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Advocacy actions: How a mom/nurse made a RAD impact in her graduate program

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

As a mom of a child with reactive attachment disorder (RAD), clinician, and graduate student, Christine Campbell knows firsthand how much her colleagues have yet to learn about the disorder—and how little the disorder is covered in graduate school.

Many clinicians have the best intentions but don't know what they don't know. Due to manipulative survival-based RAD behaviors, such as false allegations, clinicians typically get distracted by undue suspicion of healthy caregivers.

“Too many professionals want to 'help' the child but are drawn in by the charming, persuasive stories the child with RAD wants them to hear,” she says. “If professionals can begin to understand the reality of living with RAD, more children and families can get the help they need.”

Families of children with RAD typically fend for themselves and no one gets support, including the child. But Christine is doing her part from her corner of the world to change this tragedy.

After working with RAD advocates for support with her own daughter, she helped to facilitate a RAD Advocates' training for 24 fellow mental health nurse practitioner graduate students at the University of Colorado and their professor this month.

In the virtual training, RAD Advocates Amy VanTine and Heather Houze explained the impact of RAD on the family, how RAD behaviors present differently in the home versus in the public and in clinical settings, and what professionals can do to help the child and support the family.

“It went very well. There was a lot of discussion about the child with RAD and their presentation and how we as providers could give better, more supportive treatment,” says Campbell. “[RAD Advocates’] ability to advocate and educate and provide resources has infinite possibilities. They will be vital in turning the tide on misconceptions and misunderstandings about children and adults with RAD and their families.”

What you can do:

  • Organize a RAD Advocates training in your workplace, school, or other community settings. Contact Heather or Amy at to chat further.

  • Join I Move for Change and raise money to financially support further RAD Advocates trainings.

  • Give a direct donation in support of RAD Advocates' advocacy and education.

About the author:

With a background in the nonprofit, education, and mental health sectors, Nichole Noonan writes to raise awareness and funds for important causes. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Master of Education. Nichole founded Pen & Stick Communications to help noble organizations and people further their reach in the world.

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