Parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder is challenging, isolating, discouraging, and overwhelming. Finding good information is critical on your journey to better understanding your child and accessing effective treatment. I have compiled a resource of what I feel are the best Reactive Attachment Disorder books available to help you on the journey.
I have separated the books into several categories to make it easier for you to find what you need. You may notice that there is a notable title missing from my book lists. The book by Nancy Thomas that many consider the handbook for Reactive Attachment Disorder is not included among my suggestions. While I admire her early research and she was somewhat of a pioneer in this field, I find some of her methods harsh and they go against my own beliefs when it comes to treatment and parenting of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
Reactive Attachment Disorder Books:
The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive familyParenting from the Inside OutThe Whole-Brain ChildAttaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s ParentsNurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect and TraumaAdopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs KidsBuilding the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Traumatized ChildrenThe Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of TraumaThe Explosive Child
You will note that some of the book titles reference trauma. RAD and trauma almost always go hand in hand. It is difficult to have one without the other, so versing yourself well on trauma will help you to better understand and respond to your child with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
The above books offer a strong foundation of understanding about Reactive Attachment Disorder while the books below provide more in the way of practical suggestions to help your child.
Books that Offer Practical Help for Reactive Attachment Disorder:
Self-Care for Foster and Adoptive FamiliesParenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and GrowI Love You RitualsParenting with Theraplay: Understanding Attachment and Nurturing a Closer Relationship with Your ChildAttaching Through Love, Hugs and PlayLifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted ChildTeaching Emotions Toolkit
One of the biggest questions parents have about raising a child with RAD is how to discipline. Traditional discipline methods are not only ineffective for these children, they can actually compound the issues, making the behaviours more intense. These books offer connective parenting alternatives.
Books for how to Discipline a Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder:
The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive familyNo-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing MindBeyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors
While all of these books offer solutions for parents, they are not designed for children. I wanted to also include some books for kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder. Some of these books are designed to coincide with the discipline methods in The Connected Child while others are to help children understand attachment, loss, their behaviours, or emotions.
Books Designed to Help Kids:
The Invisible StringIn My Heart: A Book of FeelingsThe Kissing HandThe Redo RooIt’s Tough to Be GentleDoggie Doesn’t Know NoBaby Owl Lost Her WhooThe Penguin and the Fine-Looking FishThe Elephant With Small EarsHealing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced TraumaI Can Handle It (Mindful Mantras)I Matter (Mindful Mantras)I Can Handle Special Occasions (Mindful Mantras)I Can Do That: A Book on Self-RegulationWhen My Worries Get Too Big!Love You From Right Here: A Keepsake Book for Children in Foster CareTeaching Emotions Toolkit
I hope you’ve found these lists of Reactive Attachment Disorder books helpful. If this topic interests you, you may be interested in signing up for our free email series offering help and hope to parents.
You may also be interested in these articles:
Recognizing the Signs of Reactive Attachment DisorderWhat I Wish You Knew About Parenting a Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder
I’ve read just about all these books… and recently discovered the UK’s Sarah Naish. She wrote “Therapeutic Parenting in a Nutshell”. It is so good! Not a huge book, but wonderfully instructive in understanding and loving our children with trauma. Sarah also wrote several children’s books that we love. 🙂
Sharla Kostelyk says
Thanks for the suggestion!