Extreme stress and traumatic experiences that occur when children are 4-8 can have long term emotional, physical and educational effects.
Research has established that young children may be affected by events that threaten their safety or the safety of their parents/caregivers. These traumas can be the result of intentional violence, natural disaster, accidents, or war. Young children also may experience traumatic stress in response to neglect, substance abuse and medical procedures or the loss of a parent/caregiver.
Startled easily or being difficult to calm
Clinginess, reluctance to explore the world
Activity levels that are much higher or lower than peers
Repeating traumatic events over and over in dramatic play or conversation
Delays in reaching physical, language, or other milestones
Complaints of physical illness
Trouble forming relationships with teachers
Negative thinking and talking
Impaired memory, especially working memory
Routine and structure (regular bedtime routine; getting ready for school routine; computer, television and play time limits etc.)
Prepare child for changes in routine before the change occurs
Relaxation (a calm quiet living environment or personal space; yoga; soothing bedtime stories dimmed lights, soft classical music or natural sounds)
Work with school to create a plan (discuss triggers, calming methods)
One-on-one time with a loving, caring adult
Playtime with peers and adults that includes exercise, taking turns, laughter, kind words, etc.
Talk with child about their feelings when they are calm
Give 20 second hugs
Reassure child that they are safe
Individual and family therapy/Support group
Encourage child to express feelings with judging those feelings
Consult with pediatrician and mental health provider regularly
Work with mental health care provider