5 Signs A Young Person Is Suffering From Trauma

When it's needed, trauma treatment for youth should start as soon as possible. However, you need to be able to tell if trauma treatment for kids is appropriate. While you should only rely on a professional for a diagnosis, there are several things parents, teachers, other concerned parties can look for as signs of trauma in a minor.

Difficulty Self-Regulating 

This can be a challenging issue to catch in kids or even teens because people often dismiss a lack of self-regulation as just part of being young. You should have a baseline for a kid's behavior based on long-term experience dealing with them. If a young person regularly struggles to stop crying for long periods after years of good emotional control, for example, that might be a sign they've suffered undiagnosed trauma.

Ideating Negative Actions

People process trauma through a number of means, and not all of them are directly tied to the events that traumatized the person. This is especially true when it comes to kids. They may express interest in or even act on hostile or negative feelings as a way of processing what happened. If a kid seems to repeatedly go back to this emotional well, you may want to consider enrolling them in a trauma treatment program for youth.


Some kids will take a less aggressive tack. They may become dismissive in the face of opportunities. Even the smallest attempt to include them in fun with others could meet with dismissal. They may not always be derisive, though. Instead, it may be as simple as a child regularly declining to participate in family meals.

Sleeping Issues

Notably, this can go either direction. Some kids will sleep more, but others will struggle to sleep at all. By the time someone's a toddler, you should have a decent idea of what their sleep rhythm is. While that may change in their tween and teen years, it shouldn't suddenly and radically change. These may be manifestations of depression or anxiety, and those are worth discussing with a professional from a trauma treatment program for kids.

Declining or Changing Social Patterns

When young people have been through trauma, they often withdraw socially or change their social patterns. This could be generalized avoidance, or they may be steering clear of people or situations that traumatized them. If your kid stops socializing altogether or markedly changes their social group, you may want to meet with a treatment professional.