Reactive Attachment Disorder

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Reactive Attachment Disorder Connection, according to Curt Thompson (2010), is the most crucial determinant of our long-term welfare. The degree to which we are attached to significant others in our lives, affects not only our interpersonal dynamics throughout life, but impacts our neural networks as well as those of our children (Thompson, 2010). This attachment begins during the first moment of life, and is nurtured and shaped by a child’s relationship with his or her parents, or lack thereof. Bowlby’s (1969) foundational work on attachment explored the formation of a “secure base” in children through healthy attachment with their parents. This attachment allows those children to explore their world with confidence and security. Ainsworth (1978) built on Bowlby’s foundation, exploring behaviors and attitudes associated with different attachment patterns (Thompson, 2010). Recently, a team of Harvard researchers reinforced the importance of secure attachment with their work on how attachment shapes the architecture of the developing brain (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2011). They describe the architecture of the brain as being composed of highly integrated sets of connections among brain cells. These neural circuits are “wired” under the influences of both genetics and the environment of experiences, relationships, and physical conditions in which children live. Experiences “authorize” genetic instructions to be carried out and shape the formation of the circuits as they are being constructed. The progression of developmental depends on appropriate sensory input and stable, responsive relationships to build healthy brain architecture. Extensive biological and developmental research over the past 30 years... ... middle of paper ... ...illing place to be. The repair of a life broken by neglect or abuse is not an easy road. However, as Thompson (2010) suggests, the brain’s neuroplasticity is an amazing thing. Healing of the prefrontal cortex and damaged emotions can happen in the context of intentional, life-giving habits, including meditating on Scripture. Intentionality of thought, regular exercise, and a healthy diet are all part of the rebuilding process. This is the hope of those with RAD and of those who care for them: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).

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