Every child has difficulty concentrating or gets angry sometimes. The following symptoms might indicate the child has experienced a traumatic event if they are excessive or interfere with the child’s or family’s lives.

  • Unusually high level of anger/excessive temper
  • Aggression towards family and others
  • Verbal abuse towards others
  • Overly bossy or controlling
  • School problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Stomachaches, headaches and other physical complaints
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Fear of being separated from caregiver
  • Acting out in social situations
  • Imitating the traumatic event
  • Fear of adults who remind them of the trauma
  • Eating problems such as loss of appetite, low weight or digestion issues
  • Nightmares
  • Sleeplessness
  • Irritability
  • Inability to trust others or make friends
  • Lack of self confidence
  • Loneliness
  • Confusion
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Clinginess
  • Sexual knowledge beyond the child’s age
  • Overreaction to situations
  • Re-creation of the traumatic event during play
  • Hoarding of food


More about symptoms:

Birth to Age 2

3 to 5 (preschool)

13-18 (middle and high school)