Signs your child is experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

By Kimberly Jackson-Luzader, MEd, LPC

Has your child experienced a traumatic event such as: sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and/or traumatic grief? If Yes, does your child exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • Re-experiencing: re-living the traumatic event over and over through flashbacks and/or nightmares
  • Acts as though the traumatic event is occurring again
  • Acts out traumatic events through play
  • Increased arousal: child startles easily, is on edge, overly alert to surroundings (hyper-vigilant), or difficulty calming
  • Avoidance: child avoids people, places, or objects that remind them of the traumatic experience
  • In some children you may also notice the following symptoms:
  • Increased emotional symptoms (crying, whining, irritability, anger outbursts, anxiety, depressed mood, isolation, etc).
  • More clingy to parent or caregiver
  • Bed-wetting after successful potty training or regression in developmental milestones (walking, talking, toilet training, etc).
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Behavior challenges, such as, acting out or defiance

Resources and Facts for Families about PTSD:

Facts for Families: PTSD

National Center for PTSD: Children and Adolescents

What is PTSD?

In order for your child to be properly diagnosed and treated you should request evaluation from a therapist with experience treating PTSD in children. For more information about diagnosis and treatment, please contact Kimberly Jackson-Luzader.