The dog... RAD or just a dog?
In the online Attachment Disorder Support group I belong to, we share tips and tricks as well as stories about our children - both the failures and the successes. It's a great group of people, and one of the constant "themes" is that RADs are masters at creating chaos one minute, then turning around and behaving like nothing ever happened. They aren't *pretending* that nothing happened, it just seems that in their minds, nothing really DID happen.
When childrens brains develop, they "learn" from repetitive patterns of activity, good or bad. When a child doesn't get those repetitive patterns (as in the case of neglect), those parts of the brain don't develop. When a baby cries and the mother (or father) tends to it, it learns to associate people with pleasure and creates a foundation for future relationships. Without that association, without somebody tending to the babys needs, it learns that others can't be counted on and begins to look to itself for pleasure and satisfaction (Don't even get me started on how physical abuse damages the brain). Without this association of people = pleasure, the child doesn't care about how others feel towards it. After all, why should they? They don't base their self-worth on you. Praise? Yeah, whatever. Mad at me? Oh well. So it's no surprise that they can become a whirlwind of chaos one minute and then the epitome of serenity the next. Just like my dog. Poop, poop, poop, belly rub!!