If you are parenting a child with reactive attachment disorder, you will often ask the question, "What more can I do?"
This is not a treatment manual. If you have adopted a child with RAD, or if you have only recently learned that your child suffers from the disorder, I can understand, and indeed share your desire for something - anything - that will work.
Unfortunately, I don’t think there are any miracle cures out there, or any quick fixes. So far, it appears that raising a radish requires a great deal of patience, structure, and a willingness to accept that the end result may not be what we had hoped for. Yet I am certain that it’s important that we not abandon the hope.
These kids can heal. I know that they can, but it requires attachment therapy, coordinated with attachment parenting.
Read whatever you can get your hands on, but do so with a skeptic’s eye. When Love is Not Enough, by Nancy L. Thomas, was very helpful in understanding the disorder, and we picked up some very good ideas from it, but it seems to be sort of an assortment of information for dealing with a wide variety of radishes. Some of it is obviously for someone much younger than our nephew was when he came to live with us, while other sections are intended for kids who are more severely disordered, even dangerous, and the structure of the book makes it difficult to determine which sections apply. A few of her suggestions seemed, intuitively, wrong, but then we have learned that parenting a child with reactive attachment disorder is indeed counterintuitive. Of all the books I have read on the subject, I recommend this book the most highly, but you might want to try some of the others too.
You’ll certainly want to get some professional help. This is probably already in the works if your child has a diagnosis of RAD, but you should know that traditional therapy hasn’t been very successful, mostly because it is dependent on trust and children with attachment disorders have trouble trusting other people, including the therapist.
Start wherever you are. If your child is seeing a therapist, ask him if he feels that a specialist is necessary and, if so, ask for a referral. There are clinics specializing in the treatment of attachment disorders, and there are respite centers that might be able to help both you and your child get through a particularly bad time. Check references, network, and ask around.