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Children’s responses to trauma vary according to the age of the child. Generally, children respond by reverting to behavior typical of an earlier developmental stage. These responses are considered NORMAL if they are of brief (less than three weeks) duration. If any of these symptoms continue, there are professionals available to help you with your questions.

  • Increased somatic complaints (e.g., headaches, stomachaches, aches and pains)
  • Changes in sleep, nightmares
  • Changes in appetite, weight loss
  • Marked changes in school performance; absenteeism
  • Lack of interest in usual activities (e.g., after-school activities, time with friends)
  • Poor concentration, sleepiness, inattentiveness
  • Increase in hyperactivity
  • Irritability with friends, teachers, events
  • Anger outbursts and/or aggression
  • Reckless or risk-taking behavior
  • Neglects about dress and appearance or health
  • Persistent sadness or depression
  • Withdrawal
For Younger Children: Ages 1 – 6
  • Bedwetting
  • Crying
  • Immobility
  • Excessive clinging
  • Thumb sucking
  • Fear of darkness
  • Inattentiveness
  • Fear of being left alone
  • Nightmares
  • Inability to sleep without a light or someone else
  • Awakening during night
  • Confusion
AGES 7-11
  • Refusal to go to school
  • Bedwetting
  • Nightmares
  • Change in sleep patterns
    •     unwilling to fall asleep
    •     need for night light
    •     fear of sleeping alone
    •     fear of darkness
  • Irritability
  • Disobedience
  • Loss of concentration
  • Fighting
AGES 12 -18
  • Running away
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Stealing
  • Sleeplessness
  • School problems
  • Confusion
  • Use of drugs
  • Use of alcohol
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Aggressiveness
  • Irritability
  • Inattentiveness