communicate ALOT and have a united front with our kids

cindy: Hi Karen

Last Nerve: Also would like to know if anyone has found a good "cure" for stealing, other than never taking child out in public

chatadmin: (that was a comment for Jeff)

jeffatkinson: The parents edfinetly need to be on the same page and guard against getting split by the kid

Shannon H: How about letting them clear the mess? May not work for everyone, but seeing a parent do what should naturally come as a consequence for the child seems more encouraging to the child to continue than making them stop. Has this been attempted?

karen: we have 8 kids , 2adopted both very needy.

cindy: I agree with Karen a united front is important with all children,

Parent 5: - has joined the chat -

Shannon H: Stealing what type of things?

jeffatkinson: Parents should role model, but be a consultant, don't rescue the kid from their consequences

cindy: Last Nerve, making the child return the item and pay for it with their own money seems to help but sometimes it takes more than one time

Cathy: Jeff, what is the answer for older kids who have suffered with AD long before the discovery of RAD?

chatadmin: Last Nerve, you are probably familiar with the Love and Logic book, but it might help some.

Last Nerve: Stealing anything of interest at the moment

Kim: Hello Last Nerve , I make my kids pay back double, and earn the money themselves

karen: Jeff what an excellent point, but so difficult as they become of age and free to really wreck their livesHuh?

Shannon H: Last nerve, you seem to have a wonderful sense of humor to deal with this, but it sounds like your children could benefit from someone like Jeff. Re the stealing, were they deprived alot prior to coming to you?

jeffatkinson: They need to get clear about where they are heading in life on their current they like their life.. can they do better.. a therapist can help get them into a contract with therapy

Last Nerve: Yes, a lot a deprivation. Stealing was a way to get what was needed.

Shannon H: Although oftentimes they have no idea where they are headed. That's why therapists are so necessary.

jeffatkinson: That is a great one kim..Nancy Thomas right (stealing_)

Kim: Hey Ive done it so long who knows where it came from

Kim: Oh it also does not happen overnight it takes many times of doing this over and over

Shannon H: More of an "old habits die hard" mindframe. Trusting it will always be there for them is going to be hard to establish for a while.

cindy: what do you do when they think their life is wonderful all though you know they are going down hill, fast?

Parent 5: - has left the chat -

jeffatkinson: That sense of humor is so important do not lose it

Last Nerve: Are any of your kids defiant and talk back to adults in aurthority, i.e., teachers?

jeffatkinson: some suggestions for stealing, which are paradoxical, count up how many times the kid steals and keep a running tab.. have bets with your spouse on who can count up the most ins==tances or leave out things for the kids to steal, or malke a certain box for the kid to put their stolen items, this takes their power away

Last Nerve: Good idea, Jeff

Shannon H: Nerve, how old are they again?

Kim: Nancy is my hero

karen: my kid thought he WAS the teacher!

Amy Parks: More like the teacher's MAMA!

jeffatkinson: We are also linking stealing to ceratin brainwave patterns or imbalences. This can be corrected with EEG biofeedback which we do at our center

cindy: both of my girls went through that, now only once in a while, when my youngest starts losing control of herself.

Last Nerve: Shannon, child is a teenager now

Shannon H: OOh, my husband was like that, Karen. Actually got so irritating the teacher made him teach the class. He didnt do it again.

chatadmin: Kim and LN, have you 2 talked. If not, LN, please phone 1-866-A-Parent tomorrow for Kim!!

karen: pretty impressive. are you seing favorable results?

Last Nerve: I heard of one dad that hat to inspect kids pockets everytime his kid left a store

Shannon H: Last Nerve, the behavior still continues now?

Amy Parks: Yes, LN, I agree. I know Kim and she has a lot of experience with RAD!

karen: pockets and socks,

cindy: been there done that

Amy Parks: It's OK, Kim. Jeff is really a great contributor!

jeffatkinson: I can only go on what other centers who have trained us are reporting becuase we a re too early in the process, but I am sold.. I will be training with some of the best in the business for 40 hours this weekend

Shannon H: Sorry folks, I need to say goodbye. MY two are taking advantage of my chatting and staying up a little later than I would prefer. Time to see them off to bed. Goodnight all.

