Speech Therapy

Assessment Of Reactive Attachment Disorder

Reactive Attachment Disorder is very uncommon. Generally children suffering from RAD show problems in relating with others, be it their parents, family members, caretakers or even outsiders. The major cause of Reactive Attachment Disorder is seen to be negligence or abuse in early childhood.

Major symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder are:

  • Abnormal response to stimuli (light, noise etc.) during the age of 18-24 months.
  • Malnourished and dehydrated when serum growth hormone levels are normal.
  • Excessive attempts of driving attention and affection from any adult near them.

How to Detect RAD:

Just one particular method of detecting RAD is not accepted everywhere. Different therapies are used by different groups. The following two techniques are however mostly used.

Differential Diagnosis:
The child is carefully examined by a trained doctor in mental health. Many other disorders share similar symptoms with RAD. As a result, the child may be wrongly diagnosed and then wrong treatment may be taken up. The following disorders are often confused with RAD:

  • Conduct Disorder: related to behavior
  • social phobia: fear to interact with others
  • anxiety disorder: related to fear, worries
  • Post traumatic stress disorder: problems associated with any shock
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: related to brain disorder where a child fails to speak or understand instructions
  • Childhood Schizophrenia: related to brain disorder where the child imagines unreal things

Alternative Diagnosis:
This involves an informal method of maintaining a checklist basing on the observations from the parental study and medical reports. The major problem is that it enlists only few common features of the disorder. It is however, unapproved by doctors.

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