So my best friend was diagnosed with RAD as a kid. He was adopted from Russia at 6, didn’t bond with his family, and went to a children’s home at 10. Some years later, I met him and we accidentally became best friends. Somebody cautioned me about him because of his RAD diagnosis and I laughed in their face.
We are extremely attached to each other. There is a mutual loyalty I’ve never had with anyone. When we were young, I told him about things only God had heard, things I would NEVER tell anyone else. He was my closest friend, my only friend, really. He was smart. He was unbelievably compassionate. But he was understandably cautious and, when hurt, he closed off.
But I accepted him for who he was. I’d never been best friends with anyone. I knew he did things differently from me. When I’d hurt him, he would stop sharing his feelings. But we never gave up. I was too invested in the relationship to give up, so he never gave up, either. I accepted his silences when they happened. I gave him time. But I was always there when he needed me again. And he always needed me again.
So, if you think your kid has RAD, here’s my advice: kids who’ve had people walk out on them understandably find it harder to trust (or easily quit trusting). But if you’re always there for them and keep trying, no matter what, you could be the first one to stick around and show them adults aren’t all flakes. And they will test you, too. They will see if you’re for real.
Also, having a kid is like marriage: you learn stuff about people when you live with them. If you can compromise, communicate, and learn about the other and their preferences, you will grow together. If you don’t, you will grow apart.