Children under the age of four account for 25% of all victims of proven child maltreatment, which includes physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, and physical or emotional neglect.
In addition to being more prone to be abused, young children are also significantly more sensitive to harm caused by maltreatment throughout the first three years of life.
A child's brain creates more connections and learns more than any other time in life.
We'll go over this in more detail later, but for now, it's crucial to understand that the brain grows and changes fast throughout early infancy, and it does so dependent on the sorts of experiences that children encounter.
For better or worse, assessing trauma in early infancy may be difficult. The younger the kid is when they encounter a traumatic incident, the less likely they are to convey the experience vocally.
Parents may also not always aware that their kid has undergone a traumatic incident, or they may fail to recognize a specific occurrence as traumatic for the child.
Trauma symptoms might include developmental regression, or the loss of previously gained developmental abilities.
Potty training is a classic example of this, but somatic problems such as headaches and stomach pains, as well as frequent nightmares, are also prevalent. Withdrawal from social situations, difficulties focusing, and increased irritation.
Even when discussing the formal diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, the concept remains rather vague.
A child's conduct must be highly disordered or agitated in order for them to match the criterion.
It may be difficult to evaluate whether symptoms can be correctly assigned to trauma or not. Trauma-related behaviors are often neglected or misattributed to something else, which means they cannot be adequately addressed.
Trauma symptoms in children sometimes mimic ADHD symptoms, resulting in an inaccurate diagnosis and therapy that just targets the symptoms without addressing the underlying cause.