While it's not known if reactive attachment disorder can be prevented with certainty, there may be ways to reduce the risk of its development.
Jul. 06, 2011
- Educate yourself about attachment issues if your baby or child has a background that includes orphanages or foster care. This can help you develop specific skills to help your child bond. Resources include books, pamphlets, Internet sites and support groups. You may want to check with an adoption agency to identify educational materials and other resources.
- Take classes or volunteer with children if you lack experience or skill with babies or children. This will help you learn how to interact in a nurturing manner.
- Be actively engaged with your child in your care by playing, talking to him or her, making eye contact, or smiling often, for example.
- Learn to interpret your baby's cues, such as different types of cries, so that you can meet his or her needs quickly and effectively.
- Provide warm, nurturing interaction with your baby or child, such as during feeding, bathing or changing diapers.
- Teach children how to express feelings and emotions with words rather than by acting out. Lead by example.
- Offer both verbal and nonverbal responses to the child's feelings through touch, facial expressions and tone of voice.
- If you're an adult with attachment problems, get help — it's not too late. Seeing a mental health provider not only may help you, but also may prevent you from having attachment problems with your children.
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- Haugaard JJ, et al. Recognizing and treating uncommon emotional disorders in children and adolescents who have been severely maltreated: Reactive attachment disorder. Child Maltreatment. 2004;9:154.
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- Reactive attachment disorder. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/reactive_attachment_disorder. Accessed June 9, 2011.
- Newman L, et al. Recent advances in the theories of and interventions with attachment disorders. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 2007;20:343.
- Boris NW, et al. Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with reactive attachment disorder of infancy and early childhood. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. http://aacap.browsermedia.com/galleries/PracticeParameters/rad.pdf. Accessed June 9, 2011.
- Cornell T, et al. Clinical interventions for children with attachment problems. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. 2008;21:35.
- Report of the APSAC task force on attachment therapy, reactive attachment disorder, and attachment problems. Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children. http://www.attach.org/apsac.htm. Accessed June 9, 2011.
- Coercive interventions for reactive attachment disorder. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/policy_statements/coercive_interventions_for_reactive_attachment_disorder. Accessed June 9, 2011.