Developmental Delays and Trauma

Developmental delays is when your child does not reach their developmental milestones at the projected times. It is an ongoing major or minor delay in the course of development. Developmental delays can have many different causes. There are many types of Developmental delays in children; they include problems with language or speech, vision, movement (motor skills), social, emotional and cognitive skills (van der Kolk, 1995). Developmental delays are easily distinguished if you pay close attention to the development and milestone periods contained by children; for example if you notice a child having a low attention span, they can’t stay still, they’re highly active and energetic all the time, that’s perhaps due to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD. There are so many different things that can cause developmental delays and children aren’t always born with developmental delays. Although, developmental delays can be genetic or born with, there are times when trauma at different ages can cause developmental delays such as a child being abused and suffering brain trauma, concussion, which could cause memory lost. Or there could be an accident and a child or adult undergo serious injuries to the spine, eyes, etc.

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Spinal injuries can be of damage to you motor skills. Spinal injuries or brain injuries if serious can lead to you basically having to start over as if you were a baby learning to walk, read, jump, or talk. The Shaken baby syndrome also can be a trauma that can cause brain injuries. There are numerous of things that have major components to play in developmental delays. Trauma definitely plays a one of those major parts in developmental delays. There are a number of Trauma’s that can cause development delays. It doesn’t always have to be abuse or accidents. Trauma can be caused by divorce, neglect, bullying, sports injuries, or even bad relationship breaks up. These types of trauma are called psychological trauma. Psychological traumas effects are mostly emotional and it isn’t always permanent. Psychological trauma causes anger, irritability; mood swings, guilt, hopeless, anxiety, withdrawing, and disconnected to name a few. For divorce, Feldman says (2011) children and adults may experience depression, and disturbances and phobias and these things last from 6 months up until 2 years. Feldman states children whose parents are divorcing blames themselves for the breakup.

He also states, evidence shows that twice as many children of divorced parents enter psychological counseling (Feldman, 2011). Children under the age 18 suffer 40% more anxiety as a result of divorce (van der Kolk, 1995). About 10-15 percent of students are bullied one time or the other (Feldman, 2011) and almost 85% of girls and 80% of boys are being bullied (Feldman, 2011). Those who are bullied lack social skills, cry easy (Feldman, 2011), and they experience depression, stress, anger, etc. Prayer and meditation help brain activity. Mediation to the mind is like an aerobic exercise to the body. Studies have also shown that meditation promotes mindfulness, decreased stress, insomnia, illnesses, depression, anxiety and panic. Spiritual connection brings comfort and healing to trauma. Researchers are learning the parts of the brain that are responsible for the spiritual thoughts, prayer and meditation. In one of our presentations his week, Dr. Jeanne Brooks stated that we have a spiritual part in our brain (2014). There are good and bad parts to everyone, I believe the good part is the spiritual part in everyone. For example, we’ve all seen cartoons in which there was a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. The shoulder with the angel is the part of us, the part of our brain or conscious that’s spiritual.

Brooks, Jeanne Dr. “Divorce and Stress” video presentation. LUO (2014) Feldman, R.S. (2014). Development across the Life Span (7th edition) Namka,, L. (2001). Children who are traumatized by bullying. alk, Trust and Feel Therapeutics., p. 18. Van Der Kolk, an der Kolk, B. (1995). developmental trauma disorder : Towards a rational diagnosis for children with complex trauma histories.

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