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Reactive Attachment Disorder: Self-Test

Does your child or teenager have Reactive Attachment Disorder? Take this test to find out:

1. Avoids or resists physical closeness and touch   Y/N
2. Bossy with peers   Y/N
3. Cannot be trusted   Y/N
4. Complains frequently    Y/N
5. Cruel to animals   Y/N
6. Destructive to self, others, and property    Y/N
7. Gorges or hoards food    Y/N
8. Has frequent or intense angry outbursts    Y/N
9. Has little or no conscience    Y/N
10. Has poor peer relationships    Y/N
11. Inappropriately demanding and clingy    Y/N
12. Indiscriminately affectionate on parents’ terms    Y/N
13. Is an angry child inside    Y/N
14. Is emotionally phony, hollow or empty   Y/N
15. Is impulsive or hyperactive    Y/N
16. Is manipulative or controlling    Y/N
17. Is oppositional, argumentative, defiant   Y/N
18. Is superficially engaging and charming    Y/N
19. Is unable to cry about something sad    Y/N
20. Lack of eye contact on parental terms    Y/N
21. Lacks cause and effect thinking   Y/N
22. Lies about the obvious    Y/N
23. Low self-esteem   Y/N
24. More disobedient toward mother than father   Y/N
25. Not affectionate on parents’ terms   Y/N
26. Persistent nonsense questions or incessant chatter    Y/N
27. Preoccupation with fire, blood, or violence   Y/N
28. Seems unable to give and receive love   Y/N
29. Sexual acting out    Y/N
30. Steals    Y/N

If you answered ‘yes’ to any 3 of the statements above, it should be a red flag that your child may have attachment issues.

If you answered ‘yes’ to 5 or more, then it is highly likely that he/she has Reactive Attachment Disorder and should be tested by a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist.

Parenting Defiant RAD Teens

19 comments:

  1. I am now an adult and work with children and only recently relised i may have been suffering from this my whole life who do i go to now im 28 yrs old???? this has had a massive impact on past relationships that I will not even date now!

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  2. I am 57 and I have only just heard about this. I answered "yes" to 17 of the 30 questions.

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  3. I am 57 and I have only just heard about this. I answered "yes" to 17 of the 30 questions.

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  4. I answered yes to all of them for two adopted teens 15 and 16. They ran away last Wednesday and accused us of abusing them because we wouldn't let them do what they want and we wouldn't ignore the acting out. We also found out drugs are involved. At this point I hope they don't come back. We can't do it again. It's been the most horrible ten years of our marriage.

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  5. we adopted our 5 grandkids after our oldest daughter was murdered ,four years ago.the next to the oldest is 11.hes attacked us,killed animals,the list goes on and on.hes in a psychiatric hospital right now.but they say he has conduct disorder but has the signs of rad but since hes not been diagnosed before age 5 he cant be diagnosed with rad,does anyone know if this is true?Shean W I truly don't blame you these last 4 years have been a nightmare!!

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    1. Depends on the Doctor.Mine was diagnosed at age 13 . Several dx were given at an earlier age . Bipolar , conduct disorder , ODD ,ADD now finally RAD which was the problem all along .

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    2. Rad is a horrible diagnosis to deal with. The parent cannot do anything to change the situation in the child refuses to work with u. We adopted a 7 year old and 6 months later i saw it rad nobody would b diagnosis her. It Took 5 More Years AND The TRAINED PERDON IN RAD to get the diagnosis and help.bit it did not make much of a difference. I have to catch it early to help the child and u the parent in hopes to have some kind of good attachment. We have the ambivalent insecure and somewhat disorganized with our now 15 year old. It has taken years off our life. She should have Ben adopted to a single family home so she could have been given the extensive attention and work needed. We are doing our best she is a beautiful girl with very low self esteem no empathy no regards to anyone but her self. It is sad. We can only pray someday she can be happy in life. No trus the for anyone pits on a facade and appears to be a super sweet loving person and she is just the opposite. She had to be out of the home for over a year due to her mean streak to.our younger adopted children who we adopted before her. They all love her and cannot begin to understand why she is so zomby and mean at times. Never sorry for anything

