I want to share with you a new free resource that will save you time in providing great care to your patients. As a pediatrician and adoptive mother, I became aware of a gap in training and information available to physicians about childhood trauma. I also found that there were resources available that physicians were frequently not aware of. In response to the mismatch I noticed, I have developed a website called TraumaInformedMD.com to be a hub of evidence-based information. It contains short summaries and links to national and Oklahoma resources for the treatment and prevention of childhood trauma.
Trauma is any experience that causes a physiologic stress response in the body. When a traumatic event happens to a child without the buffer of a stable, nurturing caregiver, or if the child feels unable to fight or escape the situation, then long term changes can happen in the brain. This can result in developmental delays, ADHD-like behaviors, and chronic health issues as a result of increased cortisol levels and other hormone changes. These events are being termed Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs. Trauma does not only happen to foster children, or children from low socioeconomic neighborhoods. These experiences include neglect from a mother with post-partum depression, a contentious divorce, or domestic violence. These things happen in all classes and races of people.
As pediatricians we need to learn to identify when trauma may be having an effect on the health or development of a child, as well as how we can intervene on the families’ behalf. By using TraumaInformedMD.com you can quickly learn the science behind childhood trauma, find other sources of evidence-based information, and find Oklahoma resources for families in your community. There are search engines for finding therapists and a list of all child psychiatrists in the state. There are more resources out there than you may be aware of, and you’ll be even more comfortable in the moment if you look over the website and links ahead of time to get familiar with what is available. If you have suggestions of links you’d like to see added, please use the contact page on the site to let me know. If you find this helpful, please share it with your partners and family physicians in your community.
I want to thank the OKAAP for their support and encouragement in developing and sharing this resource.
Laura Shamblin, MD , FAAP
Dr. Laura Shamblin is a newly elected OKAAP Board Member, the head of the Chapter Trauma-Informed Care Committee, & an Oklahoma Healthcare Authority Board Member.