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Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder in Children

Disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED) is a disorder of attachment and social relationships, often initiated by traumas or stressors in early childhood. As a result of these traumas, children lack opportunity to develop positive attachment to a caregiver and they have difficulty relating to others. Their behavior with unfamiliar adults is often overly friendly, indiscriminate, and inappropriate. Children often do not make distinctions between parental figures and strangers and may be excessively familiar with strangers, both verbally and physically. These children often show no reluctance or concern about leaving with strangers and may not check back with adult caregivers when with unfamiliar people or in unfamiliar settings. This behavior is not due to inattention or impulsivity (such as in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]); instead, it ...

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