Reactive attachment disorder can have a disruptive effect on children and teens, but we can help. Millcreek Behavioral Health is a leading residential facility in Arkansas for kids and adolescents struggling with reactive attachment disorder and other issues with mental health, developmental disorders, and addiction.
Learn more about reactive attachment disorder treatment at Millcreek Behavioral Health in Arkansas
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is a rare but serious mental health disorder that develops in children under the age of 5. RAD is the result of negative experiences occurring when a child is trying to establish healthy relationships with their primary caregivers. If a young child is repeatedly abandoned, isolated, or uncared for, the child will learn that he or she cannot trust others and that the world is an unsafe place. Reactive attachment disorder is a lifelong condition, but with proper treatment and support children can go on to develop more stable and healthier relationships with others.
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, our wonderful treatment staff is fully qualified to help your child or adolescent get started on his or her path toward recovery. We have years of experience helping children and adolescents with a variety of mental health disorders overcome their difficulties so that they can lead happy, fulfilling lives. Our treatment center offers two residential programs that provide specialized programming for a variety of disorders and behavior problems, including reactive attachment disorder. Having a child with reactive attachment disorder can be extremely upsetting and challenging at the same time. At Millcreek, we can help you and your child get through these troubling times.
Helping a loved one get treatment for reactive attachment disorder
If you think that your child may have reactive attachment disorder, you should start by taking your child to see the family physician. Once a thorough physical exam is done, a physician should be able to help you determine what is causing your child’s concerning behaviors, as well as provide you with referrals to mental health professionals for further evaluation. Consider taking your child for an evaluation if the following signs are present:
- Prefers not to be held
- Seems uninterested in you
- Usually likes to play alone
- Does not seek out physical contact
- Readily goes to strangers
- Avoids you
As a parent, if you have a child who has been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, at times you may easily become angry, frustrated, and distressed. There may also be times in which you feel like your child does not love you. This is why, in addition to taking care of your child, you also need to take care of yourself. Here are things you can do that can be helpful:
- Join a support group that will allow you to connect with others who have children facing the same issues
- Check to see what resources are available in your community
- Identify someone who will be able to take care of your child so that you can have a break from time to time
- Be prepared to call for help if your child becomes violent
- Practice stress management skills
- Make sure to maintain hobbies, social engagement, and other things you enjoy
- Acknowledge that it is alright if you feel frustrated, or even angry, at times
Why consider treatment for reactive attachment disorder at Millcreek Behavioral Health in Arkansas
Without proper treatment, reactive attachment disorder can permanently affect a child’s social and emotional development. The physical, emotional, and social problems associated with the disorder tend to persist as the child grows older. This will only lead to more complications further down the road. Additionally, many children or adolescents with RAD have been physically or emotionally abused, experienced neglect, or have had multiple traumatic events occur, all of which need to be addressed in treatment.
If you have a child or adolescent who has been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, then it is often very beneficial for you to get them treatment through a residential treatment program. Treatment for this type of disorder involves both the child and his or her family. Through a residential program, therapists and other mental health professionals can help strengthen the relationship between the child and his or her primary caregivers. Additionally, treatments for reactive attachment disorder often include a combination of therapy, parent education, and medication management, should other mental health disorders exist. Extra support and treatment can help make a dramatic and positive change in your child’s life.
Millcreek Behavioral Health philosophy and treatment benefits
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we are dedicated to helping each child and adolescent that comes to our center learn how to make better choices in all aspects of his or her life; choices that can create a lasting change. Our approach to treatment when addressing the needs of our clients is an integrated, multicomponent model that is based on cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is an evidenced based model that has been proven to be effective with a wide variety of populations and diagnoses. Through this approach, we can correct maladaptive thinking and teach children and adolescents new coping and problem solving skills. All members of the treatment team will work with residents to facilitate change and to encourage them to take responsibility for their own behavioral changes.
Types of reactive attachment disorder treatment offered at Millcreek Behavioral Health in Arkansas
Before children and adolescents can be admitted into to one of our residential treatment programs, they will need to complete a diagnostic assessment and psychiatric evaluation that will allow us to determine the presenting concerns and identify specific treatment needs. The assessment findings will be used to develop a master treatment plan, which will be developed by an interdisciplinary treatment team and will be reviewed by our center’s psychiatrist. The master treatment plan will lay out treatment goals and objectives for treatment within each child’s problem area, including specific intervention components that will be used. The program model here at Millcreek is divided into four phases and residents must complete the requirements of each phase in order to advance to the next. Some of the activities and treatment methods residents will participate in as they advance through the program may include the following:
Medication: There is no quick fix for treating reactive attachment disorder, but your child’s treatment team may recommend medication to help treat symptoms of an associated disorder, such as depression or anxiety. If your child is placed on medication, he or she will be monitored constantly by his or her treatment team to ensure the meds are properly working. Additionally, some patients will receive education regarding the importance of medication management.
Group therapy: Group therapy is held multiple times throughout the week and covers a wide range of topics. Depending upon individualized treatment plans, some of the group topics your child might participate in may include: ADLs, social skills, coping skills, self-soothing, and behavior management.
Recreational therapy: Each child and adolescent will regularly participate in recreational therapy, which can include activities such as art, sports, park outings, or other social outings, all of which are designed to help the development of social skills.
Education: Every resident at Millcreek will attend our fully accredited school program, which is held Monday through Friday. Each resident will be given an individualized education plan based on his or her specific academic needs.
Depending upon the treatment program that your child is enrolled in and their specific treatment needs, they may also participate in some of the following:
- Student council
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Therapeutic job and activity program
Continuing care and levels of treatment for reactive attachment disorder
Once your child has completed the residential treatment program here at Millcreek, you will be able to meet with a caseworker who can help you to identify the next best plan of action for you and your child. Our case managers can help by scheduling follow-up appointments with outpatient providers, as well as provide you and your child with resources to reach out to in the community. For those patients that qualify, it is also an option to enter into a waiver program where they can return home and still receive needed assistance with daily living skills.