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Reactive Attachment Disorder Case Study

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Nearly nine years ago, I learned that my neighbors and family friends had taken a little boy into their home through the foster care system. As a nine-year-old, I was excited for another friend in the neighborhood to play with. However, when my family went over to meet Isaac, I was disappointed. My new friend was an irritable six-month-old. He cried constantly and would howl whenever he was touched. At that time, I thought that he was simply hungry or tired; I had no idea of the issues that would arise in the following years.
As Isaac grew older, he launched into the terrible twos with a vengeance. He never listened to anyone in his family, he was surprisingly violent, and I never heard him speak a kind word or an “I love you” to his parents. Although none of us knew it at the time, these behaviors were symptoms of an issue far more serious than toddler tantrums. Isaac grew older and his terrible twos turned into terrifying threes, frightful fours, and fearsome fives. I
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Although he was diagnosed with a multitude of behavioral and psychological disorders, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) was to blame for the behaviors I had noticed. Even though neither I nor my mother knew what this disorder entailed, I asked her questions to develop an understanding. I wondered why he was socially distant, why he acted so violently, what happened to make him this way, and if he would ever become “normal.” Throughout the years, my mother and I worked together to create a basic understanding: Isaac was abused and neglected as a baby, so he was unable to learn how to connect socially. With this primitive explanation, I was able to understand both Isaac’s struggles and the problems his family must have faced. Additionally, I was able to begin the journey of understanding that there’s more to people than meets the eye; everyone has gone through incredible experience that I could never
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