Welcome to our website.
As more and more research is being done around the world, the effect of early trauma on brain development is being more clearly understood. From shortly after conception into the first three years of life Trauma can have disastrous effects on a child's brain development leading to lifelong problems. There are many outstanding organizations and professionals from all corners of the world working very hard to use that research to develop new ways to help those who are suffering. Sadly, it will take years for this information to become main stream. In the meantime children and families are painfully struggling to overcome issues that are not understood or are misunderstood by many.
It is very clear that you cannot talk, charm or punish a brain into healing. Nor can you talk out problems or issues if they occurred at a preverbal time in your life or at an unrecognizable point in development. Medications will only serve to mask symptoms, however masking them is currently the only way some children can function in a family dyad. For others the neurological damage is so severe that medications will remain necessary for their entire life.
The word trauma in children is associated deeply with abuse and neglect. That is sometimes the case however trauma can have many faces. Ambivalence towards pregnancy, the mother being in an abusive relationship or even too much stress can be a trigger. Difficult, complicated or premature birth, frequent colic or earaches, accidents (all types), young or inexperienced parenting, just to share a short list can all be linked to the trauma associated with attachment issues.
Sadly, living with an unattached child is living with someone who has no love or empathy for you or anyone. Many parents try to love enough for both but if a relationship isn't reciprocal, it isn't a good relationship. Many parents simply burn out, resulting in some of our strongest families being ripped apart. Many marriages end or teeter and siblings are forever changed in the wake left by a child of trauma.
These kids do not trust anyone to care for their best interest. They are actually terrified to trust anyone. These emotions are compounded by "the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence" type of thinking leaving the caregiver in a position of never being able to say or do enough to satisfy these kids. These issues were also once thought to be solely adoptive issues however as awareness rises we are seeing more and more of these kids from all areas of our society. The numbers are increasing rapidly.
Advocates for Children of Trauma is comprised of a group of dedicated veteran parents who together recognize the need for more trained professionals and more specific interventions. Above all we must have more specific community education and training in child trauma issues. Even though we have our own unique stories our overall journeys are all similar. One thing we know to be true is you cannot help these children individually without helping the families.
All families inherently use the parenting techniques passed down to them. Those techniques, no matter how nurturing, strict or structured, will leave families ill equipped to deal with a child of trauma. We must aid and support these families in learning new skills that will help heal their child. Without that, all therapy and interventions will be for naught.
There are many ways for families to adapt and overcome these issues. None are easy. The only thing that has to change in their life is everything. There are several non-coercive therapies and other tools, such as neurofeedback and EMDR that have helped many children. These therapies must coincide with the families learning new and specialized parenting tools and skills that fit the personalities of the entire family. There is no one size fits all answer to these issues.
What we as a community lack is education about these techniques and an acceptance to use them. That is what Advocates for Children of Trauma is all about.
We hope to help educate the community through our own efforts and by bringing those on the cutting edge here to educate us on these issues. We hope to teach others how to overcome the hopelessness felt by these families. We hope to help others heal.
We cannot change our stories but we feel we can help those behind us. We do not want others to carry the same reflections we carry.