About Nancy

Nancy Thomas is a woman with a big heart. The mother of three and grandmother of seven Thomas has taken several adoptive children into her Glenwood Springs, Colorado home, and she continues to educate people on how to handle challenging and challenged children. Nancy Thomas founded Families by Design in 1995 to further her goal of helping families with challenging children heal. Nancy Thomas supplements her work with Families by Design by providing phone consultations with parents, teachers, and mental health professionals. For over 30 years, Nancy Thomas has helped parents with severely emotionally challenged children. First as a Therapeutic Parenting Specialist and later as a Professional Therapeutic Parent, Thomas has broken new ground in an important and under-studied field. Nancy’s book, “When Love is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder,” is considered a must-read for those dealing with at-risk and troubled children, and she has lectured in 47 states and 8 countries on the subject. Mrs. Thomas’ work with Providence General Medical Center for Continuing Medical Education in Washington earned her a Physician’s Recognition Award from the American Medical Association (AMA). At home with her husband Jerry, Nancy Thomas has created a warm and curative atmosphere that fosters trust and healing. When she is not operating Families by Design or her other organization, SAVY, Inc., Nancy volunteers her time caring for the violent children of financially disadvantaged parents throughout the week and weekends.

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

By: Nancy Thomas

Modern psychology is constantly expanding to diagnose and raise awareness of treatable disorders. To the benefit of a number of children and parents, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) has gained recognition in recent years. RAD refers to a condition in which a child has significant challenges accepting and receiving love or other kinds of affection. RAD is often a consequence of trauma during a child’s early life. A complex disorder, RAD is characterized mainly by an inability to love and trust; fortunately, research makes it possible for the disorder to be identified and treated early. Children with RAD often share a number of symptoms, among them an unhealthy obsession with gore, fire, or blood; an aversion to physical proximity with another human being; inappropriate sexual behavior; bossiness; a proclivity toward lying; or an inability to maintain eye contact. Children with RAD are also often destructive toward themselves or others and may bear little to no understanding of the consequences of their actions. Without treatment, RAD can affect a family in many ways. Parents who identify these characteristics in their children are encouraged to seek help and guidance from a professional. Although treatment for the disorder is relatively new, the network of therapists and neuropsychologists specializing in RAD grows every day, and solutions to the life-impacting disorder are constantly evolving. RAD may be addressed in a variety of ways, including holding therapy, neurofeedback, or equine therapy, a treatment involving horses. Visit attachment.org today to learn more and find a licensed therapist in your area.


About Nancy!

Nancy L. Thomas

Nancy L. Thomas

Nancy L. Thomas is most widely recognized for her work with helping challenging children overcome emotional and physical abuse situations. Mrs. Thomas is the President of Families by Design, an organization that provides information about attachment and bonding issues, educates the public about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), and offers educational materials and seminars. Nancy Thomas founded Families by Design over a decade ago, capitalizing on her then already impressive history working with at-risk and troubled youth. Mrs. Thomas operates Families by Design out of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, directing family camps for challenging children, carrying out phone consultations, and supporting parents, mental health professionals, and teachers.

Mrs. Thomas began working with children as a Therapeutic Parenting Specialist in 1974. She later went on to become a Professional Therapeutic Parent, encountering and treating children with all manner of afflictions. Her experiences led Nancy Thomas to write the seminal work “When Love is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder,” which many experts considered one of the most comprehensive guides to challenging children at the time. Mrs. Thomas furthered her literary career by co-authoring the broad ranging book, “The Handbook of Attachment Interventions,” with many other field experts. Together, these books have changed countless lives, and in conjunction with her CD/DVD materials, Nancy has helped numerous broken families heal.

Aside from her work with Families by Design, Nancy Thomas is the Founder and Chairman of the Board for SAVY, Inc. In keeping with the spirit of Mrs. Thomas’ work, SAVY was founded to Stop America’s Violent Youth.