Updated: Sep 7, 2021
I remember the first time I saw her post. It was on a secret Facebook page for parents of children with reactive attachment disorder. Kathleen's story stunned me, but not because it felt odd. Rather, it was unnervingly familiar. She was the second mom I knew of with a child with reactive attachment disorder in my community.
If reactive attachment disorder is so rare, how is it possible that we could all live so close to one another? I knew I needed to meet her.
The day Kathleen and I met for coffee, we had no idea we’d eventually start a nonprofit for others just like us. We merely met out of survival.
RAD Advocates was formed out of empathy, compassion and personal experience. We know the realities of living with reactive attachment disorder in our homes. When Kathleen, Beth and I met, our lives were in complete crisis. Our children came to us in different ways, but the chaos
was the same. We were desperately trying to find resources that could help us keep our children with the disorder safe. At the same time, we needed to keep the rest of our families safe from the behaviors and symptoms of reactive attachment disorder.
At one time, we were each crawling through every day in isolation—yet within miles of one another. And then...we were no longer alone.
We talked endlessly to come up with different strategies to save our families. Most of the professionals we had access to had no true understanding of living with reactive attachment disorder. And the few professionals that did understand didn’t know how to execute a plan to provide safety for our family units. This is when we had to rely on each other to develop a plan on how we were going to survive.
Once we were no longer in immediate crisis, we realized we couldn’t allow other parents of children with reactive attachment disorder to struggle alone.
We saw posts in different social media outlets and felt terribly for other families just trying to survive. We knew exactly how that felt. Ethically, we couldn’t just sit and read the struggles without trying to make a change regarding how professionals view reactive attachment disorder.
Families are falling apart, adoptions are disrupting, children with the disorder are getting sicker and the siblings of the disordered children are being traumatized—every day, worldwide. That’s why we decided to develop RAD Advocates. We knew we could use our personal experiences and knowledge of this disorder, along with our professional backgrounds, to help bridge the gap between caregivers and professionals. We found a purpose in the pain of what we all individually experienced.
We know, parents of children with reactive attachment disorder.
The disorder breaks your heart everyday. We’re here to support and guide you through the journey. This Valentine’s Day, we hope to offer your heart a touch of relief in knowing this — you are not alone. We’re standing right beside you, wherever you are.