There is a growing body of knowledge about the long-term, life changing impact of early childhood trauma. In this post on the Institute for Attachment and Child Development website they take a look at how “Early trauma negatively impacts the brain and neurobiology during critical periods of development”.
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, developed the term Developmental trauma disorder (DTD) to describe the “effects of long-term exposure to trauma—typically profound abuse and neglect by caregivers (but can include traumatic medical procedures or community violence)—during the first three years of life”
The post goes on to talk about the far reaching impact, which can include: Alcoholism and alcohol abuse, depression, illicit drug use, poor work performance, smoking, suicide attempts, risk of sexual violence and poor academic achievement, among others.
The post does talk about things that can be done to help survivors heal. It is vital that caregivers understand the issues they are dealing with and that they learn the parenting skills that will help them help their child.
The post also talks about what we can do for the child, such as helping them learn and practice healthy ways of dealing with ‘trauma triggers’ and learning to express their feelings rather than acting out. These are areas that we can address through work with horses. Additionally, our clients have the opportunity to improve self-confidence and self-esteem, important components in helping those who have experienced trauma find a path to a healthier, happier and more productive life.
The bottom line – a child who has experience early childhood trauma may very well need special care and support to heal and be successful. There are resources available and we are here to be part of a comprehensive treatment team. Give us a call or send us an email to find out more. We will be happy to schedule a tour for you. We will show you around the ranch, introduce our wonderful herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.