Children with attachment disorders have a hard time developing relationships and controlling their emotions. They may try to exert control over the people around them and frequently display anger.
Children develop attachment disorders as a result of a lack of interaction with their caregivers as infants and young children. These children were probably ignored when they cried, left for hours in wet diapers and never talked to or smiled at. They generally went without their needs being met, so they never learned to depend on or trust their caregiver.
There are instances where the situation that caused the attachment disorder was completely unavoidable. For example, children that were hospitalized as infants may have been separated from their parents for long periods of time. Adopted children must sometimes live with a caregiver before going to live with their parents. These are two examples of situations that could possible result in an attachment disorder where the parents are not responsible in any way for it.
There are several signs of attachment disorder to watch for. Infants that don’t smile, reach out to you to be picked up, or don’t seem to care when you do pick them up may have an attachment disorder. These children may spend a lot of time trying to comfort themselves and don’t show much interest in playing with toys or their caregivers. If your child displays these symptoms, it does not mean they have an attachment disorder, but it does mean you should closely observe them and have them examined by a pediatrician.
Attachment disorders are treatable and the earlier the disorder is recognized and treatment begins, the better. It is not easy to parent a child with an attachment disorder, but it is very rewarding to see that child improve and begin to trust you as a result of your love and care.