7 year old girl keeps flashing back to accident
September 4, 2011 5:37 PM Subscribe
Is there anything I can do about after effects of a (relatively non-horrendous) car accident in my 7 year old daughter.
posted by alcahofa to health & fitness (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My seven year old daughter was hit by a car crossing the street on july 6th. She had a mild concussion, a hairline fracture in her skull and 5 stitches. (I had a coronary, but that's not relevant to the matter at hand.) She had a lot of abrasion, lost a baby tooth and a lot of blood, but had no other broken bones. She was in the hospital one night for observation and came home the next day.
For a week she seemed sad and less excited about life then her normal 7 year old self. Then her best friend came back from vacation and the light came back on. I thought everything was fine.
Last week asked her if she had any pain or lingering effects from the accident. We are assessing what compensation to ask for from the insurance company. I was really asking about physical problems but, to my surprise, she described the following non-physical after-effect.
She said that 2-3 times a day she has flash backs to the accident. She says during the accident she had the feeling that she was 12 feet under water, drowing and sinking. Now, when she is frustrated (like trying to cut paper and she can't get it right) or if she is left out of a game that memory returns and she feels for a moment that she is drowning, 12 feet under and sinking.
As it turns out, she was hit right in front of the local child psychologist. I asked her if she I could take her to see the child psychologist. She said she didn't want to go because she did not want to make her private feelings public. I explained to her that talking to a psychologist is a private thing, but that is how she sees it.
I am a big fan of talking about things that bother me or are painful. Now I try to talk to her from time to time about whether the memory came back, what was happening and what it was like. Not so much analyzing it, but just recognizing it and letting her interpret it and try to make sense of it. Seems to go ok.
At the same time, she is not overly open to revisiting the accident itself. We walked the location the day she got out of the hospital. I asked her to draw a picture of what happened (I wasn't there.) She did these things because she is a kid who does what I ask her to, but she was somewhat disengaged from the process. I question their theraputic value for her. In sum, I can probably get her to do anything, including visiting a child psychologist, but I would not be following her lead.
I will go talk to the child psychologist myself to get her professional recommendation. But I was curious if anyone had personal experiences like this either as a parent or in an accident themselves. What can a caring mother do? More importantly what shouldn't a caring mother do?