Face-to-Face time is an intervention strategy that can help heal disorders of attachment development, such as RAD or DSED. Attachment problems can arise any time a child’s natural connection to a parent is compromised early in life. RAD stands for Reactive Attachment Disorder while DSED stands for Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder. And both are serious challenges of early childhood development that cause great suffering from the child and the entire family. Luckily, Orchard Human Services has a coordinated program to help children heal from disordered attachment. Orchard’s Program Director, Dr. Darleen Claire Wodzenski, has created a powerful RAD treatment program with curriculum and parent support module to help children catch up on lost attachment development. RAD Counseling and Therapy services are available in Marietta, Atlanta, Alpharetta, and College Park, Georgia.
When children gaze into the face of a parent or caregiver, they are able to learn so much about relationships and being with others. This face-to-face time can help children recognize and interpret facial expressions of others as well as notice when another person’s voice changes to match their emotions or mood. Newborns commonly gaze into their mother’s eyes while they are nursing or bottle feeding. Life challenges can sometimes interrupt this natural early developmental step.
Children of adoption, in the foster care system, or who are impacted by a serious health crisis may suffer from interruption of that critical early infant-parent bonding. Other reasons that children experience an interruption in attachment development include trauma, abuse, or neglect; loss of parent due to deployment, working on the road, incarceration, illness or hospitalization, or death; and challenging situations like divorce, separation or break-up of parents, a parent working long hours or working abroad, and mental illness or substance use disorder.
Face-to-Face Time provides infants and children with the opportunity to see the emotions of compassion, love, and caring on the face of beloved caregivers. When children cry, they can observe the expressions of concern or sadness spread across the face of the caregiver. Exposure to the caregiver during a variety of emotional states can teach children about their own feelings and the feelings of others. Empathy, compassion, and self-care are able to spring forth from the rich interaction between parent and child during this early developmental phase of the human lifespan.
Face-to-Face Time is necessary for all children to learn, grow, and develop over childhood. For little ones who experience an interruption on Attachment Development, Face-to-Face Time is a critical intervention. Caregivers of little ones with disordered attachment must remember to trust in the process, and spend at least twenty seconds of eye gazing with their children several times a day until the child has overcome the developmental deficit or misstep.
Face-to-Face Time is just one of many valuable interventions that can bring about development and healing of children with disrupted or disordered attachment. The Face-to-Face Time intervention seems simple, but provides layers of complex support for the child’s learning and development. This intervention strategy is just one part of an entire curriculum of healing and restorative interventions that are available through Orchard Human Services, Inc.
Intervention, Counseling, and Therapy services for RAD or Reaction Attachment Disorder … as well as other challenges like Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Neurodevelopmental Disorder, Behavior Challenges, ADD/ADHD, OCD/ODD, Focus and Attention, and Learning Problems … are now available around the greater Metropolitan Atlanta area. Office locations include Marietta, Alpharetta, Atlanta, and College Park.
Want to learn more about Face-to-Face time and other RAD interventions? Read more here.
Or read more of Dr. Darleen Claire’s articles about Reactive Attachment Disorder and Disordered Attachment Development:
Darleen Claire Wodzenski, MS ESE, MS CMHC, QPPE, PhD is a child development interventionist, parent coach and clinical mental health professional who specializes in issues of early childhood including Autism Spectrum Disorders and Reactive Attachment Disorder, or RAD. She is the Program Developer for Orchard Human Services, Inc. and can be reached by phone at (770) 686-0894 for individual coaching and consulting. Counseling and intervention services available in the Metropolitan Atlanta area.