We all understand that infants, toddlers and young children require a significant amount of time and attention. However, we also think of them as being so resilient that early neglect or abuse may have little or no effect on them if they were too young to remember. Sadly, this is seldom true. In fact, if a child is over 6 months and has experienced some kind of early trauma or neglect, they may struggle with some degree of attachment issues.
It is important to note that not all children with attachment sensitivities would meet the criteria for a full diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder. It is important to understand that attachment is not an all or nothing thing (like a switch on or off) but rather refers to the quality of a child's ability to form relationships.
For example, some children are mistakenly believed to be well attached because they cling mightily to a parent or caregiver. However, a significant degree of anxiety may be reflected in a child who, beyond a certain developmental age, must always know where their parent/caregiver is, when they might return or who exhibits great distress upon separation (we lovingly refer to such children as 'clip ons'). Such behavior in a child who experienced early developmental trauma could be indicative of an anxious pattern of attachment. Other attachment patterns include avoidant attachment, disorganized attachment, ambivalent attachment
If you are concerned about the quality of your child's attachment, you may gain some insight by following this link to complete the attached questionnaire
The good news about attachment issues is that some of the best and brightest minds have applied themselves to finding solutions that actually work in the real world. Attachment treatment has developed significantly over recent years and now reflects the growing body of knowledge about brain science and the impact of early trauma.
If you believe that your child (and, therefore, your whole family) is struggling with an attachment issue, we would look forward to an opportunity to help you develop the unique skills that will help you to move forward in a positive way.