FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 26, 2012
RAD Mom to Travel to Branson, Missouri to Meet Other RAD Parents and Promote Prevention
Executive Director of Pullman based organization, Smile At Your Baby! will be in Branson, MO to participate in the first ever, Branson Power Advocacy Intensive Retreat organized by the Nigliazzo Advocacy Center of West Plains, MO. Calissendorff’s goal of meeting and trading stories with other parents of adopted children with Reactive Attachment Disorder or RAD will finally be met. Ms. Calissendorff’s organization was born out of a desire to help to prevent Reactive Attachment Disorder in other families.
Pullman, WA The mother of a foster-adopted 10-year-old daughter who was diagnosed at the age of four with Reactive Attachment Disorder, or RAD, has made it her life’s work to educate others about the disorder so common in adopted children. She will travel to Branson, MO to meet with other parents of children with RAD, and to participate at the Branson Power Advocacy Intensive organized by the Nigliazzo Advocacy Center of West Plains, MO. Shelley Calissendorff also looks forward to meeting author and Facebook friend, Toni Hoy, whose best-selling book, “Second Time Foster Child” has really hit home for the Pullmanite. “Living with children effected by RAD is more difficult than anyone can imagine,” says Calissendorff. “I’m not the only one who had no choice but to turn to the state for assistance in meeting my child’s very special needs. When I read “Second Time Foster Child” my jaw dropped! At long last, someone who understands what we’ve been through!”
Even before meeting author Toni Hoy and event organizer Michele Nigliazzo (who also has an adopted daughter with RAD) online, Calissendorff founded her organization, Smile At Your Baby! in an effort to educate those new and soon–to-be parents that need it most on what it means to bond with a baby, why it’s so very important, and precisely how to do it. About two years ago Calissendorff says she realized that there is no cure for RAD, though it can be treated—even with treatment the odds of life success for a child with RAD are not good. There are many great organizations like Attach and the Attachment Trauma Network (ATN) that work hard to help families find resources and learn to live life as a therapeutic parent, but so far as Calissendorff could tell, no one else was actively working to reach out to parents and specifically prevent Reactive Attachment Disorder. Calissendorff will have a table with literature at the event Aug. 2-4 at the Lodge of the Ozarks.
Michele Nigliazzo and Toni Hoy will be speakers at the two-and-a-half-day event, as will be Julie Beem, Executive Director of ATN.
“It will be so fantastic to talk to other parents who already know where I’m coming from,” says Calissendorff. “Often times, school administrators, teachers and even counselors are not familiar with RAD and trying to get special services for these children can be an uphill battle, to say the least.” Event attendees will expect to leave Branson with a whole new set of tools for advocating on their child’s behalf. “We all want the word to get out about RAD, the more folks that know about it, the better,” stated Calissendorff.
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