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Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Effects of Trauma In Early Childhood

“Infants, toddlers and preschoolers are a high risk group for exposure to trauma. Young children are also vulnerable to experiencing adverse outcomes as they are undergoing a rapid developmental period, have limited coping skills and are strongly dependent on their primary caregiver to protect them physically and emotionally” (De Young, Kenardy, & Cobham, 2011). There are so many things that can cause children problems in early childhood. Some of these things include, but are not limited to, stress, trauma, health issues, and poverty. I will focus on only two of these, that is, trauma and health issues. These two things can present huge problems for students and, if they are not resilient, can cause them lasting issues into adulthood. Trauma can be caused by many things from child abuse, witnessing child abuse, parents who have PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), and even child trafficking, just to name a few. “Clinicians and researchers have confirmed that children can experience the full range of traumatic stress reactions seen in adults, and many youth meet criteria for DSM-IV diagnoses of either acute stress disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)” (Garro, Brandwein, & Rittenhouse, 2011). These types of trauma come from things that have happened to the parents, but what about the things that happen to the children? What happens when the ones who are supposed to protect the children are the abusers? According to Mr. Moreno, “violence against young children is often hidden from view when it takes place in the home and the family” (Moreno, 2011). How do we decipher whether a child is being abused? Students must feel comfortable enough with educators to confide in them when something is wrong in their lives. We often have to be the pillars these children need to survive. It is not easy to confess that mommy or daddy is hurting them. In a discussion with other colleagues it was difficult to speak of students who may have been abused by their parents. Students must have the utmost trust in you as an educator to entrust those truths to you. I did learn that as an educator you must report any information received about abuse. Also, if someone approaches you at church and reveal to you that there is something going on in the home and you do not report it, you can be charged, especially if the child reports that he/she revealed this information to you. We must be very careful to always make the child the most important factor. This is an excerpt from a The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, " Children may blame themselves or their parents for not preventing a frightening event or for not being able to change its outcome" (, 2014) . De Young, A. C., Kenardy, J. A., & Cobham, V. E. (2011). Trauma in Early Childhood: A Neglected Population. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 14(3), 231-250. Garro, A., Brandwein, D., Calafiore, T., & Rittenhouse, N. (2011). Understanding and Addressing Early Childhood Trauma Communique, 40(3), 1.