Common Child Traumatic Stress Symptoms

Birth to age 2

  • Poor verbal skills
  • Scream or cry excessively
  • Startle easily
  • Fear adults who remind them of the traumatic event
  • Regressive behaviors
  • Excessive temper
  • Fear being separated from caregiver
  • Irritability, sadness, and anxiety
  • Poor appetite
  • Sleep Difficulties
  • Withdrawn

Ages 2-6

  • Difficulty focusing in school
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Imitate the traumatic event or abuse
  • Act out in social situations
  • Unable to trust or make friends
  • Blame themselves for the traumatic event
  • Lack self-confidence
  • Physical complaints such as headaches or stomach aches
  • Wet the bed
  • Regressive Behaviors

Ages 6- 11

  • Nightmares, sleep disruptions
  • Aggression and difficulty with peer relationships in school
  • Difficulty with concentration and task completion in school
  • Withdrawal and/or emotional numbing
  • School avoidance and/or truancy

Ages 12-18

  • Antisocial behavior
  • School failure
  • Impulsive and/or reckless behavior
  • School truancy
  • Substance abuse
  • Running away
  • Involvement in violent or abusive dating relationships
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawing from people or activities they once enjoyed