Reactive Attachment Disorder

Good Morning America has been following the story of the mother who put her seven year old, adoptive son on an airplane alone sending him back to Russia. Apparently the mother had a note with him that explained that this child was violent. Part of their follow up story indicated that the child may have Reactive Attachment Disorder or RAD as it is commonly referred to in the industry.


Today Juju Chang, GMA news anchor stated that having an adoptive child who is diagnosed with RAD is rare. I am not so sure about RAD being rare as our Transport Teams see a fare amount of it among at-risk teens we accompany to therapeutic schools and programs. Over the past thirteen years of transports for me personally more than sixty percent of the students I have transported were adoptive, and of those students more than half exhibited RAD traits. Were they all diagnosed as RAD? No. Most of the time parents don’t reveal the issues their teens are facing because, in my opinion, I have come to believe these parents think we will refuse to transport if we find out what is really going on. Quite the contrary is true.

In the world of transporting adolescents a good Agency like SafePassage it is not about passing judgment on what issues your teenager is dealing with. Certainly it helps to know what the family dynamics are and if your teen has been diagnosed or has spent time at another facility or program. Why should we know these things, because the Transport Team is not walking into a situation blind. If your teen is smoking weed, sneaking into the liquor cabinet or skipping school parents would have no problem with revealing that information. But parents who have discovered that their teen is a drug dealer, is pimping or has been diagnosed with RAD seem to have a difficult time trusting us with this information.

One of the biggest reasons parents need to be forthcoming about their at-risk teen is so that we can assemble the Team that is best suited to assist your family. Its not that the other Teams can’t get the job done, but getting the job done is not our sole objective. Our primary objective is to safely deliver your student to the destination you have selected in a good mind set where your teen is prepared to begin the journey with a positive mental outlook. The only way I can know to have the Agent with a specialty in hostage negotiations work with your teen who is a master manipulator is for you to tell me your teen has been sneaking out at night and partying with the drug crowd; and the only way I can know to send the Agent who has a background in psychology and has made a career of working with difficult teens is for you to tell me your adolescent has been diagnosed with ADHD, Bipolar Disorder or RAD.

We all have issues. No one gets through life without facing a few unexpected challenges and SafePassage is here to assist families in crisis provide an opportunity for their at-risk adolescents to receive help for the issues they face, get their lives back on track and develop a skill set to see them well into the future. Call us in the SafePassage office and find out how the assistance we provide will benefit your family: 770.667.7467.

Lane Taylor