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Children’s Behavioral Responses to Trauma
If you find that your child demonstrates some of the responses below, and continues to be unable to move past the trauma within a month or so, a referral to a mental health professional is recommended to help your child work through the traumatic event.
5 years and younger
- Feelings of helplessness and passivity.
- Regressive symptoms occur.
- Denial of disturbing event.
- Re-enactment through art and play with traumatic themes.
6 years through 11 years
- Clear thinking is reduced.
- Fantasy plans of action increase.
- Phobic responses.
- Personality changes.
- Obsessive re-enactment of the event.
12 years through 17 years
- Detachment, shame, guilt.
- Post-traumatic acting out behavior.
- Life-attitude changes (loss of interest).
- Behaving as an adult who can take care of themselves without adult help (pseudo maturity).