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PTSD In Childhood ~ There Is Hope And Help

The US Dept. of Health and Human Services shares that child trauma occurs when children are exposed to events or situations that overwhelm their ability to cope with what they have experienced. A traumatic experience may be a single event, a series of events, or a chronic condition. Living with a stressed brain can cause anxiety and depression, in addition to PTSD.

A stressed brain is a dysregulated brain.  Hope and help is possible.

Researchers have found that stress is a biological mechanism. Traumatic experiences do not simply happen to children, they happen inside their brains and bodies. Stress causes the body to release cortisol. Prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol—known as toxic stress—impacts the brain’s capacity and ability to learn. Thus, students who are victims of trauma are at increased risk for academic failure and often under-perform or struggle in the classroom.

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What experiences might be traumatic?

  • Family or community violence
  • Bullying
  • Substance use disorder (personal or familial)
  • Sudden or violent loss of a loved one
  • Discrimination, prejudice or racism
  • Serious accidents or life threatening illness
  • Physical, sexual, psychological abuse or neglect
  • Natural disasters
  • Terrorism, mass violence, school shootings
  • Military family related stressors
  • Refugee and war experience
  • Traumatic separation  (divorce, immigration journey, incarceration of family member)

Most school specialists know these types of events as Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACES. Children who suffer from one or more adverse event develop reactions in their brains and bodies that persist and affect their daily lives long after the events.

Traumatic reactions can include depressive symptoms or anxiety, behavioral changes, anger, regression or loss of previously acquired skills, attention and academic difficulties, nightmares, difficulty sleeping and eating, withdrawing from people, and physical symptoms like aches and pains,

Cute little african american girl looking at camera


Over the last decade, more and more research has been done supporting NEUROFEEDBACK and NEUROMODULATION therapies to support brain healing from trauma in all ages.  It is evidence based, FDA approved, non invasive and medication free.

By performing a QEEG (Brain Mapping), we are able to get over 200 pages of scans, data and analysis to see patterns of dysregulation.  With Neurofeedback we are able to “ReTrain” a dysregulated brain to a more natural state to help overcome challenging symptoms without medication.  “Brain Training” creates new permanent patterns, and many people are even able to decrease or eliminate medications. It is very relaxing to sit in a chair wearing a cap with sensors that work with software to track brain waves and engage the brain during customized exercises.  Kids love to fly a plane or bird with their brain!

The National Institute of Health also recommends other anxiety management therapies such as BIOFEEDBACK which include relaxation training, breathing retraining and anger management.

The Mayo Clinic website teaches that Biofeedback is a type of mind-body technique you use to control some of your body’s functions, such as your heart rate, breathing patterns and muscle responses. During biofeedback, you’re connected to electrical pads that help you get information about your body.

When you have pain or are under stress, your body changes. Your heart rate may increase, you may breathe faster, and your muscles tighten. Biofeedback helps you make slight changes in your body, such as relaxing muscles, to help relieve pain or reduce tension. You may be able to decrease your heart rate and breathing, which can make you feel better.

NEUROFEEDBACK and BIOFEEDBACK are done in our clinic.

We also have some devices that can be used at any time and anywhere called AVE (Audio Visual Entrainment) that use light and sound to gently guide the brain into wave patterns needed to help calm an anxious or depressed mind or to help with sleep.  These are simple to use, portable and available for rent or purchase.

As a Center For Excellence, we are passionate about helping you to take care of your most precious organ so that you and/or your child can live fully.

Click here to schedule a free online consultation with one of our providers to determine if this may be a good fit for you or your family member.  It can be the start to a better future.

If you are a school specialist and would like to talk about how your Special Education or Counseling team can get AVE devices to use in school to help with mood, attention or focus, please contact me.  We can share how other schools are using them with great success.

Heidi Nauman
Practice Manager
888-783-2242  Ext. 4
[email protected]

Girl using audio visual entrainment