Does My Child Have PTSD?

The first time anyone mentioned PTSD in children to me I visualized tiny soldiers complete with toy guns and costumes. If you wonder what in the world PTSD could have to do with your ministry, the families or the children you come in contact with every single week, we wholeheartedly recommend Does My Child Have PTSD? by Jolene Philo.

Why should I know about PTSD in children?

Much more than just a diagnosis common to military veterans returning from war, this is now commonly used to help describe and treat trauma in children. Philo likens philo2childhood trauma to “a skinned knee left untreated” that can lead to more serious infection on the whole body. She writes, “Events similar to the original trauma can trigger the stuck memory and cause more emotional damage. Neglected for too long, the stuck memories infect a person’s thinking and lead to unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns.”

“What events are traumatic for children because they lack power or control? Bullying, divorce, the death of a loved one, choking, and dog bites come to mind. Add to these situations a handful of scenarios that result in a child’s ultimate and long-term good but still feel scary, painful and yucky. To a child dependent upon adults for security and protection, many things can be traumatic: a move to a new home or city, moving from one foster home to another, adoption, erratic responses from caregivers whoa re not consistently nurturing and invasive medical procedures.”


Having read many of Jolene’s books and interviewing her, I can attest to her burden for research and accuracy. Carefully examined and explored, she has made a compelling argument for why it is important for all of us to be familiar with PTSD in children. Does My Child Have PTSD? is a comprehensive work that “…addresses several major areas associated with PTSD in children: myths and misconceptions, history, current research, anatomy of PTSD, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and misdiagnosis, prevention, treatment and advocacy.” Her goal in writing the book is to guide families to treatment and hope.

It is worth the time of everyone who ministers to children to pick up a copy of this book and familiarize yourself with this information. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to deepen your knowledge of one of the sneakiest “invisible illnesses” of our time.

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Learn more about Jolene Philo and her ministry at

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