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Expert shares insight on how children respond to trauma following deadly shooting outside Indy daycare

Posted at 6:05 PM, Sep 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-16 18:05:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Caroline Mathis, a clinical supervisor at Legacy House, says children often respond to trauma differently.

“You might have an extroverted child that might be more withdrawn, or an introverted child that might experience more hyperactivity,” Mathis said.

Legacy House, a grant-funded department within Eskenazi Health, provides free trauma therapy and advocacy services to crime victims at any age. Last year, children under the age of 18 made up 30 to 45 percent of the clientele at Legacy House.

WRTV reached out to Legacy House to find out to help children process trauma after a deadly shooting outside an Indianapolis daycare.

According to Mathis, a trauma reaction is defined as a normal reaction to an abnormal event.

“Our bodies are meant to react and respond in the fight, flight or fear response," Mathis said. "You could have a myriad of events that happen to a child that might evoke a trauma response. It really depends on the child’s perception and the support they have around them on whether or not they’re going to need help through that.”

Mathis says that support is vital in every traumatic situation.

“Sometimes people are hesitant to reach out if they think the issue is too small. When it comes to trauma and children, nothing is too small," Mathis said.