Last Nerve: Yes, I have talked to Kim and you're right...she's awesome and full of information..makes me laugh about some of this stuff

Shannon H: - has left the chat -

cindy: goodnight Shannon

karen: goodnite Shannon. Jeff , thanks so much for tonight and blessings to you and your fellow therapists as you gather this weekend

Last Nerve: Before I came into the chatroom, was there some discussion about what to expect regarding these children's futures?

Kim: I knew he was!

jeffatkinson: Thank you

Carol: - has joined the chat -

chatadmin: We do have some great books in our library that might help some folks, too.

Cathy: Jeff, thank you for sharing helpful information as well as the locations of the teams!!

cindy: Jeff, your information has been very helpful, good luck in your new ventures

jeffatkinson: The future of these childrejn depends heavily on how early they get treatment, how committed the parents are and their own desire to make a better life

chatadmin: Hello Carol, you might want to read the chat log at the top of the page.

Carol: Hi Sorry I am so late but my internet provider was down I am glad to be here for the last few minutes

Kim: amen

Veda: - has left the chat -

Cathy: I strongly agree with that statement

Last Nerve: Need to sign off for now...thanks to Jeff and all who have shared their ideas. Hope to have more opportunities to chat in the future.

chatadmin: LN, remember that the future last the whole of these children's life times, too. your difference might only show up in later years.

karen: Jeff pls stress the part the older child plays in the process of their future

jeffatkinson: I just want to say as we close up it has been nice talking with you. If we can ever be of service contact us: Attachment & Bonding center of Atlanta, LLC, or 678-467-7922. We are in the Tucker, Northlake area.

Cathy: thank you for coming on LN, hope to talk again

karen: i talk to so many guilt ridden parents of older AD kids who blame themselves for the kids bad decisions.

Last Nerve: - has left the chat -

Amy Parks: Thank you, Jeff and all!

chatadmin: Thank you Jeff.

Cathy: goodnight all!

cindy: thank you Jeff,

jeffatkinson: The older the child, the more committed thay have to be with the therapy. For parents who are guilt ridden, read love and logic, by Foster Cline and Jim Fay

karen: good night to you all. Thanks for all the visitors and Jeff. Coworkers...Glad you all got home safely. God bless

Parent 5: - has joined the chat -

karen: Cathy we missed you

chatadmin: Carol, I would be happy to stay and chat a bit if you would like?

Kim: Goodnight and Thanks Jeff

cindy: goodnight everyone, chat with you soon. hope training went well. sure missed being there.

jeffatkinson: Good night you all. Good Luck as well!

karen: Sweet Dreams

Carol: Sorry Kim I couldn't be here tonight

Susan_at_CNC: - has left the chat -

Cathy: - has left the chat -

chatadmin: Sounds like you know how to reach Kim, Carol. If we can help, call on us.

chatadmin: Kim has had some computer problems and might be out of the room now.

karen: Cindy hope youre feeling strong and healthy. we missed u this weekend

chatadmin: Thank you , everyone for being with us.

chatadmin: - has left the chat -

chatadmin: - has joined the chat -

karen: - has left the chat -

karen: - has joined the chat -

Parent 5: Sorry I missed the Chat. Had computer problems.

Kim: Hello Im testing now

Kim: Hi Karen

Parent 5: - has left the chat -

lisa s: - has joined the chat -

Amy Parks: Lisa, where did you go?

Amy Parks: Kim!!!!!! What happened? Should we go to the staff room?

lisa s: I guess you know who I was...

lisa s: Kept getting knocked off and could not get back on.

Amy Parks: I think that is what happens to Kim.

lisa s: Let's head to staff room!

Amy Parks: Very serious!!

Amy Parks: - has left the chat -

lisa s: - has left the chat -

Kim: - has left the chat -





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