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Monday, April 19, 2010

Attachment Issues

Question: I am the paternal step-grandmother to a 16 month old boy. He has been exposed to a great deal of violence and has had numerous caregivers his entire life. He shows little or no reaction when passed from one caregiver to another and never cries for a primary caregiver or his home. He is nonverbal and has one tooth. I am concerned.

Click on comments to see Laura's advice.


Eleventh Hour LLC said...

Dear Karla,
While it is possible that your grandson may suffer from what we call Reactive Attachment Disorder, we do not give such a diagnosis until extensive testing for other causes is completed. Although you identify pretty convincing evidence that would support an attachment disorder, we can not rule out other causes for his developmental delays such as mental retardation, autism, communication disorders, or a pervasive developmental disorder. The most important thing for you to do is bring your grandson for a full evaluation by a licensed professional who is board certified in child mental health. His presentation may be neurobiological or it may be environmental. He is not too young for an evaluation. Once you have a diagnosis, you should learn all you can about it, and then you will be able to implement a therapy plan. Don't wait on this, make an appointment as soon as possible. If insurance or money are issues, call your department of public health or department of mental health for referrals. Let us know how it goes.

Eleventh Hour Moments