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Treating Infants and Young Children Impacted by Trauma

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  • Infants and young children are vulnerable to multiple types of trauma, including neglect and sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Some believe that young children are not impacted by trauma and that, if they are, they will simply "grow out of it." Continuing research, however, clearly demonstrates that trauma can alter young children's neurobiological development and place them at risk for behavioral, social, emotional, linguistic, and cognitive problems across the lifespan. Despite these alarming findings, there is increasing evidence that early interventions can foster recovery and enhance resilience. Joy Osofsky, Phillip T. Stepka, and Lucy S. King distill the vast literature on childhood trauma in this concise guide that reviews what effects these traumatic experiences can have and which treatments are best suited for addressing them. They provide a detailed framework for selecting the most appropriate intervention based on specific criteria. Vivid case examples teach clinicians how to apply these treatments in real scenarios and support parents and caregivers as key attachment figures and sources of security in a child's life.

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