Published: October 18, 2016
In children, signs of trauma are often misdiagnosed as behavioral disorders or never diagnosed at all. It’s an epidemic that is more common than you may think. During 2012, at least 678,810 children were victims of maltreatment.
Yet unfortunately, trauma manifests in different forms, not only by children experiencing it personally, but also by witnessing it. Witnessing violence inflicted on a friend or a loved one can have a traumatic effect that causes children to be frightened by loud noises, sudden movements, or relive their trauma in the form of nightmares. They may also remain secluded, choosing not to make friends or show affection to others.
Educators must be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together to intervene and detect symptoms early enough for proper treatment. Without context, some may confuse signs of childhood trauma with behavioral disorders such as ADHD. Hyper-vigilance and disassociation can be mistaken for inattention and hyperactivity, classic signs of ADHD.
According to some studies, nearly 1,000,000 children are diagnosed with ADHD in a year and without proper training, childhood trauma can remain misdiagnosed for decades.
At Pacific Oaks College, we’re passionate about helping children and families heal the wounds childhood trauma can create—read below and share with your networks to help spread awareness about this issue. And if you’re a professional working in the early childhood education industry and would like additional training, or would just like to learn more about any of our Trauma Studies Specialization programs, visit our website for more information.