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    3. I have a 16 year old daughter who was diagnosed with RAD. I also have two sons 13 and 11. My 11 year old is my only biological child.
      My daughter and 13year old son were adopted when she was 3 and he was 3 months. She has been cold and distant since then. Unable to accept love and lies about everything. Very hateful to her brothers too. She talked about killing herself. She told my mom I was abusing her and my mom believed her. She called DHS and I was investagted. That has now happened 3 times. I refused to let her destroy the boys remaining childhood. I was able to get her into a facility. It didn't help. She behaved like an angel while there. She came home after 9 months. Started acting up the day she came home. So I called the grandparents that refused to believe she could behave badly. She is now living with them. It was so hard at first. Knowing they aren't helping her and she is lying to them has been hard. BUT after letting go of that, I can see my boys are doing so much better. We finally have a "normal" home.

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  6. I need help!Im being eaten alive!I can't even give the right way?Im being told to watch out by adoptted daughter who just turned 13 yrs old . I just found this site and need some good advice and some one to talk to.

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    1. I am sorry about your adopted daughter. I would get video cameras installed, start collecting all documents that you have that can verify her behavior, keep a journal of all the behaviors. If she assaults you, you can have her arrested for domestic violence. But, when the police come you need to tell them you want to press charges and then make sure you attend all the hearings. This way you can plead with the referree or judge to have her locked up instead of doing probation at home.

      I also hope you have exhausted all your resources available in the mental health system and with adoption help because that will need to be done. If you need to further talk please email me at csweet@mi.rr.com.

      I firmly believe that the current system does not prepare foster and adoptive parents for what may walk through the doors. For myself and my husband, the system was always quick to point out all the negatives, without giving us any sound advice. We often heard "she has never exhibited any of these behaviors until she moved here". Well, it was not until we signed on the dotted line when we recieved her file that we read "in first grade she stabbed another child with a pair of scissors". We were furious and called to ask WT? And the response was "we didnt read her file".

      Sometimes, I believe these broken children, not their fault, turn nice and loving people into toxic parents. My husband and I have separated and our marriage counselor said it perfect "your daughter is arsenic poison on your marriage". Adoption is hard and even if the child is family. Sometimes these children are born into horrific situations that may never be able to be helped.

      You need to keep yourself healthy and safe because if you are not here then you cannot keep the rest of the world safe from her.

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  7. Our son has been in psychiatric hospital for going on 8 mo. Dhs is trying to get him in group home,we got them involved, since the youngest whose 5yrs old, told us his brother had touched his privates through his clothes,we took all the kids to forensic interview set up by dhs.we have nothing set in stone yet,I just pray they move him to a group home.we are mentally and physically drained by this one child :(

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  8. I'm 19 and I do have RAD and that being said, I know how much of a pain in the ass we can be. I'm a pyro, my temper is hotter than hell, and if you touch me when I dont want you to, I will kick you in the face. Death doesn't upset me. I don't get sad when people I know die. I'm not emotionally capable of being sad about that. THAT upsets me. I'm not capable of love. I am not capable of forming such powerful emotional connections with other people. THAT upsets me. I am apathetic and hollow and I cannot differentiate between love, hate, rage, sorrow, joy, and fear. Can any of you understand that feeling of nothingness? There is a fucking black hole in my chest. Its like I'm here but I'm not, I'm living but I feel dead. Can you understand this hollow feeling inside? People say cutting is stupid, but they've never been in the situation where the only way they know theyre alive is to tear at their skin and the idea to make it end is tantalizing because why not? Im already dying. I've been suicidal since I was 9 years old because my family wished I didn't exist and their response to a crying four year old wanting her mother was to force her to take antidepressants not recommended for kids younger than 18 to try to make her shut up. You do not know how we feel, you do not know what we've been through and we are not going to tell you because you are incapable of understanding how it feels. Lying and saying you do makes you a dumbass because we know you don't. Maybe if you admitted you didn't understand and asked for an explanation the kid might have a bit of respect for you. But instead you're on here moaning and groaning about how these have beem the worst years of your life, dealing with these kids are a nightmare, wah wah boo hoo poor little you doesn't even realize, or care, that our entire lives have been a nightmare and never having been born would have been more merciful than being adopted by you people.

