Childhood trauma focus of conference in Havelock

state of child

Dr. George Ake, a psychologist at the Center for Child and Family Health, speaks during the annual State of the Child Conference held April 25 at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. About 150 people attended the event, which focused on childhood trauma.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Monday, May 6, 2013 at 18:13 PM.

A child may be scared of the dark at a young age and grow out of it. But true traumatic events can have such an impact on children that they can last a lifetime.

Dr. George "Tripp" Ake, a licensed psychologist at the Center for Child and Family Health in Durham, spoke at the annual State of the Child Conference held last week at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.

The conference focused on childhood trauma and its effects as well as how Social Services workers, daycare employees and others who work with care of children can build resiliency in children.

About 150 people attended the event, which featured speakers, informational displays from organizations and businesses that focus on children and singing from First United Methodist Church preschool children in Havelock.

Ake said trauma can take all types of forms, from child neglect or abuse to growing up with domestic violence, substance abuse or mental illness in the home. However, he said just because a child experiences such situations does not necessarily mean he or she has experienced trauma.

"So many kinds of things can happen to children," he said. "They can witness violence or disasters or war.

"But what we’re not saying is if a child experienced that, they’ve been automatically traumatized. Sometimes a child can be broken and they will carry that with them the rest of their lives, but you have to be careful. Two kids can see the same thing, and one could really have trouble with it and the other won’t."



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