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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Institute For Attachment And Child Development

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Foster Care

Mission: Treatment of children with attachment disorder

Programs: Child foster care and counseling of an average of 13-16 children per month

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our 9 year old was really struggling and the Institute for Attachment and Child Development was a game-changer for us. We fostered our son from when he was 10 months old to 2 years old and adopted him at 2. He is a wonderful kid but had a lot of issues we were struggling with. We changed his medicine and began weekly counseling and the results were great. We are so grateful to the organization for all they did to help us get our son back on track.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My child was inpatient at IACD for a year and has continued as an outpatient for 10 months. He has been in multiple placements but this was the first time our family felt heard and understood. Dr. Alston worked with us to find medications that helped my son to regulate his explosive behaviors. He explained every step of the process and valued our input. Beverly White has been instrumental in guiding my son as he processes his trauma and begins to heal. She helped our family to understand his behaviors and how to keep him safe.

4 AJ B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am the Board Chair of the IACD, which I serve in a volunteer capacity. In the IACD staff, I have witnessed a compassion, work ethic, and sense of duty that I have never before encountered in my life. This is combined with their adherence to a successful therapeutic treatment model, which is crafted and implemented by exceptional staff leadership.

The organization synthesizes a myriad of licensed professionals, nurturing caretakers, regulatory overseers, and a long track record of proven therapeutic processes. Above all, the organization seeks to take a measured and transparent approach to accomplishing the goal of improving the life of every child that comes through their doors. I am honored to volunteer my time and energy toward the advancement of this great and ever-improving organization.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Ann. My two sons have both benefited greatly from the Institute for Attachment in Littleton, CO. My oldest is from Russia and had extreme RAD. He attended at age 7 and age 10. At age 7 he was also diagnosed with childhood Bipolar Disorder. He lived in a group home for 3 or 4 months and learned how to become "a family kid" vs. one for an institution. His case was more extreme. After we adopted two more children, he needed to return at age 10 for 4 months and lived with "Dad Chris". His "sit spot" and family routines learned were a great help! My second son also went at age 13. He had an outbreak of Bipolar and was stealing, running away, and changed almost overnight. He was given treatment for four months. He had a psychiatrist, neurofeedback and a group home setting with "Dad Chris" which helped him greatly. He is now in weekly therapy and doing much better at home. Bipolar and RAD and ADHD require a lot of patience and skill. The Institute helped us greatly! We learned specific family tools, were educated about RAD and Bipolar and AdHD, were motivated to follow up at home with therapy. A huge blessing to find the Institute!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Institute of Attachment and Child Development is an amazing resource for healing in the family. My girl was neglected in the first few years of her life before I adopted her and as a result it created a terrible attachment disorder that brought quite a bit of pain to everyone who loved her. Her trauma overwhelmed her and our family. We felt held hostage by the impulses she sucumbed to. There was no authority she submitted to and as a result our family lived in fear of what her trauma would impulsively cause her to do next. It was a nightmare. We loved her so much but the mental fatigue of the mind games, lies, and manipulation was almost too much to bear. So I sent her to the Institute of Attachment and Child Development. The decision to send her here was a very difficult one and I seemed to change my mind every other week until finally her trauma put our family in serious jeopardy.
The moment we walked in to admit her we were greeted with sympathetic faces of people who understood. They didn't fall under the spell of her charming smiles and playful attitude, they saw the deep hurt that lingered in her heart unresolved. Finally we were at a safe place she could not manipulate and counselors could not be manipulated. It was hard for me at first to let my guard down and trust them. I was waiting for the charm of her personality to create enemies. I felt like we had so many since most of the hurt she did was behind closed doors away from others who could see and at the same time I felt a loyalty to her to protect her and not discuss her behaviors to too many people. But that left me feeling so isolated.
The first couple of weeks were the hardest. I was so used to being hyperviligent that being calm and safe was foreign. No police at the door. No CPS. It was quiet. I missed her but I didn't miss the trauma. The IACD was very sensitive to both my daughter and me. They were warm and caring, but firm with boundaries. They reassured me I wasn't so alone in this quest to find healing for her. They "got it" and even understood the reasons for my behavior responses. I got to talk to her in family counseling and on Sundays. It was so nice to have counselors who didn't let her get away with manipulation and lies. They saw more than what even I saw as her mother. They held her accountable so that finally healing could take place. On top of having specialized therapists, they have an amazing Psychiatrist who adjusted her medications, and neurofeedback. In between therapy she lived with a therapeutic "foster" family. These families are people with amazing compassion for the children who come into the program. Often they are parents who themselves have had a child they admitted into the program.
I chose this program over others because I didn't want a "break" from her, I wanted healing for her. I wanted a place that knew how to help her and could give her the best chance possible at a bright future. But it wasn't just about her, I needed to know how to parent her. Although my parenting had worked for my other child, it had failed miserably with her. I needed to know how to help her from letting her trauma ruin the lives of her, me, and all those who loved her deeply. I knew this road of adoption wasn't for the faint of heart and its nice to know people who can come along side of you and help you to be the best parent for your child. I can't thank the IACD enough for their support and involvement in our family's healing. I am forever grateful for their understanding and compassion. We as a family have healing. It wasn't like I expected it to be, but we have healing.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would give them more stars if I could. I have been a treatment kid at the Institute. Mom Connie is a very good Treatment Mom. I would recommend her to anybody. They never used restraints on me. They got me on the right meds. I came out a new person who cares about the family instead of hates the family. Mom Connie would take us to drive thru after therapy sessions to get something to eat because it was late. Mom Connie would play games with us and cook for us. She makes really good food, I love her food. She would tell you how good a job you were doing in therapy and help you remember what you need to be working on. Send your kids to the IACD and not other places because I was hurt emotionally and physically at other facilities. They were generous and kind at the IACD. - age 13 (one month to 14:)

