Many Ranch children suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). In our extensive work with children and adolescents, we have learned that engaging a child’s caretakers is especially important when treating children with RAD. Our work with caregivers focuses on educating them about RAD, and helping them build patterns of positive communication and interactions with their child.
While children with RAD will benefit from treatment, the level of success is highly contingent on the presence of a consistent caregiver who can journey through treatment with them, instilling in them a feeling of safety and security.
Caring for a child with RAD can be difficult and exhausting, as children often push away anyone who tries to show them care and nurturing—they are afraid they will eventually leave them so they it’s better to push them away now and not get hurt. We teach parents/guardians the importance of consistency and stability, especially following an emotional outburst.
Depression and anxiety are common diagnoses that accompany RAD, and it is important to address those individual needs as well.
When children with RAD are in residential treatment at the Ranch, a team consisting of a Ranch therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist, occupational therapist, nurses, teachers, and direct care staff, work together to create a treatment plan that takes into account their specific situation and needs. In addition to residential treatment, we also help children with RAD, and their families, through Dakota Family Services, an outpatient clinic founded by Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. DFS is a group of compassionate, practiced experts providing outpatient care—in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary setting—for children and adolescents with complex behavioral health issues.
For more information or to make an appointment, contact Randi Streff, Dakota Family Services, 701-364-2950 or 1-800-201-6495.