Victim of Attachment Therapy
Fort Worth, Texas
Rescued, 2006, as young adult
[Above photo: Katia with her adoptive mother Kathie Seidel, Fort Worth Weekly]
Note: The following account has been prepared from press reports.
Four years after the death of her only son, Kathie Seidel, 40, wanted to adopt children. A single woman, she went to Russia and acquired a boy, 4, and later a girl, 8. The boy, named Greg, was hyperactive, but Seidel said they soon “bonded.” But Seidel said that when Katia came, “all hell broke loose.” She was said to be autistic, epileptic, and developmentally delayed. Some time later, Katia was diagnosed with “attachment disorder.”
In relating Seidel’s story in a 2008 edition of the Fort Worth Weekly, “attachment disorder” was described as it is by proponents of Attachment Therapy: “These children have difficulty bonding with adoptive families and can exhibit destructive outbursts, known as rages, along with other socially awkward behaviors, including cruelty to siblings and pets, lying, and food hoarding, and often have difficulty establishing relationships with peers.” Seidel claims Katia came to the States with signs typical of attachment disorder; she was an angry child with self-esteem issues. While sweet, her adoptive mother claims she was also rageful and would attack her brother. (Note that this description does not resemble Reactive Attachment Disorder as defined in the DSM-IV-TR.)
Seidel would “hold her daughter until the violence subsided,” according to the Fort Worth Weekly. Katia was also being treat with nutritional supplements, apparently to treat the “attachment disorder” by altering her “brain chemistry.” Karyn Purvis, then director of the Texas Christian University Institute of Child Development, claimed that her program specialized in “traumatized children adopted from international orphanages,” and that Katia’s behavior had improved on the supplements. Purvis promotes targeted “amino acid therapy” (TAAT) to “stimulate the brain.”
Seidel has a master’s degree in special education and had experience teaching emotionally disturbed students. She claimed her main problem was acquiring special needs services, such as respite care, from the Texas authorities. Somewhere along this process, the state took guardianship of Katia and put her in institutional and group home care, where the authorities say she is doing better. Court records indicate that Katia did not want to be returned to her home with Seidel. Seidel claims Katia is now longer being treated with the supplements and that she does want to come home when she is better.
The Fort Worth Weekly article reveals that Katia was treated at TCU’s “attachment disorder” summer camp in 1999. In 2003, an NBC Dateline program featured this TCU program and Ronald S. Federici, a Virginia psychologist Attachment Therapist who has worked with the TCU program to develop “intense home programs.” This program, according to Dateline, included Federici’s potentially dangerous coercive prone restraint to enforce discipline as well as for emergency safety. (Prone restraint is demonstrated in the Dateline program when a boy refuses to go to the bathroom and his parents drag him off his bed to the floor for four hours of what is also called “Compression Therapy,” a style of Attachment Therapy.) The home program also includes a form of “belt-loop parenting,” where the child is kept within arm’s length of a parent at all time for months at a time; the child must also ask for everything, and parents are told to be unaffectionate with their adoptee.
- “Saving Katia,” by Jeff Prince, Fort Worth Weekly, 2 Jul 2008.
[Cover Fort Worth Weekly]
- “Finding the real child: A monumental research project may offer permanent healing to broken children adopted from foreign orphanages,” by Allison Fisher Speer, TCU Magazine, Jan 2006.
- FDA Warning Letter to NeuroScience, Inc., regarding its marketing of “Targeted Amino Acid Therapy (TAAT).”
- "Creating a healing environment for our children lessons of hope from The Hope Connection,” by Karyn Purvis and David Cross, May 2005. (“Instructions for therapeutic holds may be found in Help for the Hopeless Child [Federici].)
- “When love is not enough,” by Nancy Bartosek, TCU Magazine, Apr 1999. (“To build on the advances made at camp, the Whites are following the advice of Dmitri's therapist and "belt-looping" mother and son. Belt-looping is a radical therapy proposed by Dr. Ronald Federici, an internationally recognized neuropsychologist and attachment expert. To facilitate bonding, Federici suggests the belt-looping, in effect keeping the child within several feet of a parent to control their environment 24 hours a day until bonding and healing begins.”)