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    1. Thank you Jadi Morrison for giving a voice to the children, teens and adults that battle with RAD every moment of their lives. I'm sorry you're offended by this thread. I think it's meant as a place to vent for those caring for children with RAD. Though we will never understand what it's like to have RAD ourselves, we are walking the lonely, traumatic, unforgiving road with our children and it takes a toll on us, too. That's what you're seeing on this thread. Parents trying to cope with what RAD has done to you, and what it's done to ourselves and the rest of our family. I hope you can find peace in the future. It sounds like you've earned it.

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    2. Jadi, I came home so tired after working late, and my husband had me read some sites about RAD so we can get a better understanding of what's happening with our 18 yr old daughter, whom we adopted when she was 5 1/2 yrs old. Unfortunately we had never heard of RAD until this past week, after she turned 18 and walked out of our lives. All that I've read states so many characteristics of our daughter, and lying is such a common thread. But I want you, Jadi, to know what a huge help your comments are, and I commend you for your honesty. You are amazing, to be able to truthfully lay out your emotions like that. I read it to my husband through tears. You may not like to be physically hugged, but allow me to give you a long hug virtually, and let you know there is hope. We know where our dtr is, and are respecting her need to have a safe space to be who she thinks she is. We continue to educate ourselves and those around us about RAD, and will be diligent in trying to find help for her, praying she will someday accept help. Oh, there's that word "pray." We are believers, and prayer is what's getting us through each day. Just know, Jadi, that there is a God, and He sent His Son here on earth to go through every emotion a human has - He even died an excruciating death for us. We can't imagine the pain and suffering He went through. So I want you to know that in your darkest times, you can talk to God and He understands. And He loves you no matter what! Please find a church you can go to - if you don't feel comfortable in one, visit another, until you find a place where people listen to you. We did that, and now have a wonderful "home" church where people listen to us, and pray with us to a God who understands us. Know that I will pray for you, too, as we do our own daughter. God has given us comfort, because we have told Him that this is out of our hands, so He needs to take care of her. You seem like such a strong person, too. You would be a good spokesperson for young people with RAD. I hope you keep writing about how you're doing. I care for you. I pray that you find your way in this harsh world. Please know that "we" respect you for what you've been through. You did not choose to have RAD. And I also have a painful hole in my chest because I want to continue to let my dtr know how much I love her. Love is not an emotion to throw around. You wrap it around someone and hope it helps them feel safe. Enough said. Stay safe, and continue to write please. You are appreciated. And I really, really like the name Jadi. : ]

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    3. Jadi, I came home so tired after working late, and my husband had me read some sites about RAD so we can get a better understanding of what's happening with our 18 yr old daughter, whom we adopted when she was 5 1/2 yrs old. Unfortunately we had never heard of RAD until this past week, after she turned 18 and walked out of our lives. All that I've read states so many characteristics of our daughter, and lying is such a common thread. But I want you, Jadi, to know what a huge help your comments are, and I commend you for your honesty. You are amazing, to be able to truthfully lay out your emotions like that. I read it to my husband through tears. You may not like to be physically hugged, but allow me to give you a long hug virtually, and let you know there is hope. We know where our dtr is, and are respecting her need to have a safe space to be who she thinks she is. We continue to educate ourselves and those around us about RAD, and will be diligent in trying to find help for her, praying she will someday accept help. Oh, there's that word "pray." We are believers, and prayer is what's getting us through each day. Just know, Jadi, that there is a God, and He sent His Son here on earth to go through every emotion a human has - He even died an excruciating death for us. We can't imagine the pain and suffering He went through. So I want you to know that in your darkest times, you can talk to God and He understands. And He loves you no matter what! Please find a church you can go to - if you don't feel comfortable in one, visit another, until you find a place where people listen to you. We did that, and now have a wonderful "home" church where people listen to us, and pray with us to a God who understands us. Know that I will pray for you, too, as we do our own daughter. God has given us comfort, because we have told Him that this is out of our hands, so He needs to take care of her. You seem like such a strong person, too. You would be a good spokesperson for young people with RAD. I hope you keep writing about how you're doing. I care for you. I pray that you find your way in this harsh world. Please know that "we" respect you for what you've been through. You did not choose to have RAD. And I also have a painful hole in my chest because I want to continue to let my dtr know how much I love her. Love is not an emotion to throw around. You wrap it around someone and hope it helps them feel safe. Enough said. Stay safe, and continue to write please. You are appreciated. And I really, really like the name Jadi. : ]

