Monday, March 12, 2018

Oprah Winfrey and Developmental Trauma on 60 Minutes

There was a lot of hype, and the Underground World of RAD was excited about the 60 Minutes episode that aired last night 3/11/18. Oprah Winfrey was on board! She was presenting information about developmental trauma! We mothers of children with Developmental Trauma* had high hopes that our story would finally be heard! 

If only it were that simple. We know, better than anyone, that our stories are not simple. Life with a child with Developmental Trauma Disorder/DTD aka Reactive Attachment Disorder/RAD is anything but simple. Even the names aren't simple!

So, 60 Minutes and Oprah had to start somewhere. And where they started was at the beginning. What is Developmental Trauma? What creates it? Oprah brought in her own background of abuse to help tell the story. She hit important points:

• Introduced the public to the concept of Developmental Trauma. Didn't mention Reactive Attachment Disorder/RAD--which I believe is a huge step forward for everyone. RAD needs to be taken out of the DSM (manual used to diagnose mental health disorders). This disorder needs to be described in full and the DSM needs to be using DTD instead of RAD. Therapists using the DSM to diagnose would have a much clearer picture.
• Introduced Dr. Bruce Perry and his work.
• Brought Oprah's power and influence to the field.
• Touched on Trauma Informed Care and two of the places that are teaching it.

What the episode didn't (understandably) delve into, or even touch on:

• Loving parents (often adoptive but can also be bio, step, or foster) who are raising children with DTD/RAD and who no one believes because the behaviors of these children are confusing and triangulating.
• While the 2,000 children at Saint A are being given true "wrap around services" (everyone in contact with the children are on the same page and have been trained in trauma), the families who have children with DTD/RAD are not. We are still struggling with getting anyone to believe us, let alone help us, because there is a:
• Lack of Trauma Informed Care training within the community: schools, health professionals, churches, adoption agencies, family and friends.
• Yes! Relationships! But what about when the child with DTD/RAD is severe and is physically, psychologically, verbally, and sometimes even sexually abusive to his/her family? When living with these children, safety is above all else.
• Even if we had true wrap around services for our children with DTD/RAD--what about the rest of the family that has been hurt? DTD/RAD moms are targeted and siblings (aka Glass Children) as well--they need massive support too. (Take the Glass Child test here.)

It seems DTD/RAD moms feel a sense of...excitement that Oprah shed ANY light on it and a sense of resignation that it didn't go where we needed it to go. This just touched the tip of the iceberg. 

I'm choosing to focus on the incredible fact that Oprah started the conversation within the public realm! I hope she continues. I plan on sending her information myself! Also, I hope that all of the DTD/RAD moms who spoke out after the Florida shooting will continue to do so. I believe that together we can make a difference.

60 Minutes--watch Oprah's segment focused on Developmental Trauma here.  
It's 13 minutes long.

Oprah talks about the 60 Minutes episode on Developmental Trauma

Hi, I'm Julia and I'm a trauma-informed certified Equine Gestalt Coach, artist of 30 years, and Reiki Master. I combine my skills to create an individualized care plan for each client. As an adoptive mother of two (one healthy and one with DTD/RAD), I am intimately familiar with the trials and tribulations DTD/RAD moms and their glass children face as they navigate the muddy waters of life with a mentally ill child. While I see many types of people in my practice, my heart and my specialty is the health and healing of DTD/RAD moms and their glass children. 
Learn more at The Mother Ranch.

* Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) aka Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

1 comment:

  1. 13 minutes is not a lot of time, but as a parent of a child with DSED (RAD) 13 minutes on a national platform would be long enough for the RIGHT person to at least make a decent-size impression, for the introduction of such a largely unknown topic that affects so many who don't even know it is affecting them, that is until it is too late. I get it, Oprah has a voice that some find to be of an important or a soothing nature, but in this situation it's not the affluential spokesperson that will make the most waves. Instead, that person is one, whose influence, is nothing in relation to being the face of the media and instead who WILL make their face known only because of this topic.