It is not uncommon for kids with disabilities and/or for special needs parents to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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Join Erin and I as we interview author and speaker Jolene Philo about PTSD. In this episode we discuss what PTSD is, PTSD in children, and PTSD in parents. it is an episode you do not want to miss!

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Notes form the show:

Before talking about PTSD we need to talk about trauma. Trauma is anything that overwhelms us physically, mentally, or emotionally.

We all experience trauma and we can think back to a situation where we experienced trauma, however, not all trauma develops into PTSD. It is the difference between a cut and an infection.

Trauma can get stuck in the brain and you cannot process it, it can then become PTSD.

A parent’s reaction can increase the trauma reaction in children. it is important for caretakers to remain calm to offer reassurance to children.

Trauma changes the size of different parts of the brain and changes how the brain reacts.

There is a lot out there for children, but we are not doing enough to help the parents, too. If a situation is traumatic for a child, chances are it was traumatic for the parents to a certain degree. Parents often have little to no support.

It would be great if we had professionals trained to look for signs in the parents, and not just the children.

Risk factors for PTSD:

Age: The younger the child the bigger the trauma as they have no words to process what happened.

Multiple traumas: Repeated medical issues or unexpected medical issues.

Children have no words to their feelings when they are young, they can only access those memories in a non verbal way, this is why it is so important to find a professional who is trained to help a child find those non verbal memories.

As parents we carry tremendous stress as we fight and fight and fight for our kids. We need help too.

What to do about PTSD:

If we treated trauma as soon as it happened, we could diminish the number of people who develop PTSD.

We need to be proactive, not reactive.

For a kid who is facing medical intervention, prepare them ahead of time.

Talk as much as the child need to talk in order to process their feelings.

Parents and kids alike need to make it a priority to get help. It should be taken seriously as PTSD affects everyone in the family, but it also affects all interactions and the way we react to life’s circumstances.

PTSD in parents, what to look for: Where do I have out of control responses to the event that is happening (even if it is a stressful event).

Jolene’s books:

A Different Dream for My Child: Meditations for Parents of Critically or Chronically Ill Children (affiliate link)

A Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide for Raising a Child with Special Needs (affiliate link)

The Caregiver’s Notebook: An Organizational Tool and Support to Help You care for Others (affiliate link)

Every Child Welcome: A Ministry Handbook for Including Kids with Special Needs (affiliate link)

Does My Child Have PTSD? What to do When Your Child is Hurting from the Inside Out (affiliate link)

Jolene’s blog: Different Dream Living

Jolene’s Facebook page: A Different Dream for My Child

The “PTSD In Children Primer” is no longer available for free, you can purchase it through Amazon for only $2.99

PTSD in Children Primer: What It Is, What Causes It, What’s It Look Like, and What to Do About It (<– this link is an affiliate link, it means I get small commission if you purchase through this link at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting the blog)

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