PTSD Survivors Speak: A Child Heals
Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 • Uncategorized •
My friend Maria has an important message. She says, If a six year old can overcome PTSD so can you!! DON’T GIVE UP!!!
A few months ago I posted some art therapy examples by Maria’s son, Ian, a six year old survivor struggling to overcome the psychological fallout of surviving a rare, life-threatening illness. The pictures clearly showed Ian was making progress. Today, Maria gives us an inside look at how she helped her son slip out of the PTSD grip.
My name is Maria Teresa, I live in México and I have a son who has post traumatic stress. He is 6 years old, so he can not tell me how he feels, but you as a Mom know something is wrong.
Ian had Stevens-Johnson Syndrome on December 2007. We knew we had to work on his self confidence but had never heard about post traumatic stress. On the first days of December 2008 he started having nightmares, he got upset about almost everything, on days he was very tired, his body ached and sometimes he just said, “Mom, Dad I feel so sad.”
We asked him if there was any special reason to feel sad and he said, “No!!” We decided to get some help, it was obvious that something was not going right.
I started to search on the net about therapies for kids and I found out that normal or conventional PTSD therapies do not work for kids, so I kept searching and found horse therapy near where we live. Ian continued with his bad mood so we decided to try horse therapy.
We started horse therapy in December and began to see results immediately, nightmares disappeared but bad temper was still a problem to be solved and it increased by the middle of December around Ian’s trauma anniversary.
Ian has continued with horse therapy and so has his little brother, Andres, who began stuttering after Ian’s sickness. It’s incredible the improvement both have had. Ian is doing so well, he has more self confidence now, nightmares are part of the past, and his temper has improved tremendously.
André has overcome stuttering, no one would ever think he was stuttered at all.
When Ian comes down from the horse he says: “Mom, I feel so good, I can open my eyes more,” (because of his illness he is light sensitive, so he barely opens them).
We have talked to other parents at horse therapy (given to kids with down problems, cerebral palsy and other born problems). One of them who is a volunteer and gives therapies now, told us that when her baby was born with down syndrome, she was so
depressed and tried so many therapies with no help. It was not until she got to horse therapy looking for help for her child that without knowing and starting as a volunteer that she overcame her depression. We have seen so many cases here and how they help kids and parents that we are sure that horse therapy really works and the best part of all is that kids really enjoy it, for them it is fun and not therapy.
At the end of the school period they gave us the drawings Ian made at school. I was in shock when I saw a drawing made at the beginning of the year, it was colored in dark colors (really sad) and then I saw one he made by the end of the year, you can see a great difference (rainbow colors). It really shows a difference and I was so happy because you can also see changes on his mood and behavior.
Ian and André are having a normal life now and we will continue working to build them a happy future so that when they grow up they will only remember they had PSTD but overcame it. Special thanks to Michele for her support and wisdom. She has always had the right word to say in the right time and encourage us to continue. Thank you so much!!