Into the Mind of a Child with RAD

Delana H. Stewart

I recently read the book Detached: Surviving Reactive Attachment Disorder by Jessie Hogsett. It is a personal story of his growing up birth to Jessie Hogsett, RAD, Foster Childfive in a home of abuse and neglect. Separated from his sister in foster care, his foster parents later adopted him and began to raise him. Jessie suffered from Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and does an excellent job of helping readers get inside the head of a child who has suffered RAD.

Help for Those who work with children with symptoms of RAD or PTSD

Not only that, though, but parents or foster-carers or teachers who work with kids who are or have been in foster care or orphanages will also benefit from reading this book. He addresses many issues, such as: abandonment, grief, longing for a parent to return, reuniting with biological parents, anger, manipulation, bedwetting, lying, stealing, fear, loneliness, cutting, destroying things, and so much more.

Overcoming Hardships

This book is a true story of overcoming hardships and choosing to look to the present and future rather than the past. His writing style is simple and to the point. The last chapter ends rather abruptly, but the Afterword does a great job of providing a satisfying closing. While the reader needs to overlook some grammatical errors, once the reader gets into the story there is no putting this book down!

Do not skip the Appendix! If you are in the middle of a difficult time with a child who has RAD or PTSD, you may want to start with the Appendix for over 140 practical things you can do.

A quote from the book that I could especially relate to as an adoptive mom: “I especially liked destroying things Suzanne had given me – clothes, games, toys, pictures, anything. In the back of my mind I always hoped that if I made her mad enough she’d go away and my real mom would come for me. I didn’t destroy much of anything Jerry had given me because he was the only Dad I’d ever known….When Suzanne would come sit by me, I’d get up and run off….She was not my ‘real mom’ and I did not want her.”

This helped me make sense of my own story, which I wrote about in the book Nine Year Pregnancy.

Read more about Nine Year Pregnancy: Waiting on God–Our Journey of Adoption

Order now an autographed copy from the author — or from your favorite online bookstore.


Struggling with whether or not to medicate? Please read this post by a fellow blogger:

Making the Choice to Medicate Your Child – The Chaos and the Clutter

See other posts by Delana:

  1. Adoption Attachment (a poem on how a child attaches)
  2. My Hosea Story (a post about helping a child attach)
  3. Year for Year (a book review of Keys to Parenting an Adopted Child)
  4. Symptoms of Attachment Disorder
  5. Tantrums and Meltdowns « The Education Cafe
    March 1st, 2011 → 21:53 e[…] Empowering Mothers, part 1: Dealing with Power Drains […]
  6. 7 Tips for Parenting a Strong-Willed Child « Delana’s World
    April 4th, 2012 → 10:10 e[…] 1May 10, 2010Empowering Mothers, part 1: Dealing with Power Drains […]
  7. What to Expect the First Year « Nine Year Pregnancy
    February 5th, 2013 → 14:29 e[…] Empowering Mothers: Dealing with Power Drains (part 1 of a 4 part series) […]
  8. 4 Tips to Prepare Emotionally to Parent an Adopted Child « Nine Year Pregnancy
    February 8th, 2013 → 09:19 e[…] See Also: 5 Pros and Cons to Homeschooling the Older Adopted Child […]
  9. Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child
  10. Empowering Mothers (4 part series: power drains, self-control, respect, battles)



10 Questions Adoptive Parents Ask – Short video clips by Dr. Karyn Purvis, author of The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family. The 10 clips address these issues:

1. How Do I Handle Manipulation & Control?
2. Will Trust-Based Parenting Work for My Child?
3. Why Won’t My Child Act His Age?
4. How Do I Handle Lying?
5. How Do I Find the Right Professional To Help Us?
6. Should I Parent My Adopted Child Differently Than Birth Children?
7. How Long Do I Have to Parent This Way?
8. Is It Adoption Related or Not?
9. Will Trust-Based Parenting Prepare My Child for the Real World?
10. How Can I Be Fair?


Another Friend’s Baby Shower (Is it okay to be angry?)


***If your child has behavior that is different from his/her peers, it is a good idea to talk with a pediatric neurologist, a pediatrician, and perhaps an occupational therapist. Though some adopted children have reactive attachment disorder, there are some neurological, medical, and psychological conditions that have some overlapping characteristics. Things like ADHD, ASD, ODD, PTSD, FAS, SPD, Tourette’s, and others should be carefully considered by medical professionals evaluating your child.  See this article on Sensory Processing Disorder and the Adopted Child. Don’t rely on books, checklists, and blog posts alone, have your child evaluated. There may even be some medical concerns such as vitamin deficiencies or food allergies/intolerances that have an adverse affect.


Need Encouragement for the difficult days:

Is life overwhelming at times? Do you ever feel caught in an emotional undertow?

Three Days at Sea: Soul flotation when the waves are pulling you under


Family, Mommy, Faith, Education, Inspiration

11 thoughts on “Into the Mind of a Child with RAD

  1. Pingback: Addendum to Empowering Mothers: The symptoms of Attachment Disorder | The Education Cafe

  2. Pingback: 4 Tips to Prepare Emotionally to Parent an Adopted Child | Nine Year Pregnancy

  3. Pingback: What to Expect the First Year After Adopting | Nine Year Pregnancy

  4. Pingback: Tantrums and Meltdowns | The Education Cafe

  5. Pingback: Heart Tears | Delana's World

  6. Pingback: Empowering Mothers, part 3, Developing Self-Control | The Education Cafe

  7. Pingback: Tummy Mommy | Delana's World

  8. Pingback: My Hosea Story | Delana's World

  9. Pingback: Adoption Support for Trauma Mamas | Nine Year Pregnancy

  10. Pingback: Prayer Request to Friends of Nine Year Pregnancy | Nine Year Pregnancy

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