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Understanding the Impact of Reactive Attachment Disorder on Child Abuse Victims

Children create bonds with their caregivers. Whether a caregiver is a mother, father, relative, daycare worker, nanny, or teacher, a connection is established between a child and the individual taking care of that child. In fact, children oftentimes become attached to their caregivers, and this attachment can affect a child for life—whether it is in a good way or a bad way. 

When the relationship between a caregiver and child is unhealthy, a child’s future development, emotions, and relationships can be negatively impacted—especially if a child has been severely abused by that caregiver. Unfortunately, child abuse victims frequently suffer from reactive attachment disorder as a result.

What Is Reactive Attachment Disorder?

Children with this disorder often have anger problems, control issues, and trouble giving and receiving physical affection. Sadly, this disorder affects a child from establishing normal relationships. Because their lives so early on were disrupted, they typically need special treatment for the rest of their lives.

Even if a parent wasn’t the abuser, a child with reactive attachment disorder may still act out against his or her parents and can become tough for parents to manage. For this reason, it is important that parents of child abuse victims not only get their child the professional help he or she needs, but that they also learn how to deal with this disorder.

Dealing With Reactive Attachment Disorder

A child with this disorder needs treatment as early as possible. By having him or her seek professional help early on, it can help improve his or her behavior and relationships. Some of the possible treatment options for children with reactive attachment disorder include:

  • Medication to help treat the anxiety, hyperactivity, and depression that the disorder often causes.
  • Psychological counseling with a psychologist experienced in dealing with abused children and kids with this type of disorder.
  • Family therapy that includes the child, parents, and other children in the family to help develop trust and restore the attachment bond with the family.

Kids that have reactive attachment disorder might also need special help with academics in order to achieve goals in school and in life. Because children with this disorder might be affected in every aspect of their life, they will need ongoing psychological help. This is why it is important that child abuse victims seek professional help immediately to get diagnosed and to pursue the maximum compensation possible in order to get the help they need.

To learn more about pursuing a child abuse lawsuit, request a free copy of our book, The Florida Nursing Home Abuse Handbook.


Damian Mallard, Esq.
Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney