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This is really just a random question. I am well aware of attachment disorders with kids (especially older) who are adopted. But I was talking to a friend lately and she mentioned that in retrospect she thought that one of her kids (not adopted) had an attachment disorder. Is this common?  Possible?  Just curious. I know why she made the comment but it just raised some rabbit trail questions that of course I am not going to bring up with her. 

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I don't know about common, but it can happen, yes.

The situation I am familiar with stemmed from the child being born with slack muscle tone, and the mother (who was the one trying to identify and treat the problem) being the focus of the child's understandable frustration. There were other complications on their journey, but that's where it started.

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Yes. In our big family tree, I know of one diagnosed and one that may or may not be diagnosed but displayed many of the most common signs. Neither is adopted. Both had complicated situations (different ones) in their early years, but were with a parent.

Some of the books I’ve read on attachment did mention disorders in birth children, but they didn’t go very deep, since they were focused on foster and adoptive families.

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

It is possible, especially in kids who were premies or who had medical trauma, I am told.  

This is true, especially preemies who needed a lot of invasive medical intervention. It affects the child (who may resist physical touch as a reminder of the medical invasions) as well as the parent (who may unconsciously withhold lots of physical touch with a perceived fragile child). 

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It is possible, as others have said, especially if there has been a disruption in custody or comparable life event.

However, I have heard it is pretty rare in bio kids.  I mean, actually, it is rare period, but extremely rare in bio kids.

I would look into other possibilities such as autism spectrum.

My mom says her first baby "hated her."  No particular reason, just hated to be held etc.  I don't think he had an attachment disorder; I think he just didn't like being touched, which is different.  We also have autism in our family, although nobody has ever seriously suspected that individual of having it.  It could be a factor.

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Interesting topic. Decided to go ahead and delete the personal stuff. It was too much.

I have always had some symptoms of attachment difficulties, but I believe I have autism. 

There is a good bit of overlap between ASD and attachment disorders.  Jean, I was wondering if your friend's dc could have autism?? Now I'll be going down my own rabbit trail.

Edited by popmom
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Hmm. Attachment with my rather autistic son was different to my probably Aspie daughter. It took longer to develop, and was more, I dunno, telepathic than emotional? He knew who his people were and who were supposed to be his people but didn't act like it properly. He had higher emotional intelligence at age 5 than his sister did until she was 7. That's not meant to be possible, but it was.

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13 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Hmm. Attachment with my rather autistic son was different to my probably Aspie daughter. It took longer to develop, and was more, I dunno, telepathic than emotional? He knew who his people were and who were supposed to be his people but didn't act like it properly. He had higher emotional intelligence at age 5 than his sister did until she was 7. That's not meant to be possible, but it was.

Interesting. my Aspie dd sounds a bit like your son. And my ADHD dd sounds more like your daughter. The younger Aspie has higher emotional intelligence than dd who is 5 years older. 

I'm not sure I could even handle neurotypical attachment--whatever that looks like (another rabbit hole). I feel like my kids and I have healthy attachments, anyway. 🙂

Edited by popmom
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49 minutes ago, popmom said:

Interesting. my Aspie dd sounds a bit like your son. And my ADHD dd sounds more like your daughter. The younger Aspie has higher emotional intelligence than dd who is 5 years older. 

I'm not sure I could even handle neurotypical attachment--whatever that looks like (another rabbit hole). I feel like my kids and I have healthy attachments, anyway. 🙂

I think my dd might be a bit ADHD too, but I'm not sure if that is nature as well as nurture. 

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I think that attachment comes on a continuum.  True attachment disorder, at least as defined by the US medical community, meaning that it meets the DSM-V criteria, comes from sustained traumatic experiences that disrupt attachment in the first five years of life.  Things like ongoing abuse or neglect or truly chaotic parenting, or kids who are raised in institutional settings, or constant changes in primary caregiver are the most likely causes.  Adoption doesn't cause RAD, but kids who experience sustained abuse or neglect or institutionalization are of course more likely to be in need of adoptive placement, so RAD is much more common in adopted children.  But there are absolutely situations where a child can have experiences that lead to RAD and still be parented by birthparent(s).  For example, where a parent has mental health or substance abuse issues that are bad enough to create RAD, and then continues to parent, or where a child experiences abuse or neglect while separated from their parent perhaps due to parental deployment or parental illness, and later reunited.  

On the other hand, attachment issues, such as anxious or chaotic attachment, or difficulty attaching to new people, or lack of attachment in a specific relationship, can occur in a wider range of circumstances. In addition, children and adults with with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and trauma history can absolutely have attachments that are anxious or chaotic, and can have behaviors and symptoms that overlap with attachment disorder, but there are generally some differences.  

Edited by BaseballandHockey
clarity
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Definitely. A social worker recommended this book to us https://www.amazon.com/Boy-Who-Raised-Psychiatrists-Notebook-What/dp/0465094457/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIz4fH6Zie7QIVsx-tBh3g1QLXEAAYAyAAEgIMBfD_BwE&hvadid=459590492574&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9031842&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=6583910663021869057&hvtargid=kwd-946800197718&hydadcr=15918_9887391&keywords=the+boy+who+was+raised+as+a+dog.&qid=1606324437&sr=8-1&tag=googhydr-20

and it was a very interesting read. Covers some attachment issues. As was mentioned before, attachment issues are a continuum, children cave have attachment, but it is insecure and in my experience (adopting 5 children) does not seem to necessarily follow any “rules”.

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