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Old 11-19-2013, 12:44 PM
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hgonzalez hgonzalez is offline
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Default PTSD In Young Children

Have any of you ever had a child in your care that was showing signs of PTSD?

I have a child here that witnessed a violent crime against a family member and he is suddenly acting out strange ways.

He cannot handle any kind of redirection; he gets belligerent and talks back to me and refuses to cooperate. He also is very anxious, nervous and his hands never stop moving picks at everything. He fondles himself frequently throughout the day.

He is 4.5, has been here since June and in the past month has mentioned the violent person, but never had before. The Mom is a great Mom, but very young and newly moved in with a new boyfriend, who is also great.

I feel so bad for him and think I need to talk to the Mom, but wonder if it is signs of PTSD? Please advise if you have had experience with this.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:59 PM
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Leanna Leanna is offline
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When I worked in a center we had a child who had witnessed the murder of his own mother. He was an extremely smart child and at heart I think he was a sweetheart. BUT his behavior was completely unmanageable. He never stopped moving, couldn't sit still for any length of time, hit, bit, spit, didn't/couldn't follow any directions, was extremely impulsive, and just couldn't cope in a classroom setting at all. I don't know if it was PTSD but I am sure it stemmed from his trauma
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:06 PM
Willow Willow is offline
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I'd be more concerned something was up in regards to the new boyfriend in the picture over past trauma.....

Is it possible? Of course. But children that age tend to live more in the moment than not and unless the sudden behavioral changes corresponded with the witnessed violence I would not assume those two events are related.

I'd pick moms brain about this new guy and what the dynamic has been like at home lately.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:34 PM
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permanentvacation permanentvacation is offline
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With you saying he has been with you for a while but has recently changed his behavior, just recently brought up the violent person of the past, and recently the mom moved in with the new boyfriend, I think it has more to do with something recently that has made him change his behavior such as moving in with the boyfriend.

If the violent person was a man - especially if it was a man living in the house with him/his mom, then by moving in with a man (the new boyfriend), that could make the boy nervous that the new man in the house will do the same thing that the old (violent) man of the house did.

Or, even if the violent did not live with him, but if the violence occurred in a home while he witnessed it, he could simply be afraid of being in a home (the same environment of the violent crime) with any adult other than the ones he already feels completely safe with.

For example, if it was a random bad man during a home invasion hurting someone in a living room, simply seeing a man in a living room might scare the mess out of him. If it was a male family member of his household, having any man in his house, especially a man that is becoming a part of the household might scare him.

I would definitely speak with the mother about what you are noticing and would make sure to let her know when you started noticing the changes in him. I would also begin keeping dated written record of any changes in behavior in him, anything out of the ordinary or concerning that he says, and the changes that you are being told about at his house. If the mother ever does decide to take him to therapy, the therapist could use the information that you record to help him.

I would think and hope that he is in therapy already after witnessing a violent crime.
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:08 AM
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momofsix momofsix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hgonzalez View Post
Have any of you ever had a child in your care that was showing signs of PTSD?

I have a child here that witnessed a violent crime against a family member and he is suddenly acting out strange ways.

He cannot handle any kind of redirection; he gets belligerent and talks back to me and refuses to cooperate. He also is very anxious, nervous and his hands never stop moving picks at everything. He fondles himself frequently throughout the day.

He is 4.5, has been here since June and in the past month has mentioned the violent person, but never had before. The Mom is a great Mom, but very young and newly moved in with a new boyfriend, who is also great.

I feel so bad for him and think I need to talk to the Mom, but wonder if it is signs of PTSD? Please advise if you have had experience with this.
Our adopted daughter was diagnosed with PTSD. The symptoms can vary greatly from person to person though. Even though I lived with it I wouldn't be comfortable trying to diagnose someone else. This little guy definitely has something going on though

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willow View Post
I'd be more concerned something was up in regards to the new boyfriend in the picture over past trauma.....

Is it possible? Of course. But children that age tend to live more in the moment than not and unless the sudden behavioral changes corresponded with the witnessed violence I would not assume those two events are related.

I'd pick moms brain about this new guy and what the dynamic has been like at home lately.
This is exactly what I was thinking. I don't care how "nice" a guy seems-single moms need to know that the most dangerous person for their children to be around is their new boyfriend. No, I don't have statistics to prove it just news story after news story over and over and over again.
Even if this guy isn't doing anything-it seems his moving in has affected the little boy for the worse and not the better.
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