Reactive Attachment Disorder Law and Legal Definition

Reactive attachment disorder is a condition or a problem that generally appears in children less than the age of five. Children with such disorder have a problem with social interaction. And this problem ordinarily occurs when a child's basic physical and emotional needs are neglected in early years.

The disorder is characterized by the inability of a child or infant to establish age-appropriate social contact and relationships with others. Some symptoms associated with the disorder include: a failure to thrive, developmental delays, a refusal to make eye contact, feeding difficulties, hyper-sensitivity to sound and/or touch, failure to initiate or respond to social interactions with others, self-stimulation, indiscriminate sociability and an unusually high susceptibility to infections.

The following is an example of a state statute (Oklahoma) defining the term:

According to 10 Okl. St. § 7007-1.9, "Reactive Attachment Disorder" means a disorder resulting from the lack of reasonable care and nurturance, usually in the early years of life, which results in an inability to establish normal, stable attachments to caregivers and others.