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  9. I am a mother of five children.They are my biological children.The oldest of the 5 is 24.He has been diagnosed with paranoid schitzophrenia.The youngest who is 10 has not been successfully diagnosed. I do feel for these children.I believe it is not their fault.There is a scary monster inside of their mind that prevents them from being "normal".If I was a child feeling unsafe I would act out too.I believe it is possible that my 10 year old could have rad.Due to the failure of the mental health system in america..He has suffered without a proper diagnoses for almost 4 years now.I will stand by his side forever and a day.I am a mother and children are more precious than anything.when engaging in conversation about my children and who they are I just say that God blessed me with the gifts of life he gave me.

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  10. I am 16 and was diagnosed with RAD at age 3. My adopted family and I went through hell to get where we are but my mom and dad stuck with me they never gave up even when they were given the opportunity to they loved me they are the only people in my entire life who has ever stayed. I know life is hell with a child with Rad but I also know that throughout my 16 years I have stayed up hundreds of nights crying because of the things I have done to the people who love me and wishing i was dead because I did that to them I still to this day do that and I also worry about my future and what this it is gonna hold because of my disorder I don't want to be a low life thug I have high hopes and dreams but also I am not like some of these kids I got the help by going into treatment twice and guess what it made me a human for the first time when i was 13 that was the first time i was ever medication free because the treatment center that i went to detoxed me from all my meds and it made me a human they then put me on meds that work and it worked My relationships with my family are great and I am successful I have never had a problem with school from the first grade i was in the talented a gifted program so grades and a work ethic have never been a problem with me but don't be thinking that she must not Be that RAD well when I was really sick I would have checked off 29 out of 30 of those so I was pretty bad but you know what there is faith I am a sophmore in highschool I maintain a 3.5 gpa I am involved in my school's marching band and concert band evin making honor band, I am involved in my schools choir being a varsity letter winner and i am very involved with my schools musical, I am out for speech team I do reader's theater and Musical theater,, I am also in my High school's yearly Play, And I am also in the one act plays. Oh ya and did I mention that I have a job. As you can see I am very busy and successful I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best so it is possible for kids with RAD to dominate they just need love and support and no one especially you to give up on them.

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    1. I am so proud of you! You know what's going on and are thankful! My child refused help. She had to go live with her grandparents because of her brothers and wanting to kill me. I will never give up on her!

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  11. I found this thread looking for information on oppositional defiant disorder.

    As a former foster care worker I agree that most agencies do not adequately prepare families to support traumatized foster children.

    For those dealing with reactive attachment disorder, do some research on complex ptsd/childhood trauma. There is hope and help available.

    Jadi Morrison, I do not personally understand the feelings you're experiencing but myself and other trauma workers are willing to listen. Based on what I have learned, it's not that you do not have emotions. It's that you were taught that your emotions were not acceptable or safe. The real you, full of feeling, is locked behind protective walls to keep you safe. I pray that you will find healing and help.

    A few resources that may be useful are on my site, www.4hisglory.us/resources

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