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How One Mom is Lifting the Curtain to Show the Reality of Living with Reactive Attachment Disorder

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

the reality of living with reactive attachment disorder
While most people have never even heard of reactive attachment disorder, thousands of families living with the disorder are desperate for understanding and support. Author and mom Keri Williams offers a solution with her reads-like-fiction memoir and other projects.

The most shocking part about the book but, he spit in my coffee is that it's true, at least for those unfamiliar with reactive attachment disorder (RAD). In the reads-like-fiction memoir, author Keri Williams lifts the curtain on what everyday life looks like for many people raising children with the disorder.

"The lives of moms of children with RAD are unimaginable for those who haven't experienced it," Williams says. "I wrote this story to read like a novel to enable readers to experience for themselves the struggles and nuances of a family in crisis."

The memoir also exposes the dysfunctions of the child welfare and mental health systems and how they fail kids with reactive attachment disorder and their families—a nationwide problem of which very few people are aware.

For those raising children with the disorder, Keri's book can provide relief that someone understands them. Parents of kids with reactive attachment disorder often feel alone and misunderstood. They typically don't realize that other families share their experiences because so many parents are shamed and silenced from discussing it. Many people blame RAD parents, not the disorder itself, for the child's struggles. Williams hopes to help break the silence.

"My hope is that the community—therapists, doctors, mental health professionals, educators, and others—will gain a newly informed perspective to begin to rethink their assumptions about our families."

"The lives of moms of children with RAD are unimaginable for those who haven't experienced it," Williams says.

In a recent podcast, Williams spoke with Tracey Poffenroth-Prato, also a mom of a child with reactive attachment disorder, about the cathartic experience of writing her memoir over six years and what she learned along the way (listen to the episode here).

"I was very disillusioned with adoption and what I thought adoption was going to be. I was so disappointed with myself for not being able to be what I thought I could be," says Williams. "Ultimately, I realized that I was asked to be something I couldn't be and do something I couldn't do. I was asking myself to do something that was unfair. I think a lot of us do that as RAD moms."

Williams continues to share, through speaking events and her online presence, what she learned the hard way as a mom of a child with reactive attachment disorder. She will speak at the Navigating RAD 2023 event, to be held Oct. 13-15, 2023, in Missouri. There, Williams will present "Redefining Success as You Raise a Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder".

"I think that one of the ways we free ourselves is by resetting our expectations of ourselves," Williams says.

About the Author:

With a background in the nonprofit, education, and mental health sectors, Nichole Noonan founded Pen & Stick Communications to help organizations further their reach in the world via the fusion of communications strategy and copywriting. She has a particular niche in the area of reactive attachment disorder and passionately supports the RAD Advocates mission. Nichole earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Master of Education.

1,731 views7 comments


Robert-Wow. How disheartening to have you respond the way you did when this post was simply geared towards mothers. As with anything, it’s not always about everyone in everything. As a father of a RAD child—maybe consider writing a post to fill that so call void BUT please do not be disrespectful to the writers that have taken their precious time to help educate all of us seeking answers & hope!


I’m so grateful for her book. I felt so alone and desperate until I read it.


Robert Baird
Robert Baird
Apr 06, 2023

It’s offensive to only acknowledge that mother struggle with a reactive attachment disorder. I am a dad. I quit my full-time job to manage my child with rad full-time.

Replying to

Wow, Mr Baird. It is safe to say you’re new to RAD Advocates. If you had taken any time to do your research, you would see this wonderful organization is ALL about education, support, inclusion and community. Tons of wonderful resources are at your fingertips and you choose to pick apart a wonderful review based off one word. If you don’t agree, simple X out of the article and move on while the rest of us RAD caregivers dig through every article that we can find while we’re just trying to survive the day.

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