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When Love Is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting With RAD-Reactive Attachment Disorder
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When Love Is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting With RAD-Reactive Attachment Disorder

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  252 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
When Love is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting Children with RAD-Reactive Attachment Disorder brings hope and healing tools to parents and professionals working to help challenging children. Effective interventions, a full step by step plan, clearer insight and understanding make a powerful difference in helping children heal. If you want to make a difference in the life of ...more
Paperback, 141 pages
Published August 11th 2008 by Families By Design Inc (first published April 1997)
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Aspidistra
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book has many fans, and perhaps some of the techniques in here would be helpful for a RAD child who is resistant to other approaches. But I find the approach demeaning to the child and parent.

There is some value, though, in the parts of the book that deal with maintaining structure and safety within a household.
Chris McKenzie
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents of children with RAD
I have three children, all adopted. This book saved my sanity, as all three have reactive attachment disorder to some degree. My oldest, now 15, was the most severe. Implementing Namcy Thomas's techniques actually WORKED. I won't say that all of our problems have gone away, but my children are well on the road to living stable, normal lives. The book outlines a plan that can be difficult and sometimes sounds crazy, but it worked for us. Once we realized the extent of our son's problems, we began ...more
Jenn
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
The author of this book has a great deal of experience, but clearly, no clinical training. The language is sometimes coarse, judgmental and demeaning despite the fact that the focus of the book is children with significant trauma histories. While there is value in the experiences and insights in the book, I think that some of these methods, applied without the supervision of a trained therapist could be at best, ineffective and at worst harmful. I wouldn't give this book to a parent I work with, ...more
Carla
Jul 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Life is too short to be this irritated by a professional book on a serious, life-altering topic.
It presents as a self-published book in the worst possible way: the cover looks unprofessional, and the chapter and section headings are outlined font. Many sentences have at least two exclamation points.
Plus, I am offended as a professional, and for the parents who are seeking help for this difficult, difficult children; in order to lighten the mood (!), she sarcastically and repeatedly refers to the
...more
Audra
May 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
While I am not always a fan of everything in Nancy Thomas' work, I do think there are lots of gems in here. And it is clear that she has worked with these children for a very, very long time. I think the power of this book lies in that it is a very quick read, with lots of very specific, detailed suggestions. You can choose what works for the personality of your family and the therapeutic approach that you are using. For example, we do not limit some of the privileges that Nancy suggests (e.g., ...more
Leanne
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: adoption


I had no idea what the term "Reactive Attachment Disorder" was when I stumbled upon this book in a public library. I was only a few months into parenting a two year old with trauma issues (that I wasn't even aware of yet), and I had no idea why my 16 years as a parent were of no help with my (at the time) foster son.

Discovering this slim purple book resulted in a major epiphany for me. Nancy's insight saved my sanity at the time, as well as introduced me to RAD which continues to affect my 14
...more
Sarah
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was some tough reading. Tough to process the reality it described. I like the author's strength and organized suggestions, but I really really hope I don't have to deal with the challenges she describes. I think I would like this book A LOT better if it was updated. The references feel just a bit dated and I can't help but wonder if there is newer better research out there. I certainly would do more research if faced with what she tries to prepare her readers for.
Jenny
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Author demonstrates how parenting techniques can be used with children who may have diagnoses other than RAD. The author writes in a style that is "by a parent, to a parent."
Jennifer Albright
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
There is some valuable information but also many contradictions.
Eva Napier
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was instrumental in saving my daughter's life and our family's sanity. As the mother of 6 children, including 2 adopted from Ukraine-- one who has Reactive Attachment Disorder-- Nancy's book provided real life, hands on methods for parenting in the most difficult situations. I bought multiple copies to share with teachers, grandparents, and respite care providers. I referred to it regularly over several years. My kids know it as "the purple book."

