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Attachment Disorder Around The World

Attachment Disorder Around The World

Is attachment disorder around the world? I checked out the stats on my google blog and was blown away when I saw that there are visitors from all over the world.  The good news is that there is an awareness of Attachment Disorder all over the world.  How much so, I do not know.  I have a friend who lives in France and is a therapist, but she says they are just glad to be addressing the ADHD issue, while here, we are seeing many more psychological issues with children.  I’m talking about those adopted internationally and locally within the states.  Again, even in the states, people do not want to see Attachment Disorder as the parents see it, or they want to call it something else like “conduct disorder” or oppositional defiance disorder, among other things.  But then I say, what’s at the source of that diagnosis – where does the behavior come from.

I consider  abandonment issues;

understand attachment and early child development;

consider theories behind how attachment disorder develops;

and how children’s brains and personalities develop around early abandonment.

To the child, this translates to “Fear of Dying”.  No one is here to take care of me and love me, so I must take care of myself.  Yes, attachment disorder around the world is an issue.  It just may not be recognized as such.   This can begin in utero if it is a poor, neglectful pregnancy, or even at birth. Even if the baby is adopted early, some of those children still have attachment disorder.   I believe the fact that some children have it and some don’t is partially due to their personalities, resilience, and actual experiences, just like all other children. Every one of us can be exposed to the same things but react differently.

Attachment Disorder Everywhere

I worked with a family with 2 children – one had been nursed by birthmom for a few weeks and the other child was abandoned right away, and what a difference in the 2 children.  But this is not the only criteria for us to consider.  As you all know, it is a very difficult diagnosis, and resistant to treatment.  I don’t know what kind of treatment options exist in Europe.  I know that Colorado has  been a center for training for therapists, but there arent very many of us in this country either.  Plus, we become a target for anyone who doesn’t believe in attachment disorder, just like the caregivers of the children – no child could act like that, the adults must be the problem.   I disagree with that – yes, some children have serious mental health issues, exposure to cruelty,  etc.  More to come on this.

Chris Appell,  LCPC

Attachment Disorder Is…?

Attachment Disorder Is…?

Attachment disorder –  the definition of attachment disorder requires a subjective answer, but I will write more from my perspective of trying to help people who have adopted or taken in children who have children who exhibit attachment issues behaviorally, affecting their families and those around them.  I am speaking about children who are on the more serious end of the continuum, who exhibit behaviors because of their attachment disorder issues.  One example may be that of children who have an excessive need to be in control, and because of that need, they do many things to stay in control, not trusting parents, not trusting parents to take care of them because of that primary abandonment.  Because of this behavior, they do not love, nor let themselves be loved.  Another brief example would be the same children who would never ask for help or anything they might need, as that would give the parents power.  They will act out to get needs met vs. asking for help.  One of the impossible things for Mom is that these children will not accept love, nor will they return any love.  One needs to stand in the shoes of these mothers before they know what that feels like.  Much of what the parents suffer is judgment from others – the school, family, friends, because they treat that child differently.  People then assume that child is different because they are treated that way.  But that is not how it works.  The child (cwad) requires different parenting, as they are hardened and require tough love and structure, even at a young age.  I have had clients with children who pee, poop, steal, hurt others, do not know how to eat a meal, cannot go out in public.  Now imagine living with these situations on a daily basis.  If traditional parenting does not work, then you had better try something else!  And that is what many parents do, but they are judged for it.  They lose friends and family.

Need To Control in Children

Need To Control

I have worked with a number of years with children with attachment disorder (CWAD).

What is their need to control about?

The excessive need to control  of everything in their life is one of the symptoms of Attachment Disorder.  This need for control is a major dysfunction that gets in the way of being a part of a family.  I have come to believe that children that have been abandoned and developed attachment disorder have the need to control  their own life as they feel they will die if they are NOT in control of their own life.  Well, imagine an infant and/or a fetus who is not taken care of, nurtured, fed, changed, held.  Well, if they are going to survive they need to stay in control of their own life and being.  No one else took care of them.                                                                               From that perspective isn’t it easy to understand why they need to stay in control.  A matter of life or death for them.

