PTSD for kindergarten kids

Pediatrics also included a short description of work done in the field on treatments for children age 4-7. Nothing earth shaking, but a reminder of who else gets scared in theater, wherever that occurs.

Adler Center for Research in Child Development and Psychopathology, Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel
OBJECTIVE. The goal was to assess stress reactions in young children during and after war and the effects of a new brief intervention.

METHODS. Two separate studies were conducted. In study I, we assessed war exposure and stress reactions of 74 children (2–7 years of age) in a sheltered camp during the second Israel-Lebanon war (July to August 2006). Their exposure to war experiences and their stress reactions were assessed through parental reports during the last week of the war. In addition to standard care, 35 children received a brief intervention (Huggy-Puppy intervention) aimed at encouraging them to care for a needy Huggy-Puppy doll that was given to them as a gift. The effects of the Huggy-Puppy intervention were assessed in a follow-up interview 3 weeks after the war. Study II assessed the efficacy of group administration of the Huggy-Puppy intervention to 191 young children, compared with 101 control subjects. The effects of the intervention on stress-related symptoms after the war were assessed in telephone interviews with the parents.
RESULTS. Study I indicated that, during the war, most children had significant exposure to war-related experiences and had severe stress reactions. The Huggy-Puppy intervention was associated with significant reductions in stress reactions in the postwar assessment. A higher level of attachment and involvement with the doll was associated with better outcomes. The results of study II indicated that group administration of the Huggy-Puppy intervention was associated with significant reductions in stress reactions.

Childhood stress and trauma affect kids, and often how it is handled at the time or shortly after is important. Like any trauma, how often it happens, how catastrophic and sometimes life threatening the event appears to be or how intense the reaction is, how it is framed by surrounding trusted adults plays a role in impact on a child. Perhaps playing games like can reduce that stress.

This is anecdotal and in theater triage, but I think it gives the adults as much structure and focus to help kids and selves as it is the kids responding to the focus and human messages involved. Perspective, feeling protected and protecting, and having someone or thing to take care of is important.

Children who have ptsd can lose their normally easy to find sense of safety and intimacy, and are hyper-sensitive to perceived threat. When they grow up is another story needs telling.