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research on early childhood trauma-notes

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Information on childhood trauma - A traumatic event is a distressing or frightening experience. These events can be experienced by the child themselves or can be events in which groups of people are involved in. -1 in 4 children will experience a traumatic event during their childhood, with many of these children experiencing more than one traumatic event, making them more vulnerable to stress reactions 2 types of trauma- - Simple trauma: discrete,
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  Information on childhood trauma -   A traumatic event is a distressing or frightening experience. These events can be experienced by the child themselves or can be events in which groups of people are involved in. -1 in 4 children will experience a traumatic event during their childhood, with many of these children experiencing more than one traumatic event, making them more vulnerable to stress reactions 2 types of trauma- - Simple trauma: discrete, one off traumatic event, such as flood or earthquake -Complex trauma: sustained through prolonged or repeated events, such as abuse or neglect- More serious and long last effects Possible causes of trauma- -   Accidental injury -   Serious illness -   Sexual or physical assault -   Death of parent or close family member/friend -   Natural disasters (such as earthquakes, bush firers) -   Other disasters such as terrorists attacks, wars, explosions and firers -   Refugee process -   Witness of domestic violence or sexual assault (on other family members) -   Neglect -   Cultural trauma- Stolen generation (Indigenous) Perception of traumatic events during childhood- -   Children see these events different to adults- children can be more concerned about losing their parents or being separated from their family, rather than thinking about how their life could have been lost or the others around them Differences in perceptions of threats table Parents/adults Children -   Threat to own or child’s life  -   Injury -   Loss of property -   Loss of business or livelihood -   Loss of pet -   Loss of community -   Separation from parents -   Injury to self -   Injury or loss of parent -   Loss of pet -   Loss of favourite possessions -   Disruptions to routines Children’s reactions to traumatic events - -   Different for every child- no way of knowing exactly how a child will react to different traumatic events -   Experiences and perceptions of threat may differ depending on the developmental stage or age, prior functioning and previous life events of the child -   How they express their reaction to these events, depends on how others around them express their reactions (adults such as parents or teachers)  -   Trauma reactions are often dynamic and can present differently at any point in time/change over time Different types of reactions of children- -   Posttraumatic growth- This is the stage where children only experience minimal distress and adults in the lives usually notice the child feeling more confident or notice other positive changes following trauma. -It is thought to develop (PTG) as one comes to grips with his or her new reality and works to understand what has happened and its implications for life going forward -Research suggests that the changes framed as PTG tend to cohere in several main domains: a greater sense of one’s personal strength  a different perspe ctive on one’s relationships  a changed philosophy of life, such as a greater appreciation for life and its new possibilities spiritual growth -   Children may express various small reactions post traumatic event, or one intense immediately after the event has occurred- but gradually return to their previous functioning over time (after therapy and getting back on their feet) -   Some children experience immediate traumatic stress reactions and can last over a long period of time. Stress reaction may become worse over time or develop into behaviours of concern and emotional problems -   Some children appear resilient post traumatic event, but display stress reactions later on and over time -   Childhood traumatic grief- Loss of loved one How do children’s reactions cha nge overtime? -   Most children will recover over time, however, some children experience significant ongoing difficulties -   If difficulties are left untreated- Can lead to a chronic or unremitting course and can have an significant adverse impact on social, emotional, behavioural and physical development -   Symptoms can be present 1 to 2 years later or can appear/re-appear 6-12 months after disaster -   Some everyday events may trigger emotional or behavioural reactions -   Develop Post-traumatic stress disorder or other anxiety disorders such as separation anxiety, panic attacks and depression -   Increased sensitivity to bullying  Symptoms over time- Immediate Intermediate Long-term -   Fear -   Agitation -   Nightmares -   Difficulty sleeping -   Clinginess -   Crying or distress -   Difficulty concentrating on tasks -   Sleep problems -   Tiredness -   Decrease/loss of social skills -   Depression -   Poor school performance -   Poor academic outcomes -   Alcohol and drug related problems and increased risk taking -   Problems with the law -   Interpersonal difficulties Signs to look out for/types of reactions following trauma in childhood-  Babies/toddlers- - Hypervigilance- on guard, watchful or tense, even when in comfortable and familiar settings -Separation anxiety of clinginess- baby cries every time being put down and away from mum/dad- There is a clingy period from 6-12 months but when a baby is clingy from a much earlier age and separation anxiety persists in toddlerhood= Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) -Emotional distress when reminded of initial trauma- remember preverbal trauma as visuals images, sounds, smells, physical sensations and emotions. -Fear or avoidance of places that remind them of the event- can sometimes refer to the place as ‘the scary place’ - babies and toddlers are very smart- can remember and do not want to be reminded of it -Trouble sleeping/nightmares-terrified to be left alone in a room or trouble falling asleep with fear. When they begin talking, they are convinced that monsters live under their bed -Repetitive play- play that continues to re-emerge over many months or even years. Play that repeats a scenario similar to the traumatic event Examples- A child who was in a car accident playing car crash over and over. A child who was in tornado playing “hide in the basement” more than seems heal thy. A child adopted from an orphanage constantly tying a doll to the bed. -Development is delayed- delayed speech, delayed cognitive development in learning -Personality traits- No smiling and hard to make laugh. Talks to self during play  General list for Junior Primary school aged children- -   Crying, feeling down/upset -   Asking lots of questions about what is happening and what is going to happen in the future -   Or not wanting to talk at all (becomes anxious when needing to talk, not only just about the traumatic event) -   Bad dreams or nightmares -   Wanting to protect and nurture other children (help others) -   Becomes more clingy and constant fear of being alone/always wanting to be by an adults side -   Troubles sleeping/waking up from sleep- looking tired at school and lack of participation in school work due to always being tired -   Physical reactions- fast heartbeat, upset stomach, headaches)- always complaining that they are not feeling well -   Lose control of temper and feeling grumpy towards others -   Trouble concentrating on work or activities- seems disengaged and can even appear to look withdrawn at times -   Difficulty with school work- cognitive ability not reaching full potential and not progressing in school. Needs a lot more extra help from teachers -   Difficulty socially interacting with other children and adults -   Drawing, playing and re-enacting parts of trauma events/situations- How they can also express how they are feeling through these sorts of activities -   Feeling shocked a lot of the time Development and the brain for early childhood and the effects on the brain due to trauma- Children ages 0-6- -   From infancy children learn to develop a sense of trust in their parents, which aids in helping children explore the world around them and master their environment. -   Pre-schoolers are particularly vulnerable following a traumatic event in their life- They are more likely to develop false assumptions on the actual cause of the event -Example-  “The fire started because I was bad”  -   Pre-schoolers also are more likely to overexaggerate the context of the situation -Example- “the house caught fire, therefore there are no houses left ever”  -   Pre-schoolers- have difficulty understanding that loss is a permanent thing and cannot quite come to terms with this -   *Circle of security*- R elationships are not secure and child’s needs are not meet by parent= Development and trust in others to help with development is lost.
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