Pediatric therapists treat children with trauma histories and trauma disorders…all the time!
Our NICU grads, kids with chronic medical conditions, and abuse survivors. They all can have trauma histories that make their treatment in OT, PT, and in speech therapy more challenging. I finally decided that I needed to share what I know about treating trauma. I wanted to make trauma responses and adaptations to our treatments understandable. We have so much to offer children and their parents.
It is available as a digital download at Your Therapy Source. They sell ALL of my handout packs, and this week (4/3/23) they have this one on sale! This gets better; if you buy more than one of my books or handout packs, they give you an even deeper discount CathyAnn Collyer OTR LMT Bundle deal!
That’s right; the parents of children we treat can have trauma issues as well! They aren’t always the easiest parents to partner with, but they deserve our support as much as our little clients. Knowing how to deliver skilled therapy AND build connections with a traumatized parent isn’t always easy. My handouts are a great resource for new therapists, therapists who are transitioning into pediatrics from another specialty, or student therapists.
Some therapists find that hearing the histories and seeing the effects of trauma on children is too painful for them. One of my handouts addresses secondary trauma, also known as “compassion fatigue”. Being a caring therapist doesn’t have to come at the cost of our mental health. There are things we can do to support our mental health while we work.
The physical handling that we do can be particularly difficult for traumatized children to handle. I have two handouts that address this issue directly. Without understanding where the resistance and fear is coming from, and knowing how to approach a child that has a trauma history, some therapists will not use the most effective treatment approaches. Or they will have the parent restrain the child. Both of these options are avoidable.
Finally, our sensory-based interventions are exceptionally effective to address the neurology of trauma. I wrote a handout that explains some of what I learned when I worked with an entire program devoted to abused preschoolers. Every single one of those children had sensory processing issues that were related to the harm they encountered early in life. None of them looked exactly like the standard profile of a child with SPD. Our treatments may have to adapt to be effective. I explain how.