Counseling Services of Portland
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Checklist of warning signs that your child may be having difficulty coping.


"A person's a person, no matter how small." 
              Dr. Seuss

"How to Tell If Your Child Has Been Traumatized

Any unusual behavior that begins shortly after a severely frightening episode may indicate that your child is traumatized. Compulsive, repetitive mannerisms, such as repeatedly zooming a toy car into a doll, are an almost sure sign of unresolved trauma. Other signs of traumatic stress include tantrums, uncontrollable rage attacks, hyperactivity, thrashing while asleep, bedwetting, inability to concentrate in school, excessive belligerence, or fearful shyness.

To determine whether an uncustomary behavior is a traumatic reaction, try mentioning the frightening episode and notice how your child responds. A traumatized child will not want to be reminded of the event. Or, once reminded, will become excited or fearful and unable to stop talking about it. A traumatized child may also respond with silence. '
          Peter Levine

You may have noticed changes in your child or teenager.  It could just be passing moods.  But if these changes persist trust your intuition and get some help.  Children may not want to bother you, or they may mistakenly think something is their fault and so they don't talk.  

  • Is your child recently shy and starting to isolate?
  • Has your son or daughter started falling behind in school? Lost interest in things they he or she to enjoy?
  • Is your kid showing signs of depression, anxiety, too tired or scared to take part in your family life, school or church?
  • Has your child had an accident, head injury, surgery or dental procedure and does not seem like their normal self since then?
  • Does your child feel like no one likes her?
  • Has your child reported being teased?
  • Is your child eating in a separate room, picking at her food or suddenly changed eating habits?
  • Does your child worry that something bad is going to happen and obsesses about friends or family or school?
  • Has your child become irritable and easily frustrated?
  • Is your son or daughter having difficulty concentrating, finishing things or can’t follow simple directions?
  • Do you feel like you can’t reach your child, like she/he is distant?

If you are concerned about any of these warning signs, first thing to do is comfort your child.  Let her know you love her.  Spend some time just hanging out without asking a lot of questions.  If your child enjoys touch, give hugs, cuddle, tucking him/her into bed.  Help them feel your safe physical presence.

If the concerns persist, we would be happy to help. 
Give us a call 503-342-2510 or or
text us a 503-342-2510 

We’re here to help your child.