Developmental Trauma Disorder

Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD)

Developmental trauma disorder (DTD) is a diagnosis specific to children, with symptoms that impact emotions, thoughts, behavior and relationships. These symptoms vary depending on which developmental period the trauma occurred in. That is, the symptoms will be different for a 2 year old compared to a 9 year old, and different again compared to a 14 year old.

Signs a child/adolescent may have DTD include:

  • Habitual self-harm

  • Emotional dysregulation

  • Extreme distrust

  • Verbal/physical aggression towards others

  • Difficulty maintaining interpersonal relationships

  • Dissociations

What Can I Do to Help My Child if They Have Experienced Trauma?

The best way to help your child to recover from trauma is to listen to and support them. If the impact of your child’s trauma is having a negative effect on their well-being, they should consider consulting with a trained therapist who specializes in trauma-informed care which can take the form of many different types of therapies including body-based therapies.