Attachment disorders are psychiatric illnesses that can develop in young children who have problems in emotional attachments to others. As early as their first birthday, a child will have problems with one or more of the following concerns:
- Severe colic and/or feeding difficulties
- Failure to gain weight
- Detached and unresponsive behavior
- Difficulty being comforted
- Preoccupied and/or defiant behavior
- Inhibition or hesitancy in social interactions
- Being too close with strangers
Types of attachment disorders include:
- Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
Children with RAD are less likely to interact with other people because of negative experiences with adults in their early years. They have difficulty calming down when stressed and do not look for comfort from their caregivers when they are upset. These children may seem to have little to no emotions when interacting with others.
- Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED)
Children with DSED do not appear fearful when meeting someone for the first time. They may be overly friendly, walk up to strangers to talk or even hug them. Younger children may allow strangers to pick them up, feed them, or give them toys.