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Produced by: 2008 Presidential Task Force on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma in Children and Adolescents Much of our knowledge about PTSD is based on studies of adults.

Caretakers are affected by children’s exposure to trauma, and their responses affect children’s reactions to trauma.

When children, adolescents, and families come to the attention of helping professionals, the identified trauma may not be the one that is most distressing to the child.

For this reason, gathering a thorough, detailed history of trauma exposure is essential.

Despite exposure to traumatic events and experiencing short-term distress, most children and adolescents return to their previous levels of functioning after several weeks or months and resume a normal developmental course.

This resilience typically results in a reduction in both psychological distress and physiological arousal.

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