Psychologist perspective on child saved from bunker - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Psychologist perspective on child saved from bunker

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Now that little Ethan is free, how will this traumatic event affect the five year old who has a mild form of Autism.. called Asperger's Syndrome.

Dr. Dan Marullo with Children's Health System says most children are very resilient following a traumatic event and can recover fairly quickly with good support. He says Asperger's Syndrome could create extra stress in that recovery.. because his normal routine was altered, but only time will tell.

We can only wonder what life was like for five year old Ethan.. six days held captive in an underground bunker. We can only wonder, what the child is thinking now. "He'll probably remember it, it certainly is going to be an event in his life." Dr. Dan Marullo says most children who go through a traumatic event experience transient symptoms like having trouble sleeping, eating, becoming irritable but, support from family and the community can mean all the difference.

"It's really how the community comes together and deals with this whole issue that's gonna dictate a lot about how he does." Dr. Marullo says besides support, getting back into a normal routine like school and church can also help a child like Ethan, who also has a mild case of Autism called Asperger's Syndrome.

He says children with that diagnosis are routine oriented The last six days definitely altered that. "It will pose a challenge and might contribute to any long standing issues, but it doesn't have to."

Dr. Marullo thinks it would be reasonable for anyone who survived this situation to have some follow-up counseling. Even parents and classmates may need support. And he also says there's nothing wrong with talking about what happened. "My advice to folks is to follow his lead, see where he takes you and be patient."

Authorities made sure food, toys and medicine were sent down into the bunker for Ethan during the last six days. Dr. Marullo says anything you can do for a child in any stressful situation can create a sense of normality and who knows if that helped Ethan cope through what seemed liked a very scary situation.

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