Post Traumatic Trauma In Children

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Introduction

The focus of this program is to increase awareness about children with post-traumatic

stress disorder ages 3 to 17. Trauma is the key to understanding post-traumatic stress disorder. Trauma is an overwhelming event that takes away a persons safety, it creates a sense of

helplessness and it continues to affect ones perception of reality. According to the American Psychological Association, “Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident,

rape or natural disaster.” (APA, 2013) Any form of trauma that results in lasting emotional damage can be categorized as PTSD.

Children can develop PTSD if they have lived through or seen an event that could have

caused them, someone they know or their community harm.
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A child’s family and social

environment can make or break the way they react to what happened. Children who have experienced sexual abused experience less traumatic symptoms if they receive parental support as opposed to having parents who do not believe them or express negative emotions toward

them. (Barkley, 2003)
Much of the literature on PTSD focuses on children and adolescents that have been

exposed to a one-time traumatic event (e.g. school shooting, natural disaster), neglecting chronic traumatization that is characterized by exposure to traumatic stressors within the same overall

context over a period of time ranging from months to years. Many children and adolescents that present with PTSD symptoms have been exposed to chronic traumas of community violence,

physical injury and maltreatment (physical/sexual abuse). (Carrion, Weems, Ray & Reiss, 2002)

History of Post-Traumatic Stress
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(Perry, 2007) The clinician may classify these trauma-related symptoms as being part of another mental disorder. Unfortunately, the

misdiagnosis of traumatized children with PTSD is far too common. In some cases the clinician diagnoses the child with ADHD because they may not know of any traumatic events that have

happened but the signs are the same. Dr. Nicole Brown found that children diagnosed with ADHD also experienced markedly higher levels of poverty, divorce, violence, and family

substance abuse. (Ruiz, 2014) Typically, the family brings in their child because something new appeared, such as failing in school or not wanting to be social. But the family fails to make the

connection between these new behaviors and a past event. Without any significant trauma history to help their case the PTSD may go undiagnosed.

When children are evaluated multiple times over several years, the diagnostic confusion can get worse. In the typical evaluation process, the evaluating clinician team or clinician

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