A traumatic event is an experience that poses a risk to life or safety. Such an experience may happen to you, you may witness it happening to another person, or you may learn that a loved one experienced it. Going through one or several traumatic experiences with your child can be one of the biggest challenges and often has an effect on your mental health.
Having experienced traumatic events yourself, or in in particular with your child can lead to a mental health condition that we call Posttraumatic Stress Injury (PTSI). Signs of PTSI can include:
- Repeated thoughts of, nightmares about, reliving of, or emotional and physical reactions to a traumatic event
- Avoiding thoughts and reminders of the traumatic event (e.g. people, places, activities, objects or situations)
- Negative thoughts and feelings (e.g. negative thoughts about yourself or others, lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy, feeling isolated)
- Changes in arousal and reactivity (e.g. being easily irritable or angry, being easily startled, difficulties sleeping, difficulties concentrating)
PTSI effects everyone differently. Symptoms range from mild to very strong and may differ in how they affect your daily life.
Life beyond Trauma includes an intervention called e-NET, or online Narrative Exposure Training. E-NET has been specially developed for individuals who have experienced several traumatic events in their life and live with symptoms of PTSI. It is based on the Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) that has helped many people who have experienced traumatic events. In the Life beyond Trauma program e-NET has been especially adapted to meet the needs of parents with neurodiverse children.
What is the content of e-NET?
Session 1 – Education:
- Meet your coach and get familiar with the program
- Discuss what PTSI is, how it influences your life and how e-NET could help
Session 2 – Lifeline:
- Create a chronological overview of your life with the help your coach
- Document the major events of your life using an online tool we have created specifically for this program
Session 3 to 11 – Narration:
- Starting at the beginning of your life, each session will focus on one specific event with high importance for you
- Discuss each event in detail
- Explore the thoughts, feelings, and body reactions you experienced during the events and now
- Discover the meaning of these events for your life
Session 12 – Final Session:
- Receive your personal lifeline and narration from your sessions
- Reflect your overall life story and what you achieved in the program
- Change the focus from the past to the present and future.
- Parents and caregivers of neurodiverse children
- Age 18 or older
- Speaking and writing English
- Having access to a computer, laptop or tablet with high speed Internet
- Living in Canada
- Committing to the requirements of the research project
- Having experienced traumatic experiences and showing substantial PTSI symptoms (eligibility will be determined in the survey)
- Parents who have participated in a similar program (exposure-based intervention for PTSI) cannot participate
- Parents with other mental health conditions may not be able to participate (please contact our team for further information)
Check your eligibility for this program by participating in our survey: HERE
We define neurodiverse children as those persons who live with a Neurodevelopmental Disorder. This includes any brain based diagnosis that influences how a person moves, communicates their ideas, processes what they hear, or remember things. Diagnoses may include but are not limited to:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Global Developmental Delay
- Down Syndrome
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
- Severe learning disability
- Any other brain based diagnosis
We thank all institutions supporting this research project.
The core research team is located at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The program will be delivered using video call, this means parents from all Canadian provinces or territories are able to take part from the comfort of their own homes.
This study is accepting participant’s now! It will take place from 2020 to 2021.
- This program is offered for free.
- Receive a $25 gift card each time you complete a survey following the completion of the program.
- The program is done using high speed Internet. All Internet costs need to be covered by you.
Patient oriented research is about ensuring that the target group – in our case parents of neurodiverse children – are included as partners throughout the research process.
SPOR, one of our funders, has been created by the Canadian Institute of Health Research and funds partnerships to help support patient oriented research.
How is the Life Beyond Trauma Project patient oriented?
- The idea to develop such a program arose from a discussion between a parent of a neurodiverse child and the principal investigator
- One of the first steps of the project was to organize a Parent Advisory Committee
- The Parent Advisory Committee consists of a highly motivated and diverse group of parents with neurodiverse children across Canada – they are our inspiration and are invaluable for the project
- The Parent Advisory Committee is involved in all steps of the project and constantly gives us feedback so that we can make our project as relevant and valuable as possible for parents
- The chair of our Parent Advisory Committee takes part in all team meetings and is in constant contact with us
To learn more about Patient Oriented Research in general visit https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/51036.html
Please contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or our toll-free number 1-877-341-8309, then 7. We are happy to hear from you.