Typical trauma responses by developmental age:

Elementary-Age Children (5-11)


  • Irritability, depression and/or anger
  • Fear of being alone
  • Excessive worry (e.g. that event will reoccur)
  • May feel helpless and powerless
  • Recurrent daydreams or flashbacks of the event
  • Nightmares
  • Belief that they caused the event or could have prevented it
  • Difficulty with attention to school or homework
  • Thoughts that school or the world is not safe
  • Questioning death and dying
  • Overgeneralization
  • Lack of interest in usual activities, withdrawal
  • Increased somatic complaints(stomach aches, headaches,etc.)
  • Changes in academic performance
  • Sensitive or jumpy to loud noises or trauma reminders
  • May regress in developmental skills (baby talk, toilet training, tantrums)
  • May reenact trauma through play
  • Increased activity level
  • Aggression
  • Difficulty sleeping/eating