Does My Child Have PTSD?: What to Do When Your Child Is Hurting from the Inside Out

Jolene Philo. Familius, $16.95 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-942934-01-1

Author Philo shares the remarkable story of her son's 26 years of suffering and the relief from "mental anguish" he found in one week after being diagnosed with PTSD. Philo's son, Allen, first experienced breathing difficulties immediately following birth; by age four he had undergone five surgeries. At six months—though medical professionals repeatedly insisted "babies don't feel pain"—he screamed when seeing anyone in a white coat. It wasn't until the family found an outpatient clinic years later that Allen was correctly diagnosed and, through "self-therapy," first began to cope. Philo's dramatic story will capture the reader's attention, and there's tremendous value in her patient explanations, from a simple definition of trauma to an exploration of PTSD causes, myths, and common terminology. In a single sentence, Philo can make a dramatic statement (e.g., trauma "changes the very structure of the brain") and then evenly explain the physiology behind it. Though occasionally heart-wrenching, the book is organized so simply and logically as to be easy to follow and digest. Each chapter ends with "reflection questions" and additional valuable resources. Philo concludes on a hopeful note, providing encouragement and reassurance for other families in similar situations. (Oct.)