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been a tangled mess of what I call "alphabet soup" diagnoses. We adopted him at the age of 8, first attempting to find him help through the school system and private therapy. We soon discovered that, even as adopted parents, we were being blamed for his problems (that he arrived at our home with) rather than being seen as a partner in the solution. It took us 3 acute and 3 long term hospitalizations, many psych evals, police interventions and several private therapists and psychologists to finally wind up at the IACD. We were worn out in every way possible. I wish we had started at the IACD. At the IACD no one is blamed for the problems. Everyone is seen as a part of the solution. Our son was treated fairly and safely while preserving his human dignity. He lived in a home with other children and pets while learning how to live in our home and community. Claire is amazing at keeping on top of the paperwork and helping us keep (or regain) our sanity. She has been there for us to cry on. Thanks Claire! The therapists, Bev and Forrest, are also amazing. Therapy is precise and efficient - no more spending an hour talking about how everyone feels and more time solving actual problems. They do speak about feelings at the IACD but not in a wishy-washy way; more to the point and moving on. Therapy is a positive experience and builds our family up to handle the challenges before us rather than the dreaded "gotcha" session we had grown to hate at other facilities. Our son's therapeutic parent, Connie, is an incredible jewel. Not only was she there for our son but she continues to be there for us. She has so much energy and love. Dr. Alston has an amazing and unique understanding of these kids and the challenges adoptive families face. Not only is he talented in finding the right diagnosis and the right medications, he takes the family's whole picture into account for treatment planning. There are so many more wonderful and amazing people at the IACD that have helped us. My son is home and we continue to receive outpatient services long distance from the Institute. I cannot recommend the IACD enough. This is truly a gift to be helped by the IACD. If you have a child who is struggling, at least pick up the phone and give them a call. If you decide to receive treatment at the IACD, you will never feel alone dealing with adoption behavior struggles again.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

We have been working with the Institute for Attachment and Child Development for several years now both with family therapy and respite care. Our family therapist, Roxanne Thompson, was the best we have had in the many years and therapists. She brings experience, compassion, and fresh ideas to her role of clinical supervisor. In addition, the weekends our 14 year old son has spent at respite has been a lifeline to our family. We are always confident that he is well cared for, gets practice being a family kid, and that he will be regulated in his behavior when he comes home. The Institute offers an alternative to residential treatment so that kids learn how to live in a family. The staff is dedicated to helping families with many service options.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our child has been with IACD for only a few weeks but we have been very impressed with the program. The therapist, doctor, and house parent are top notch. Our child has had multiple stays in inpatient facilities and this is the first time where we feel our child is receiving appropriate treatment.