My daughter is now in her 20s and doing
...more
Duane
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book, a must read for anyone with a RAD kid in your home. It is nice to know that you are not alone in dealing with RAD issues, and as a parent you are not crazy. I can't tell you how many times well intended people told me they just need more love.
It is obviously written by someone who has personal experience, and is not a professional writer, but the content is so good it's easy to look past the writing style.
Lindie
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a must-have book for any adoptive or foster parent who has a child with RAD! In fact, I think it should be given to you as soon as the child is dropped off with you (or even in one of the training classes beforehand). Not only does it tell you all about RAD, but it gives you specific things to do in your own home. For example, if the child steals try option A, option B or option C. So refreshing to read about someone who knows what they're talking about. And it really has helped!!!
Anna
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I can see the techniques might help some children with severe RAD who need very restrictive rules, but I felt the techniques are demeaning, controlling and borderline abusive. The author seems to run her home much like a military boarding school. I will be looking for more empathetic strategies.
Andrea
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could have written this book. the things we lived thru the past nine months. I knew there was something else going on. not just ptsd. something behavioral. something or more than one something. life was miserable and every time we turned around she had a new trick up her sleeve. come to find out that while having a 4 year old with severe rad is not common, I wasn't as alone as I thought. so isolated by her. so controlled. and she was 4 and a foster. the psychiatrist told us that if there were ...more
Owen
Jan 01, 2011 rated it liked it
When Love Is Not Enough might just scare the crap out of you. If you are thinking of taking on a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder this book provides some great parenting techniques that are specific to this unique disorder. However, there are so many techniques, and so many horror stories, that it may turn you off from parenting completely.

My other nitpicky criticism is that this book appears to be self-published. It could use a good editor to catch spelling errors and just generally mak
...more
Linda
Just read this book again because my RAD kid is now completely out of control. This book suggests some pretty strong measures that require big changes in the way the family functions and interacts. I am going to give it a try, but I am suspicious it is difficult to implement and I doubt has the success rate for everyone as it has for Nancy Thomas. Still, anything is worth it if it makes life better in the long run in the life of a family with a RAD kid.
Jane
Aug 07, 2007 rated it liked it
This was the first attachment book I read. I disagree with a lot of what is in here, but I found it to be a quick resource for information and helpful hints. I think you have to pick out the details that apply to each family and use the parts you agree with and discard the parts you don't. Some of her suggestions are extremely harsh for the children and would probably only apply with a severely emotionally disturbed child
Roseanne Wilkins
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an essential handbook for parents of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. This book helps parents to understand the disorder. Once your child is properly diagonized, healing can begin - but the healing must be accompanied by a specialist trained in handling this disorder. Children with RAD don't respond to regular therapy, nor do they respond to "Love and Logic." Seek and accept all the help you can get.
Rebecca
May 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone parenting a RAD child
We adopted two children from Ukraine several years ago, including a daughter with RAD, and have gone through things most people would never believe since then. This book showed us how to bring some sanity back into our lives.
Holly
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
While there are spelling errors and the writing is not professional, this book and the information here in is the ultimate bible for emotionally disturbed kids. Obviously, it is too harsh for regular kids... but these techniques really work miracles.
Jessica
I wish we would have read this book a couple of years ago. We have adopted 3 children with varying degrees of attachment disorder. She gives good options to try with various behaviors too and I can't wait to start implementing them.
Sara
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody who knows Zach and Kira
Recommended to Sara by: Tammy Dangle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carrie
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, adoption
I think this book has some good take aways, but I would use the principles/spirit of the book without following it to a T. For example, she wants people to completely get rid of their TV. The whole point is that RAD children need an intense level of structure and discipline.
Ryan
Oct 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Really good book for those who will be interacting with RAD children. Gives great examples and lays out very specifically what to do. At times the ideas seem crazy but they work very well and you can tell the woman has experience and truly loves the children with whom she works.
Sam Stotts
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: counseling, family, 2015
Must read for parents with adopted kids. Very practical.
Leslie
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a very practical book. I may be biased because I saw Ms. Thomas speak once and loved that she had lived what she was teaching.
Timber
Apr 26, 2011 rated it liked it
A practical guide for parents with RAD kids. Tips and tools that actually work!
Alison
Aug 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great starting resource for families of children with special emotional/behavioral needs.
Shelly
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
If you are working with kids with attachment issues, this is a great resource.
Jamie
Jan 19, 2014 rated it liked it
One of the first about attachment. Good, thorough guidelines. But it did not fit with my parenting style. I found Forbes and Post and Hughes to have more benefit to my family.
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