If your child suffers from traumatic stress such as certain forms of PTSD, they might benefit from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy. With ABA therapy, our team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and assistants can tailor ABA therapies specifically for your child’s needs. This can help your child better cope in stressful environments. Learn more or to get started visit one of our ABA therapy centers in Colorado Springs today:
What Is Traumatic Stress?
Children dealing with trauma are likely to have learning issues, sub-par interpersonal skills, and may lack the ability to function to their full potential in normal environments. For many children, this type of stress interferes with their life and how they interact with the world around them. It hinders their ability to function and interact with others on a normal, positive level. Childhood traumatic stress is a very serious issue and without proper treatment, therapy, and caregivers addressing the situation, the effects can last into your child’s adult years. Untreated childhood trauma can also leave your child at risk for behavioral issues and substance abuse later in life.
In recent studies, 1 in 7 children have experienced childhood traumatic stress last year and two-thirds experience a serious traumatic event by age 16. The most important first step you can provide your child if you believe they are struggling with traumatic stress is support and a warm, loving environment. Traumatic stress falls on a wide spectrum for children.
Types of Traumatic Events
Traumatic stress in children can occur as a result of a wide range of shocking, dangerous, or violent events that may have decreased your child’s ability to cope with certain triggers or situations.
- Emotional neglect or abuse
- Physical abuse
- Witnessing violence in the home environment or outside community
- Sexual abuse or overexposure to inappropriate sexual acts
- Separaration from a parent or loved on
- A child left to fend on their own
- Stress caused by poor living conditions or poverty
- Lack of access to basic necessities such as food, water, or proper lighting
- Being kept indoors or in a refined space
- Health being compromised by a serious medical condition, often a suffen condition
- Growing up in an area undergoing war, a refugee situation, or terrorism
What Are the Signs of Traumatic Stress?
The signs of childhood traumatic stress vary widely based on your child’s personal experience, but generally include ongoing emotional issues, behavioral issues like depression or anxiety, academic difficulties, and physical symptoms related to diet and sleeping.
Some of the more specific signs your child is suffering from traumatic stress usually appear in groups related to their age.
Toddler and Preschool Age
- Crying and screaming for seemingly no reason, often at length
- Extreme fear of separation from parents or caregivers
- Restlessness and refusing to nap
- Poor eating habits or refusal to eat
- Nightmares or waking up screaming
Elementary School Age
- Consistent anxiety or fear
- Reliving the event(s) in thoughts, words, or during playtime
- Always onthe lookout for threats and startels easily
- Feeling guilt or shame, whether or not they express it verbally
- Difficulty concentrating even on enjoyable activities like playtime
- Difficulty sleeping and bed-wetting
- Acting withdrawn followed by outbursts
Middle School Age and Above
- Expressing themselves in unusual or inappropriate ways
- Aversion to social norms
- Anxiety or fear in everyday situation
- Signs of depression or self-isolations
- Self-harming behaviors like eating disorders, trying alcohol or drugs, or promiscuity
What Can ABA Therapy Help with Traumatic Stress and PTSD?
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy can help your child deal with the trauma they went through and manage emotions and actions related to that trauma. ABA therapy focuses on behavior and helps your child understand negative behavior related to traumatic stress and helps them learn positive behavior. These learned positive behaviors will help your child learn to cope with emotions and thrive in their environment.
The first step is to speak to an ABA-trained professional about issues your child is facing and specific incidents in their past that have led to traumatic stress. Next, they will meet with you and your child to perform an analysis. During this analysis, they will explore and note specific behaviors related to your child’s traumatic stress. Then, your ABA therapist will create a detailed plan built specifically for your child. This plan includes benchmarks for behavioral success that are then broken down into a series of small steps toward success. In conclusion, through ABA therapy sessions your child will receive positive reinforcements for achieving those steps with the goal of creating lasting new, positive behaviors they will use in everyday situations.
Get Started Today!
Get started with ABA therapy today: