What are some signs of trauma in kids? “The thing a child is carrying on the inside is too precious to the world – Their future!”

As parents, we should be vigilant for some of the signs of trauma in children. The brain is the most complex organ we possess, it is constantly making new connections, dropping some and reenforcing others. As a child learns something new, the connections are established and reinforced. Please discuss these with your Pediatrician if you see these symptoms. See the list below for children and adolescents from ECMCH.

Domain of DevelopmentSigns of Disruption or Impairment
AttachmentDifficulty trusting others
Uncertain about the reliability/predictability of othersInterpersonal difficulty
Social isolation
Difficulty seeking help
Clingy, difficulty with separations
PhysicalSensorimotor development problems
Hypersensitivity to physical contact
Increased medical problems
Problems with coordination and balance
Affect RegulationProblems with emotional regulation
Easily upset and/or difficulty calming
Difficulty describing emotions and internal experiences
Difficulty knowing and describing internal states
Problems with communicating needs
Behavioral ControlPoor impulse controlSelf-destructive behavior
Aggressive behavior
Oppositional behavior
Excessive compliance
Sleep disturbance
Eating disordersReenactment of traumatic event/past
Pathological self-soothing practices
CognitionDifficulty paying attention
Lack of sustained curiosity
Problems processing information
Problems focusing on/completing tasks
Difficulty planning and anticipating consequences
Learning difficulties, developmental delays
Problems with language development
Self-ConceptLack of continuous/predictable sense of self
Poor sense of separateness
Disturbance of body image
Low self-esteem
Shame and guilt

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