Trauma and Loss in Children

Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly

July 13-16, 2010

Question: which child of a military family is more at risk for trauma– the one whose parent is being deployed for the very first time or the one whose parent has been through several of them? The answer might surprise you. It’s the second child—the one you might expect to be used to the experience and better able to adapt. Even more surprising, the trauma the child might experience—and the trauma-related behavior it can engender—may have very little to do with fear and anxiety over the deployment itself but with something else entirely.

Trauma in children is complicated. In fact, it wasn’t until 1990 that psychologist and childcare pioneer William Steele made the link between childhood trauma and the same PTSD commonly associated with soldiers in battle. As emerging research in neuroscience confirms, trauma-related behaviors don’t respond to traditional cognitive therapies because they’re not rooted in the cognitive part of the brain. The only way “in” is to learn to see the child’s experience the same way the child does and, armed with proven sensory interventions, finally get to the heart of it.


Rigorous, evidence-based research of TLC intervention programs has shown remarkable, statistically significant reduction of not only PTSD symptoms but also related mental health symptoms.” 

William Steele

Senior Vice President of the Starr Institute for Training and founder of The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children.

This July, Starr’s National Institute for Trauma & Loss in Children (TLC) will continue its role as the national leader in the treatment of childhood trauma at the annual Childhood Trauma Practitioners Assembly in Clinton Township, Michigan. The theme for this year’s event is “Supporting Children of Deployed Parents: Lessons Learned—Helpful Strategies.” Panel discussions, workshops and featured speakers will focus on issues related to this very topical subject and offer practical, hands-on training and guidance in TLC’s sensory intervention practices.

Caelan Kuban is program director and clinical consultant for TLC. Kuban says that while this year’s theme focuses on the trauma experienced by military families, the lessons of TLC apply across the board. “Fear, hurt, worry, guilt, anger—TLC practices work on a sensory level to deal with issues that are common to all trauma-related experiences.”

More than 300 participants are expected to attend the four-day assembly and can choose from more than 20 workshops on a wide range of topics, from early intervention techniques to school-based intervention programs to the use of music, art and even therapy dogs in reaching traumatized children. Participants can also choose to pursue Level-1 or Level-2 TLC certification in a comprehensive series of classes. “There is something for everyone at the Assembly,” says Kuban, adding that CEU credits and even graduate credits can be awarded to those who qualify.

Trauma: The Startling Facts

  • More than 40% of children and teens have endured at least one traumatic event, resulting in the development of PTSD in up to 15% of girls and 6% of boys
  • Some 800,000 children are maltreated each year through neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and intimate partner violence
  • On average, 3%-6% of high school students in the United States and as many as 30%-60% of children who have survived specific disasters have PTSD
  • Up to 100% of children who have seen a parent killed or endured sexual assault or abuse tend to develop PTSD, and more than one-third of youths who are exposed to community violence will suffer from PTSD
  • 25% of survivors of car accidents where there was a fatality develop PTSD
  • 34% of children with a deployed parent develop PTSD

Click HERE for more information or to register


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