A Year after Katrina: Recognizing the Signs of PTSD in Children
Philip A. Saigh, Ph.D., a Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and author of the Children's PTSD Inventory, a PsychCorp brand diagnostic instrument published by Harcourt Assessment, Inc., said indicators of PTSD may include increased occurrence of traumatic thoughts, images, or nightmares; regression in children's behavior; increased irritability, anger, and feeling jumpy; and finding it hard to concentrate and do schoolwork. Children also may avoid visual triggers - activities, places, or people - that spark recollections of the trauma.
"Clinicians and counselors may play a key role in helping parents and teachers by identifying children with PTSD," said Dr. Saigh. "In addition to indicators that are specific to the child's behavior, a key consideration for clinical experts is to understand that the absence of parental support is a risk factor for PTSD."
This article appeared as a press release on August 10th, 2006 from Harcourt Assessment, Inc.