How Trauma Affects Child Brain Development
A key fact that professionals working with children know is that there are critical developmental times when neural pathways are being formed that can be significantly altered by traumatic events (Perry, 1995, 2009).

Exposure to chronic, prolonged traumatic experiences has the potential to alter children’s brains, which may cause longer-term effects in areas such as:

Attachment: Trouble with relationships, boundaries, empathy, and social isolation

Physical Health: Impaired sensorimotor development, coordination problems, increased medical problems, and somatic symptoms

Emotional Regulation: Difficulty identifying or labeling feelings and communicating needs

Dissociation: Altered states of consciousness, amnesia, impaired memory

Cognitive Ability: Problems with focus, learning, processing new information, language development, planning and orientation to time and space

Self-Concept: Lack of consistent sense of self, body image issues, low self-esteem,shame and guilt

Behavioral Control: Difficulty controlling impulses, oppositional behavior, aggression, disrupted sleep and eating patterns, trauma re-enactment

Source: Cook, et al, 2005

Mental Health

treatment

is a

vital part of a

child’s healing.

Addressing Trauma

reduces harm and the

risk of further abuse

Therapy aims to

support a child

to work

through hard, confusing

and painful feelings in a

safe environment.

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