In previous posts, the reader has become familiar with how trauma affects the brain and the body functioning of the victim at all ages.  If one looks at the symptoms, as presented in sites dedicated to educating the general public about trauma, these are some developmental distinctions that are made in language that is easy to understand.

Thus, for example in preschool age children we may see:

  • Bed-wetting
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Acting younger than their age
  • Trouble separating from their parents
  • Temper tam-trums
  • Aggressive behavior, like hitting, kicking, throwing things or biting
  • Not playing with other kids their age
  • Repetitive playing out of events related to trauma exposure

In elementary school age children we may see these:

  • Changes in their behavior such as aggression, anger, irritability, withdrawal from others and sadness
  • Trouble at school
  • Trouble with peers
  • Fear of separation from parents
  • Fear of something bad happening

While middle school and high-school age youngsters may experience these:

  • A sense of responsibility or guilt for the bad things that have happened
  • Feelings of shame or embarrasement
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Changes in how they think about the world
  • Loss of faith
  • Problems in relationships, including peers, family and teachers
  • Conduct problems

These give us information that is easy to communicate to parents or others involved with the child.