|Updated: 5/12/2010 6:37 pm
||Published: 5/11/2010 2:20 pm
A Little Rock boy missing since Monday is now home safe. Nikolai Whelpley was found a few hours ago near his west Little Rock home. But FOX16 News is examining more on why a child like Nikolai, adopted from Russia, may have decided to disappear.
Each parked car marked another volunteer looking for Whelpley in his west Little Rock neighborhood Wednesday morning and afternoon.
"There is a team working their way down here and I need them to go this way next."
Some volunteers drove the neighborhood, other teams combing the woods near Nikolai's home on foot. Friends of the family say he'd runaway before. Why? His mother tells FOX16 News Nikolai has reactive attachment disorder.
The condition develops in children who suffer neglect, abuse or separation from caregivers early in life. Nikolai was adopted at age 6 from Russia.
Dr. Lynn Taylor is the director of child and adolescent development at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and chief of psychiatry at Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Taylor says instances of the disorder are seen more in kids adopted from Eastern European orphanages.
"This child may have wandered off because the child lacks that attachment that would hold him close to his family," Taylor says.
Last month, a mom in Tennessee put her 7-year old adopted son alone on a plane back to Moscow after she says he became uncontrollably violent.
The search for Nikolai ended happily. But Taylor says the difficulties of reactive attachment disorder in kids coming to the United States remains.
"I welcome the publicity that this is getting so people will be more aware of it and know that when they're adopting a child who may have had really pathological or abusive early experiences, neglect, that child may not respond in typical ways," Taylor says.
And that can include running away and hiding for a day or two at a time. Little Rock police did assist in the search for Nikolai, using a canine searching around the home this morning, but couldn't find him.
Russia placed a moratorium on adoptions to the U.S. after the Tennessee incident. But U.S and Russian officials began talks Wednesday to resume adoptions with hopes to reach an agreement by the end of this week.
Taylor added that reactive attachment disorder is not exclusive to children coming from overseas adoptions. It can manifest itself in any environment where children aged six months to three years fail to form normal attachments to primary caregivers.