Affiliations: [a] Pediatric Developmental Disabilities, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas, TX, USA | [b] Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA | [c] University of Southern California, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Abstract: Children with developmental disabilities may be at greater risk for experiencing maltreatment and traumatic events, threats to their physical and psychological safety and well-being. Young children and youth with spina bifida benefit from being considered in light of this risk, and may be especially vulnerable given the complexity of their neurodevelopmental condition. A trauma-informed approach brings together evidence from the neurosciences, epidemiology and psychology to promote improved developmental, behavioral, physical and mental health status. Incorporating a trauma-informed approach strengthens a longitudinal, interdisciplinary and developmentally-oriented care model for children and youth with spina bifida. A case example further illustrates how using a trauma-informed approach and evidence-based interventions can foster the development and well-being of youth with spina bifida who have been impacted by a traumatic event.