I am currently in a three day training on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). This training is not only teaching me more in depth about the concepts behind RAD and best practice methods to treat the diagnosis, but also qualifying me to provide the training to others. Bonus for the resume building! I have been familiar with attachment theories and needs since the beginning of my education and career, but this is a topic that becomes more and more prevalent to my daily work life. My one fear now is that I become trigger happy with the diagnosis, like some are with ADHD or diagnosing Bipolar in children, but hopefully just being aware of that concern will prevent misdiagnosis.
Attachment, in my mind, is becoming the cornerstone of what is a healthy child, healthy individual. It is frightening to think how crucial the first years of life truly are in forming how that individual is going to respond to the world around him for the rest of his life. What a fragile state children truly are in. It becomes a little disheartening to think about the importance of these factors, when there are so many factors that become a barrier to children being able to form healthy attachment at an early age. It is something I have to be very aware of recently, the potential loss of hope at seeing children every day who live in a community that is unsafe, dangerous. Who have families whose parents have their own attachment and emotional needs, struggle to meet the basic needs of the family and therefore those needs often take priority over emotional ones. To look at this way, it could be disheartening to think of just how many children have attachment and emotional deficits.
But, I have also obtained some hope from what I am learning in this training. To know that to acknowledge these needs and address them, there is hope to repair a child's attachment to important individuals in his life. There is hope that to promote a better understanding of these needs means addressing them in a way that promotes best practice and improved interventions. That's what draws you back in as a social worker. Learning there is new hope.