No one knows your child better than you do

You know when they’re happy. You know when they’re sad. You know when they’re struggling. And, when you’re paying attention, you instinctively know when they are simply not themselves.  
Traumatized children tend to show signs that they are feeling fearful and vulnerable.  Some common behaviors that may signal trauma for older children include:
Behavioral Signs of Trauma
  • Appetite changes
  • Clinginess
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty paying attention or  concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Increased aggression
  • Problems interacting with other children
  • Problems at school
  • Regressive behaviors (acting like they did when they were younger)
  • Stomachaches
  • Temper tantrums
Emotional Signs of Trauma  
  • Anger or irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional numbness
  • Extreme emotional distress
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Nightmares
  • Sadness
  • Withdrawal or avoiding engagement with others
The problem is that perfectly healthy children demonstrate most of these behaviors at some time or the other, especially adolescents. That’s why you need to Look Through Their Eyes. It’s not the behavior itself that you’re looking for – you want to notice any changes from the child’s everyday “normal.” If changed behaviors continue over a couple of months, even after you’ve talked to your child, you may be dealing with trauma.
Trauma occurs in children as early as infancy. Babies do not have words to tell you how they feel or that something is wrong. Instead, you might see symptoms ranging from changes in eating or sleeping habits or excessive crying to persistent health problems.  It’s easy to confuse these reactions with the baby’s basic needs if you don’t Look Through Their Eyes and Listen With Your Heart.


This guide lists typical milestones of development by age as a way to assess a child's development against common benchmarks. It was created to assist adults in recognizing if a child's development is not typical and therefore encouraging them to consider whether or not trauma has played a role in the childs life.

A Quick Way to Identify A Problem

Need a quick way to identify whether your child might be experiencing a trauma? Just remember the word “SCARED” and the six types of behaviors you should keep an eye out for:  
- Sudden changes in sleep habits
C - Crying
A - Afraid of things not feared before
R - Refuses activities s/he once enjoyed
E - Easily startled
D - Displays disruptive, violent, bullying or aggressive behaviors

Symptoms of Trauma

Learn more about the types of symptoms that occur at different ages:

Birth to 2

  • Unusual clinginess
  • Agitation
  • Unusually high levels of anger
  • Tantrums that don’t stop within a few minutes
  • Easily startled
  • Terrified responses to sights, sounds, etc. that remind the child of what happened
  • Aggressive behavior

Learn more


Ages 3-5

  • Difficulty focusing or learning
  • Acting out in social situations
  • Stomach aches and headaches
  • Unusual clinginess
  • Bedwetting
  • Disruptive
  • High level of anger or excessive temper

Learn more


Ages 6-12

  • Sleeplessness and/or nightmares
  • Irritability
  • School problems
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Recreating the traumatic event during play
  • Eating problems like loss of appetite
  • Confusion

Learn more


Ages 13-18

  • Self harm
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Hostility
  • Over controlling
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Fighting
  • Aggression towards family and others
  • Mistrustful
  • Loneliness

Learn more