We are very glad to welcome a guest post by Keri Williams, a regular blogger at raisingdevon.com and author. In this post Keri writes about her journey into raising a child with reactive attachment disorder, on which her book is based.

What if? It’s a question that haunts me and many parents of children with reactive attachment disorder (RAD). What if I’d known sooner? What if I’d done things differently?

Today my son Devon is 16. He’s very dangerous – violent towards adults and children, has suicidal ideations, and causes thousands of dollars in property damage. Due to safety concerns, he’s been unable to live at home for the last several years. He’s angry, sad, and hurt. It’s not what I dreamed of when I adopted him as a friendly, jabbering three-year-old with round cheeks and a bright smile.

From the time Devon came to live with us at three, I knew something was seriously wrong but had no idea what. He played with feces, threw screaming tantrums for hours, and seemed defiant and willful. I tried parenting strategy after parenting strategy, but nothing worked.

I was still trying to ‘fix’ him when, at nine, he pushed his then four-year-old brother down the stairs in a rage and karate chopped him in the throat. That was my wake-up call. We needed help.

After a few hospitalizations and intensive in-home services, Devon’s behaviour continued to decline and he was admitted to a psychiatric residential treatment facility. There he was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder (RAD). What a huge sigh of relief – finally we could get some treatment.

Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that there are no quick answers or easy solutions for kids with RAD. I struggled to find therapists and treatments to help, I became increasingly isolated from family and friends. Over time, however, I learned how to navigate the system, how to advocate for my son, and how to get the support I needed. Raising a child with RAD is a hard road to follow especially when you don’t have a support system or know where to go for help.

This is why I wrote the guide I wish I’d had a decade ago. My new book, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD): The Essential Guide for Parents, is written from the trenches. No platitudes or false promises – only key information, practical suggestions, and resource recommendations.

I can’t help but wonder, what if I’d had this information when my son was three, or five, or ten? Would things have turned out differently? Maybe. RAD is a disorder that is stealing our children’s futures and devastating families because we too often don’t have the knowledge and resources to do any better. My hope is that this resource will help families find a way forward.

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), thumb

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One Comment

  1. Cathy 31st July 2018 Reply

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