What do traumatized children need

What happened to the little German Boy on the island of Tenerife, is in its scale that it is hardly comprehensible. For several hours he wandered about the strange island, until he found passers-by, crying and in shock. He then reported to the police that his father attacked his mother and his brother. He had escaped at the last Minute.

The exact circumstances of the crime have yet to be determined, the father was arrested. Celebration, however, is that the police found in a cave the bodies of the mother and of the older brother. Currently, the surviving Boy, whose age the authorities for the time being, with “six to seven” is taken care of by social workers and psychologists.

The distance to the home country poses a major challenge in the care of the child. In order to protect the Psyche of children after extremely stressful experiences, was a familiar environment is particularly important, says the Director of the clinic for psychiatry and psychotherapy of the Charité hospital in Berlin, Isabella Heuser. “In the best case, should be the someone of the acutely traumatized child knows well, such as, for example, grandparents.”

Children could decide, depending on age, also themselves, to come to whom for the time being, said Heuser. The main thing was that you felt safe and in good hands. Goal is a loss of confidence to people and the world to counter. The boy had told, first of all, the grandparents or an aunt would come to the island to care for the child.

The child is not pushing to Tell

It is also important to let the children in discussions of the time, instead of specifically on the Trauma of entering into or digging into exactly what happened. “Usually you wait, which tells the child of itself,” said Heuser. Police psychologists are trained – but of course, games with the police, often time pressure. Generally speaking, whether it’s individually different, to tell when children begin and how long an acute Trauma to stop, said the expert.

Comes to acute trauma, among other things, as in the case of the young, the own life is threatened. Affected were like in shock, like being in another world, frozen, or entirely upset, says Heuser. In children this condition could be pronounced depending on the age and depending on your ability to comprehend what has happened, stronger: “you can cry, can articulate, for example, or your own name, if you ask for it,” explains Heuser.

Studies show that children suffer after the loss of a parent by another parent is often very long under the burden and consequence of disease. Even a long time after the experience can still develop discomfort, such as in the Form of recurrent memories, nightmares and Fears. Often the children will experience in addition, before the act of violence among the parents or against yourself, as a study in the year 2017.

Study with others: developmental disorders

For the study, researchers in the Netherlands 137 cases in which a parent was the Partner killed. 256 children were, on average, they were at the time the act was 7.4 years old. A majority of children (59 percent) was present when the deed took place. Most of the people were suffering under severe development disorders and mental stress, the researchers reported in the journal “PLoS One”.

Of the children, to which appropriate information was available, were in addition, almost 70 percent before the fact, have themselves been victims of violence in the family. In the case of a further 16% of the scientists consider it likely. It was important that the children not only the acute experience to work up, but also to take into account experience of violence from the past, called for the researchers.

Dealing with affected children is also for people a big challenge. “You ask to this case, involved professionals, even years after the termination of the subsequent assistance to happen, and so is the extraordinary responsibility, under considerable time – and to make action decisions, clearly noticeable”, – said in the book of the former head of the Stuttgart youth welfare office , Susanne Heynen.

The challenge was to find a children’s existential crisis, good solutions though – due to the rarity of the events – mostly no experience or work routines. For this book Heynen and a colleague, with 14 adults in which the age of the child had a parent the other killed languages. Often, the care and support of children was not sufficient, the act was taboo, it farewell rituals were absent and the children were left at a contact of the children with the remaining parent alone.

“The kids actually need many years of comprehensive support. You have lost both parents. Most of the time the mother was killed and father imprisoned,” said Heynen in an Interview 2017.