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Complex Trauma – Cognition: Thinking and Learning

Children with complex trauma histories may have problems thinking clearly, reasoning, or problem-solving. They may be unable to plan ahead, anticipate the future, and act accordingly.

When children grow up under conditions of constant threat, all their internal resources go toward survival. When their bodies and minds have learned to be in chronic stress response mode, they may have trouble thinking a problem through calmly and considering multiple alternatives. They may find it hard to acquire new skills or take in new information. They may struggle with sustaining attention or curiosity or be distracted by reactions to trauma reminders. They may show deficits in language development and abstract reasoning skills. Many children who have experienced complex trauma have learning difficulties that may require support in the academic environment.

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