The Need – Part 2

Hello again,

As I shared last week, Mending Me provides a unique solution for therapists to utilize in the treatment and healing of abused children, or any child who has experience trauma in their life.  I provided statistics for the child who has experienced abuse.

This week I would like to talk about the child who has experienced trauma.  Many people associate trauma with car accidents, injuries sustained from a fire; explosions from a chemical plant or refinery; each having a physical impact to the body.  For children and adults trauma encompasses much more than just physical.   The following is a list of types of trauma:

  • Exposure to domestic violence- This exposure impacts the child’s emotional, psychological, and physical well-being
  • Early childhood trauma- Young children are less able to anticipate danger or to know how to keep themselves safe, and so are particularly vulnerable to the effects of exposure to trauma.[1]
  • Medical trauma.
  • Natural disasters (earthquakes, tornadoes, epidemics, fires, floods, tsunamis)
  • Unnatural disasters (nuclear plant exposure, train with deadly chemicals displaces families, etc.)
  • Refugee and War trauma
  • School violence and crises
  • Terrorist acts (biological, chemical, radiological)
  • Abuse:
    • Neglect
    • Physical abuse
    • Sexual Abuse
  • Complex trauma-exposure to multiple prolonged traumatic events

Detailed definitions are available on .   Children experiencing any of these traumatic events cannot understand why this happening to them.  They are frightened and deal with it in their child like ways.   As an adult, we too have difficulty understanding why bad things happen; and we have abstract thinking, a support system, friends, and access to resources for help.  Children are totally dependent upon others for help.

Imagine being a child and being bullied everyday at school; someone taking your money or sack lunch.  Imagine being approached when you are sitting down at your desk and someone stands over you and grabs your homework out of your hands; and threatens you if you don’t give it to him or her.  Imagine being caught in a tornado and there is no place to go and the trees are flying up in the air all around you; and when it is all over there is nothing left.  Everyone is crying and screaming, terrified for their lives and you are seeing all of this from a child’s eyes.  Imagine being six years old and being with your father at a convenient store; while you are there it is robbed and they kill your father.  Imagine being one of the students at the high school or university when someone decides to kill ….. Imagine your father or mother has come home from “the war” and has been injured or worse was killed.  Imagine being a child and diagnosed with leukemia or some other type of cancer; mommy and daddy cry all the time; the child is subjected to multiple batteries of tests, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation –whatever it takes.  Imagine 9/11 and the fear we all had.  Now imagine every year there is a reminder of the traumatic event you experienced.  Re-opening every year what each of us wants to not have happened, a revisit to all those emotions we experienced.

Remember 75% of abuse toward children begins prior to the age of four.  Imagine this child or any aged child being molested by a parent, sibling, family, friend, teacher, minister …..   This abuse covers children of all ages: impacting both boys and girls of all races and ethnicities and economic conditions (i.e., poor, middle class, wealthy, educated, illiterate, professional, technical and manual labor, healthy and physically and mentally ill, disabled).

Each of these children have experience trauma to their minds and their bodies.  Each child is in need of help so that they can receive healing, mending, so that they can lead a happy healthy enriched life.  Providing tools for aiding in the healing process is critical.  Diagnosing trauma is a key to developing a plan for treatment; healing through therapy, therapeutic toys, nurturing and loving communication are critical to the healing process.

The government had a saying, leave no child behind in education.  I would like to expand that to leave no child behind in mental and physical health care.  Together we all can make a difference in the healing process, providers, family, and community-finding a way to truly change and stop the trauma and move forward with healing.

Stay tuned for my next blog.




[1] Early childhood trauma as defined by as defined by National Child Traumatic Stress Network

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