The need to be in control for CWAD can show up as a refusal to cooperate with anything they are told to do, they will do it their way.  The child will refuse to ask for any help because to ask for help is giving parents power to say no and abandon or reject.  They’ve already been through that once.  Often their behavior does not resemble that of normally-attached children.  They do life their way, living their own life, and spend a great deal of energy trying to do so.

Again, remember,  without the nurturing and bonding of normal development, the child’s synapses is not the same as the developed child who has received all those benefits.                                                                                                                                                                             They do not think the same way.

They often do not have cause and effect thinking so being rational with these children does not help anyone.  Trying to do so just drives you crazy.

Chris Appell, LCPC

The Attachment Group

Adoption Concerns

 

The Attachment Disorder Dilemma

Hi – just a quick comment to let you know I’m out here, trying to offer support when I can.  The news has brought news of relevance to parents of children with RAD – as I lovingly term them, CWAD.  Children with attachment disorder.  Anyway, I had a mom say to me after the awful Newtown news, that she could relate to being the mother of that young man that was so “sick.”  I realize that is true.  It was awful to believe that someone has that ability, but some of you parents – P-CWAD – have seen those moments in your children.

The second news segment that just happened is about Russia banning adoptions to the US.  As another person said, that’s probably good news for some of the parents, because sometimes the children from Russia have many, many issues.  But there are those children that provide a great deal of joy.  And there are parents who are currently waiting for some of those children but now must suffer the loss of never adopting those children.  We will never know how it would have gone.

But I am sure some of this news has hit you in a sensitive place and you feel some impact.  Give yourself to feel some grief over these incidents.  PCWAD have many reasons to feel grief over the loss of expectations and other losses in adopting a CWAD.

What the Future of Therapy Holds?

Hi – so I’m still working and I haven’t seen a lot of changes in the mental health environment.  I don’t like it.  A lot of it is due to the economy – perhaps things will improve in the future.  I also live in the midwest and that area is not recovering quickly, and Illinois is broke, so…
My heart goes out to the many families struggling with these difficult children but that aren’t getting a lot of help.  I am available for services but families having money to pay for them is a problem, and DCFS seems to claim they cannot pay.
I am working on youtube videos and a  book which may help out there.  Perhaps there will be other ways to get services out there.  I am also available for online counseling services, phone counseling, etc.  There are other ways.  You can also email me at  appell4@gmail.com if you have questions and my phone is 815-398-8422.
And my website is here.

 

Therapy for Families Struggling With Attachment Disorder

The economy sure has an impact on the families that have adopted children with attachment disorder.  The services are more difficult to get and finances and promises that were made when children were adopted are no longer being kept.  “They are your problem now” seems to be the demeanor.  I am sorry to see people in power act the way they are.  It seems I have provided a great deal of service because of my ethics and would probably do so again.  I wish more people felt that way.  Check out my website.
So I want you to know you aren’t alone out there, that there are those of us who care.  Unfortunately, free services are hard to come by, and maintain. 
1.There is federal money in some adoption preservation programs, so you might want to look for them in your area – those are free. 
2. For those of you with the medical card for the children, I’m sorry to say that there is not much specific to attachment disorder.  Your only options are the area community health centers that can take the medical card.  Most private practitioners can not. 
3. Insurance is another option, but I know they often do not pay well, and many will not take insurance, but want cash and you turn the bill into your insurance, as insurance companies make it difficult.

No Attachment Therapy Services Can Be Devastating!

