Reactive Attachment Disorder

This is one of the most problematic disorders we have ever encountered. Without substantial therapeutic interventions, this population of children has almost no chance of a normal life. Mothers may have been alcoholic or drug-addicted during the perinatal period. The infant may be neglected for long periods.† After greater or lesser periods of time, the department of social services (or the equivalent, depending on the culture of origin) intervenes and takes over custody of the child. Still the child may be in an institutional setting for prolonged periods, or taken in by foster parents of varying degrees of stability themselves.Many infants in America these days are adopted from South or Central America, India, Russia, Africa, the Balkan Countries, China, and Korea. Not much is known about the natural parents of the children or their condition while in utero or in the critical weeks and months after birth. These babies have already suffered neglect and deprivation (to the extent that the backs of some of their heads are flat from lying in hard cribs unattended for prolonged periods.) Allen Schore and other theorists have pointed to the profound neurological deficits and syndromes that accompany Reactive Attachment Disorder.† Shrunken or atrophied right pre-frontal orbital lobes (sometimes attributed as the locus of human conscience) promises that these children will have socialization difficulties, emotional retardation, and may become sociopathic, or even criminal sociopaths (without self-control).A significant case, “Damon” is published in The Healing Power of Neurofeedback under “Reactive Attachment Disorder.”† In general, nutritional, psychosocial, and neurofeedback approaches used together have helped these unfortunate children (and the adults they become) considerably.