Am I still dealing with reactive attachment disorder?

I had an interesting conversation with Dr. Pattie last night.  It was one that we hadn’t really had since the boys and I have been on our own. 

This conversation was about Gavin and reactive attachment disorder. 


With Gavin doing so well over the past year, I was wondering if that was even still an accurate diagnosis and the answer really surprised me. 

The fact that Gavin’s doing so well is at least partly attributed to no longer being in the same house as his Mother. 

That sounds worse than what it really is. 

When a child has reactive attachment disorder, the Mother is almost always the primary target.  No one knows why this is the case, it just is. 

When either the child or the Mother is removed from the equation, you can see dramatic changes in behavior. 

Truthfully, I don’t know how I feel about this. 

It’s hard to imagine that something can change so suddenly and dramatically.  If they had a toxic relationship and they did, at least to some extent, I could see why there would be improvement.

At the same time, if that were true, I would think that the change would be something that takes place over time. 

Gavin’s change was instantaneous.. That’s what doesn’t make sense to me. 

The reality is that Gavin’s relationship with his Mom has been complicated for a very long time.  Gavin did at times seem to target his Mom and had a way of doing it that made it so I didn’t see it happen. 

At the same time, because of the complicated nature of their relationship and emotional issues present in both, their was a great deal of overreaction to Gavin’s behaviors. 

So is Gavin doing better because he’s no longer in that environment? Is Gavin doing better than because he does have reactive attachment disorder and not having his Mom to target has changed things for him?

I truly don’t know.  Frankly, I don’t know if we ever will either….

At the end of the day, he’s doing amazing and does it really matter why?

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