"As many as one-third of children living in our country's violent urban neighborhoods have PTSD."
-Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle
"Traumatic experiences such as witnessing violence...can alter a developing brain's anatomy and chemistry in ways that inhibit learning, concentration, attachment, even empathy."
-Dale Russakoff, Washington Post
"The damage done impairs brain function—producing people who are emotionally numb, indifferent to the value of life and likely to lash out."
-Steve Volk, Philadelphia Magazine
Reporting on Childhood Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Between January 1, 2001, and May 29th of this year, 18,043 people were shot in Philadelphia. That equates to about one shooting every six hours. In that same time period, there were 3,852 murders—a new body yielded up for disposal nearly every day. The entire length of the conflict in Afghanistan hasn’t produced as many dead Americans as we’ve picked up off our city’s streets.
At the first day assembly, the freshman seem confused and nervous while the seniors are boisterous and confident. It's exactly the kind of first day stuff you'd expect at any school. Until Harper Principal Leonetta Sanders calls for a moment of silence to honor the students Harper has lost in the last year. Then Harper doesn't seem so ordinary
As many as one-third of children living in our country's violent urban neighborhoods have PTSD, according to recent research and the country's top child trauma experts - nearly twice the rate reported for troops returning from war zones in Iraq.
Particularly for young children, traumatic experiences such as witnessing violence--much less experiencing it--can alter a developing brain's anatomy and chemistry in ways that inhibit learning, concentration, attachment, even empathy. In some cases, the changes can predispose children to impulsive violence later in life, researchers say.
She had insomnia and nightmares, she said, and at times her body inexplicably ached. Her hands sometimes shook uncontrollably. Her hair had recently started falling out and she was wearing a pale-green scarf to cover up a thin patch. More than anything she was anxious: about school, her daughter, even earthquakes.