Stress and Trauma

About stress

Stress is all about how we respond to the demands placed upon us. These demands often come from external sources such as parents, school or friends. Demands can also come from within and are often related to what we think we “should be” doing versus what we're actually able to do.

Children experience stress and it can be triggered by a whole range of factors. Academic pressure, peer pressure, social pressures (especially the need to ‘fit in’) and an excessively busy week can create stress for a child or teenager. Internal or external stresses to children can be impossible to detect by those closest to them. It often needs a professional who is able to observe what goes on each day to determine triggers. Of course obvious events, such as worries about problems in the world, a relative’s illness or parental conflict can also create feelings of anxiety and stress.

Signs your child is experiencing stress may include:

  • change in appetite
  • no longer engaging in activities they used to find enjoyable
  • constant “negative” comments about themselves or others
  • avoiding school
  • decreased motivation 
  • change in sleep patterns

If untreated, extreme stress can lead to other problems including depression, eating disorders, self harm, challenging behaviour, anxiety disorder and anger and aggression. Stress is a natural part of life, even for young children. If your child’s stress goes beyond the normal boundaries and is affecting their day to day life, it’s time to seek professional help.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD occurs when a child has witnessed or been affected by a traumatic event such a car accident or violent attack. Many studies have focused on the effects that natural disasters and kidnapping have on children. Symptoms include repeated flashbacks, feelings of guilt and emotional numbness.
Signs your child may be experiencing PTSD include:
• Repeated nightmares
• persistent illnesses, such as stomach aches or headaches, that have no cause
• reduced involvement in activities they used to find enjoyable
• Seeming “jumpy” or “on edge”
• re enactment of experience in repetitive play

PTSD often results in the person withdrawing from family and friends and it may also evoke feelings and behaviours associated with depression. This is a severe form of stress and PTSD nearly always affects the family and friends of the sufferer.

Helping your child

NETwork Interventions provides specialist help for children suffering with stress. Our team of highly experienced psychologists and behaviour analysts can work with you and your child to implement a strategy to enable him or her to cope with stress in a more healthy, age appropriate way.

Our starting point is to undertake a detailed assessment of your child to pinpoint the underlying problems and triggers of the stress. We will then discuss our findings with you and will provide an effective and realistic strategy for helping your child.

Helping the whole family

Our whole family approach means that we don’t just work with a child in isolation. We understand the pressures and challenges of being the parents or siblings of a child who has a recognised condition, or is simply struggling – and our support extends to you also.
Whatever support you, your child or your family need, you can rest assured that we will be with you every step of the way, providing the professional support and encouragement you need to help your child find new ways of dealing with stress.

Did you know?

Even infants can experience stress that affects the way they interact with the world. The good news is that we can do something about it and make changes to ensure your child's stress decreases and they are free to enjoy being a kid.

The next steps...

Contact us today to find out how NETwork is helping families and schools like yours.  For more information and resources please get in touch with us.

"Our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s aged 7; NETwork Interventions spent a day observing him at school and at home and quickly identified the skills he was lacking – skill deficits that we - and others working with our son - had not picked up on. NETwork Interventions trained us to help our son learn those missing skills. The results have been remarkable – he no longer cries about going to school, his concentration and behaviour are much better and he is far less likely to alienate others by the things he says. Thank you."
Parent in Surrey

"It is always a pleasure talking to Lu and Shelley - we think they are superstars!"
C & C, Ottawa

"We started an informal intervention for our 18 month old last week, Zack. Lu came for an observation around a month ago. This was followed by Shelley spending two days with our family last week. Our 18 month old had three signs and plenty of motivation and social intent, but no requests for items or people. He had a few unintelligible requests for activities and just sounds or unintelligible words for when he labels things. We have done our research. As professionals in the field of child development and with ASD and ADHD in our extended family, we know that it is better to act earlier rather than later. We didn’t want a heavy or burdensome programme for reasons of time, of finance and also of emotion. Admitting there may be a problem is actually very difficult. Last week was extremely draining emotionally in this capacity. We know that prevention is necessary as there is no firm cure and we can’t take the risk of not intervening and waiting another six months as our GP and Paediatrician told us. Shelley came to the farm with us, came swimming with us, to the park and to granny and grandpa’s home with us. She did day to day life with us such as bath time and bed time. The first day Shelley watched what life was like for me, balancing home, children, marriage and work. Life is hectic. The second day we swapped roles and she put recommendations in acting as I would and then supported me to implement it. She is coming back on Thursday to see how we are getting on and she is returning with a new schedule for me after going away to analyse it these last few days. We are absolutely thrilled with Zack’s progress already. His Gymboree teachers commented on his language ‘explosion’. His aunty, who does not know that we are running this intervention, commented on how much Zack is talking this week. I am confident that within a few months, Zack will not have a spiky developmental profile and it looks as though he will have even more skills than his peers at this rate. This is fun and I am so grateful to Shelley, Lu and Ruth who, together, have created the ‘perfect programme’ for us."
Luke, Louise, Lyndsay and Zack, Surrey, England

"This week I have been feeling very defeated with my son changing campuses at school. At the end of my call with Shelley I was filled with hope again. That is why I love our calls. Not simply because of the work with my son, but because Shelley always helps me to see a way forward. "
Gem, Brisbane

"I have had previous counselling for over two years but left because of no progress. I am finding the experience with Liz different in a very positive way. After just four sessions I am seeing great progress."
M, London

"The observation and assessment period that NETwork complete at the beginning is difficult to understand at the outset, but it turns out that it is an intricate process that [does] indeed find the issues to work on and subsequently address and resolve."
Mum, Quebec

"Dillan had significant behavioural issues and received a very late diagnosis of NVLD when he was 9 years old. This diagnosis did little to help our family. Louise quickly and efficiently set up a programme for our teenage son which rapidly identified his strengths and weaknesses. Shelley taught us and his teachers how to best address these, including language deficits which had previously remained unrecognised, Louise’s team worked within our budget, working hours and extensive travel commitments, working closely with school and our local authority to ensure everybody was on board and funding accessed. At times it felt as though Louise was coordinating a small army. Additional support of parent-counselling through Louise’s team proved invaluable, even though we were originally a little sceptical. It most likely made the difference between success and failure in our ability as parents to sustain a positive family unit whilst implementing the programme. We worked with NETwork Interventions for just under one year."
Dr Edwards, North London

"We would like to say a massive thank you for your hard work during the 2 day assessment. We are so grateful and highly impressed with your level of knowledge, confidence, professionalism as well as the kindness and respect shown to our family. Now, we really believe there is light at the end of the tunnel."
Monica, UK

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