6

Client Served

Rating: 4

Our son is currently participating in one of IACD's therapeutic foster homes. This is his third treatment facility and represents our last chance to get help for him before he turns 18. Ultimately much of his healing will be up to him, but if he wants help, it is certainly available here.

So far the staff at the Institute have been very helpful and professional. Furthermore, our therapist is AMAZING. She has a thorough understanding of attachment disorders as well as the psychiatric diagnoses that often go hand in hand with developmental trauma. We also appreciate that we are fully involved (virtually) in his therapy sessions, which occur twice per week.

No program is perfect or has a magic wand. But this one is staffed with genuinely skilled and caring people, and as far as I can tell, the treatment model is solid. I would definitely recommend this program to other adoptive families like ours.

4 Teresa S.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

We found IACD to be very professional and personable. The office staff are truly caring and inspirational, and the office was clean and comfortable.
Their Psychiatrist got our daughter on the proper medication, and the therapist was marvelous (though, she is no longer with them.) The neurofeedback seemed to help quite a bit too, but that was not covered by our insurance.
My only caution to parents is to try to work with the IACD on matching the “Practice Parents” to you and your preferences. Our daughter was first placed with a couple who pushed their religion and their politics on her. They also shamed her and made her feel awful about herself. We complained about these parents, and the leadership were swift to move our daughter to a different household.

Comments ( 1 )

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institute4attachment 09/23/2019

Thank you so much for this review, Teresa S.2. Because of this particular situation, these treatment parents ("Practice Parents") are no longer with the Institute for Attachment, and your daughter's therapist is back with IACD after taking some time off to complete her MSW.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

My dealings with IACD have been at the leadership level and observing their impact in the R.A.D. space. They have worked at an exceptional level and had impressive success with children who might otherwise find themselves in unsuitable treatment programs. One need only speak with graduates of their program to see that they have been able to succeed in areas where others have lost hope. As an organization, their first priority is to help children, and that mission has been as successful as anyone could hope for.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family has been involved with IACD since December of 2018. We were at a desperate place with our adopted and no one was able to help. When we arrived at the institute we discovered that there was hope for our child. Everyone there was very professional as well as knowledgeable. My child sat down with the Psychologist and for the first time felt that someone understood her. He was able to get her meds that actually helped and not make her worse. The therapist here are absolutely amazing. They understand how these kids think, and so are able to help them process through there feelings. Within 6 weeks of therapy and new medication my wife and I noticed that our child's hugs were different. She was beginning to care about us for the first time. Thank you IACD for all you do! As to what a previous reviewer stated back in 2015, I would have to say that they have never been a part of the program. The information that they posted is false! I have been in countless sessions with my daughter and none of the things that the reviewer stated, had ever happened. Thank you IACD team for all you do! Wayne

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am not sure what the previous reviewer is referring to. Our experience has in NO WAY been anything like they described. I dare say that the psychiatrist that is contracted with The Institute is one of the best (if not THE best) in caring for children that have developmental trauma in this country for sure! My husband and I are present (physically or virtually) at every single therapy session that our daughter goes to. She has neurofeedback twice a week and a counseling session once a week. The neurofeedback specialist as well as our daughter's counselor are amazing! They completely understand developmental trauma and how to properly care for and treat children that have these disorders. In our experience, we have not ever encountered any professional who is near as knowledgeable in this area as they are at The Institute. We recommend them highly! ~Lisa and Jerry Stokes

4 Peggy T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

IACD (previous Youth Behavior Program, Attachment Center at Evergreen) has for decades used an unvalidated practice called "Attachment Therapy" (aka Rage Reduction, Holding Therapy, Nancy Thomas parenting), along with its unvalidated diagnostic tool and unrecognized diagnosis. This practice was denounced as abusive in 2006 by APSAC and the American Psychological Association's Division on Child Maltreatment. Training films made in 1993 and 2005 (2006?) show IACD therapists using coercive restraint as therapy, threats, isolation, humiliation, and various other aversives. IACD appears to be an unusual arrangement where it rents space to independent Attachment Therapists.

http://depts.washington.edu/hcsats/PDF/AttachmentTaskForceAPSAC.pdf

Review from Guidestar