How is the media about attachment disorder lately?  I really don’t know even though I do therapy.  When I worked in child welfare the talk was much greater, but I am now in schools and never hear about it.  I believe part of it is the economy.  Families are being abandoned and having to deal with the issue on their own as there are not many resources available anymore.
I received a perfect email today from someone really struggling and they had tried many available resources but they did not work with true RAD kids – actually i prefer CWAD – child with attachment disorder.  So many options are a waste of time and very frustrating to parents, giving the CWAD even more power. I feel very bad for families when this happens as it is so much wasted time, but more than that, it is energy and emotional health at stake, that of the parents.

Life’s Outlook

 

Children With Attachment Disorder Popular Search

Well, when I looked at my statistics, the blog that got the most attention was the blog post re: CWAD – children with attachment disorder.  The parents of those children are called PCWAD by me.  I will be writing a book re: this issue.  I have worked in this field for a LONG time and have heard from parents that I understand the issue very well.  I have very much enjoyed helping the families that have adopted these children.  Sometimes I can help the children, and sometimes I cannot.  I believe a lot of it is up to them.I don’t get many comments from families with attachment disordered children.  I know there are some links, support groups online, etc.  that families have found helpful.  I have found that support has decreased a great deal.  Counseling, etc.  is cut back due to insurance and state support.  Families are left in the position of having to pay for therapy themselves, and cannot often afford this.  Some people have lost their jobs while working together.

Hopefully more will follow.  I have decided that there is a great need for new info and support.

Inside The Mind of The Child With Attachment Disorder (CWAD)

I have worked with a number of years with children with attachment disorder (CWAD).  What is their need to be in control about?  That is one of the symptoms of Attachment Disorder and it is a major one that gets in the way of being a part of a family.  I have come to believe that children that have been abandoned and developed attachment disorder have to stay in control of their own life as they feel they will die if they are NOT in control of their own life.  Well, imagine an infant and/or a fetus who is not taking care of, nurtured, fed, changed, held.  Well, if they are going to survive they need to stay in control of their own life and being.  No one else took care of them.  From that perspective isn’t it easy to understand why they need to stay in control.  A matter of life or death for them.
 The need to be in control for CWAD can show up as a refusal to cooperate with anything they are told to do, they will do it their way.  The child will refuse to ask for any help because to ask for help is giving parents power to say no and abandon or reject.  They’ve already been through that once.  Oftentimes their behavior does not resemble that of normally-attached children, they do it their way, living their own life. 
Again, remember without the nurturing and bonding of normal development, the child’s synapses is not the same as the developed child who has received all those benefits.  They do not think the same way.  They often do not have cause and effect thinking so being rational with these children does not help anyone. It just drives you crazy.
Chris Appell-Naff

What Is Attachment Disorder?

Danger!

What is attachment disorder?  Well, that requires a subjective answer, but I will write more from my perspective of trying to help people who have adopted or taken in children who have children who exhibit attachment issues behaviorally, affecting their families and those around them.  I am speaking about children who are on the more serious end of the continuum, who exhibit behaviors because of their attachment disorder issues.  One example may be that of children who have an excessive need to be in control, and because of that need, they do many things to stay in control, not trusting parents, not trusting parents to take care of them because of that primary abandonment.  Because of this behavior, they do not love, nor let themselves be loved.  Another brief example would be the same children who would never ask for help or anything they might need, as that would give the parents power.  They will act out to get needs met vs. asking for help.  One of the impossible things for Mom is that these children will not accept love, nor will they return any love.  One needs to stand in the shoes of these mothers before they know what that feels like.  Much of what the parents suffer is judgment from others – the school, family, friends, because they treat that child differently.  People then assume that child is different because they are treated that way.  But that is not how it works.  The child (cwad) requires different parenting, as they are hardened and require tough love and structure, even at a young age.  I have had clients with children who pee, poop, steal, hurt others, do not know how to eat a meal, cannot go out in public.  Now imagine living with these situations on a daily basis.  If traditional parenting does not work, then you had better try something else!  And that is what many parents do, but they are judged for it.  They lose friends and family.

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