RAD: reactive attachment disorder. Children 0-36 months need consistent care and bonding. When they experience neglect, abuse, inconsistent connection with primary care provider, it disrupts attachment.

RTC: Residential Treatment Center, a live-in health care facility intended to provide individuals with around the clock treatment by trained professionals for wide range of struggles including mental disorders, behavioral issues, and substance abuse/addition problems.

Respite Care: a temporary transfer of primary caregiving responsibilities of a child or an adult to a professional caregiver usually those in the healthcare setting in order to receive temporary relief from caregiving responsibilities. This care option allows caregivers to have a short-term break when needed most.

CPTSD: Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a psychiatric disorder caused by repeated and prolonged exposure to traumatic events (not just one occurrence) that causes an individual to experience symptoms of PTSD (refer to definition) as well as co-occurring symptoms such as lack of emotion regulation, changes in consciousness such as dissociation, negative self-perception, difficulty in maintaining healthy relationships, and holding a distorted perception of the abuser such as giving the abuser complete power over situations or fanaticizing getting revenge.

Dissociation: a mental process categorized as a lack of connection to a person’s thoughts, feelings, memory, and sense of identity. There are levels of dissociation beginning with mild such as daydreaming or being ‘lost’ in a book to severe such as having blackouts- a total loss of consciousness resulting in moments of memory loss.

ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder, refers to symptoms of inattention, distractibility, and poor working memory. Individuals who experience these symptoms have difficulty focusing on tasks such as schoolwork. They also forget scheduled activities/appointments regularly as well as lose track of time easily. ADD is no longer recognized as a neurobehavioral disorder, however the symptoms of ADD fall under the umbrella term of ADHD recognized as the primarily inattentive type of ADHD.

ADHD: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, a neurobehavioral disorder that impacts attention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and behavior control. ADHD is the most common mental disorder diagnosis in children and more so found in boys than girls. Common symptoms of ADHD are inattention, lack of focus, poor time management, weak impulse control, exaggerated emotions, hyperfocus (complete absorption in a task), hyperactivity (increased impulsive movement), and executive dysfunction (impairment in the part of the brain responsible for planning, focus, decision making, and management of multiple tasks at once). There are three recognized types of ADHD: primarily hyperactive-impulsive, primarily inattentive, and primarily combined.

FAS: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, individuals who have physical, cognitive, and psychological abnormalities due exposure to alcohol during prenatal development due to their mother’s alcohol consumption. Immediate impacts of FAS include experience of withdrawal symptoms right after birth for the newborn. Facial deformities are also present such as small eye openings, a thin upper lip, and a smaller head circumference. A child with FAS also has cognitive delays resulting in learning difficulties as well as socio-emotional issues such as poor social skills, hyperactivity, anxiety, and stubbornness. Individuals with FAS also experience growth delays due to alcohol present during imperative pre-natal brain development periods. FAS is the most serious form of FASD.

FASD: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, a group of disorders that can occur in a person who has been exposed to alcohol before birth. Difficulties can be present in a wide variety forms such as medical, behavioral, educational, social, emotional, and so on. Because FASD is measured on a spectrum, there are various symptoms present as well as a degree of severity to those symptoms in this group of disorders. Some common symptoms include, abnormal facial features (as mentioned in FAS definition), low body weight, poor coordination, hyperactive behavior, difficulty with attention and memory, learning disabilities, speech and language delays, intellectual disabilities, poor judgement skills, sleep problems, and poor emotion regulation skills.

ODD: Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a type of behavior disorder categorized by a persistent pattern of anger, irritability, vindictiveness, arguing, or defiance towards authority figures. Individuals with ODD often and easily lose their temper, are easily annoyed by others, are often angry and resentful, regularly argue with adults and authority figures, actively refuse of follow rules or requests of adults, deliberately upset people, blame others for their mistakes, and are vindictive or in other words disposed to seeking revenge.

GAD: General Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent and excessive worry about various different things. Individuals with GAD overly obsess about elements of their life such as money, health, family, work, or other issues. Specifically, children with GAD often worry about or fear circumstances and situations that have no real cause for such, such as physical appearance, future events, social acceptance, family matters, their personal abilities, and school performance. Some common symptoms for children with GAD are that they: worry about things before they happen, worry about school and friends, have constant fears and thoughts about safety of themselves and others, refuse to go to school, experience headaches or stomach aches or muscle tension, have trouble sleeping, display clingy behavior with family members, experience frequent extreme tiredness, have trouble concentrating, can be easily startled, experience irritation at times, and have an inability to relax.

NVLD: Nonverbal Learning Disorder, a social and spatial learning disability where an individual has strengths in verbal abilities yet has deficits in visual-spatial abilities (capacity to understand, reason, and remember the special relations among objects or space). Individuals with NVLD have difficulties with organization, attention, executive functioning, nonverbal communication, and motor skills. Some symptoms include underdeveloped fine and gross motor skills, impairment in special awareness, difficulties with planning, organizing, and multitasking, difficulties in attention, impairment in social skills such as misreading reading social cues, and difficulties with visualizing concepts and recalling visual information.

Developmental Trauma: a kind of trauma that results from significant impairment to a child’s developing brain during important early childhood developmental periods due to repeated exposure of abuse and neglect causing the child to experience excessive amounts of stress. Developmental trauma is a result of repeated childhood abuse and leads to many difficulties later in life.

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