Before discussing symptoms of Attachment Disorder let’s define what it is. Reactive attachment disorder is a problem with social interaction that occurs when a child’s most basic emotional and physical needs are neglected, particularly when the child is an infant. These would be the need for physical safety, touching, food and most importantly the ability to develop an emotional bond with an individual who is entrusted with the emotional care and support of the child (i.e. the Caregiver). These are imperative as the formation of a predictable attachment contributes to a person’s sense of security and trust. Commonly affected, are children who are adopted from foreign orphanages. This is most common if they were removed from their birth parents during the first weeks of life.
So what are symptoms of Attachment Disorder? There are several of these symptoms. One of these symptoms of Attachment Disorder is an avoidance of the caregiver. This may be evident in the child not caring to be near or around the very person the child needs to provide him or her with the most basic of emotional and physical needs. Another of the symptoms of Attachment Disorder is avoidance of physical contact. These children pull away from hugs, kisses and such and certainly don’t seek these out. Difficulty in being physically comforted is another of the symptoms of Attachment Disorder. When they are suffering, hungry, in pain, sad or any other situation where anyone else would seek to be comforted, they don’t. They are “on their own”, or at least they act that way.
An inability to make distinctions when socializing with strangers is yet another of the symptoms of Attachment Disorder. These are the kids that will run up to a complete stranger and give them a hug, kiss, sit on their lap or worse, walk away with them. Can you say “prime candidate for abuse or kidnapping”? An additional one of the symptoms of Attachment Disorder is resisting social interaction. Again if the child believes they are “on their own” who needs other people, so why talk or mingle with others. One last of the symptoms of Attachment Disorder is the desire to be alone. This is an extreme version of the desire to resist social interaction.