Jodi Whitaker

By

College: Medicine

Better Diagnosis Coming for Children with PTSD

Published: Apr 30, 2013

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 30, 2013) - The following column appeared in Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, April 28.

 

By Ginny Sprang

 

The American Psychiatric Association will recognize traumatic stress in preschoolers younger than age six as a unique form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when it releases its newest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) at its annual conference in May. The DSM is the manual that is used by clinicians and researchers to diagnose and classify mental disorders.

 

Although PTSD — a traumatic stress response to exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation — has been reported in preschool and school age children for many years, the current criteria used to diagnose the condition was developed and field tested for adults and adolescents (15 and older). Data from published studies provided evidence that the current standards for diagnosing PTSD in young children may be insufficient.

 

Many clinicians found the criteria difficult to apply to young children and not representative of the types of responses found following exposure to a traumatic event in early childhood. Consequently, the prevalence of the disorder in this age group was lower than expected, leading clinicians and researchers to question the way PTSD was being diagnosed in young children. As a result, new diagnostic standards have been revised.

 

For example, previous criteria required assessing for the presence of a "feeling of detachment or estrangement from others" in infants and toddlers. In the new DSM, this has been modified to "markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities, including constriction of play."

 

By defining this response as an observable behavior, which can be noted by caregivers, the ability to assess the presence of this type of social withdrawal is increased.

Additionally, items such as "an inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma" and "sense of foreshortened future" will be excluded.

 

PTSD in preschool children is not considered a separate type of traumatic stress disorder, but rather a subtype of PTSD. Following direct exposure to an event, witnessing the traumatic situation as it occurred to others (especially caregivers), or learning that an event occurred to a parent or caregiver, four clusters of symptoms associated with the traumatic stressor are assessed. These include:

  • Intrusive symptoms such as nightmares, re-enacting the event in play or persistent avoidance of activities or people who remind the child of the event
  • Negative changes in cognitions or mood
  • Changes such as increased irritability, sleep disturbance or tantrums
  • To be considered PTSD, Preschool Subtype, the symptoms must be present for at least one month.

Fortunately, there are effective treatments for young children who experience PTSD. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is appropriate for children as young as three years of age, and Child-Parent Psychotherapy targets children and caregivers under age five.

 

Relief from trauma symptoms is usually accomplished within the context of the parent-child relationship for young children, so parent or caregiver participation in these treatments is crucial.

 

The UK Center on Trauma and Children provides training on Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to behavioral health professionals. For more information, contact Dr. Ginny Sprang at sprang@uky.edu or visit the center's website at UKY.Edu/ctac

 

Ginny Sprang is executive director of the Center on Trauma and Children at the University of Kentucky.


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/04/27/2617774/better-diagnosis-coming-for-preschoolers.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy
ginny_0.jpg
June
 
 
 
1
 
Wed
2
 
Thu
3
Postdoctoral Research Symposium (Hosted by Society of Postdoctoral Scholars)
Fri
4
 
Sat
5
 
Sun
6
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
Mon
7
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
End of the Summer I 2016 Four-Week Intersession
Tue
8
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
Wed
9
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
First Day of Classes of the Summer II 2016 Eight-Week Session
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
10
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Fri
11
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Family Day Workshop
Sat
12
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
13
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
14
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
15
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
16
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
17
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Film Screening: Artists on the Body
Fri
18
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sat
19
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
20
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
21
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
22
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
23
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Steve Zahn: One Night Only
Thu
24
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Fri
25
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sat
26
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
27
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
28
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
29
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
30
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
 
 

Repeats every day until Fri Jul 01 2016 .
Mon, 06/27/2016

Repeats every day until Sun Jul 31 2016 .
Mon, 06/27/2016

Repeats every day until Fri Jul 01 2016 .
Tue, 06/28/2016

Reset Page