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Center on the Developing Child

The Center strives to present information, especially scientific information, in a way that is accessible to a wide range of readers. Use the menus below to filter by media type or topic.

A terrible Thing Happened: A Story for Children Wh

This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic episode, including physical abuse, school or gang violence, accidents, homicide, suicide, and natural disasters such as floods or fire. An afterword by Sasha J. Mudlaff written for parents and other caregivers offers extensive suggestions for helping traumatized children, including a list of other sources that focus on specific events. 

Please Tell: A child’s story about sexual abuse

Written and illustrated by a young girl who was sexually molested by a family member, this book reaches out to other children in a way that no adult can, Jessie's words carry the message, “It's o.k. to tell; help can come when you tell.”

A Place for Starr: A Story of Hope for Children Ex

A Place for Starr follows a brave girl and her family as they break the cycle of violence. 

Help Your Dragon Cope with Trauma: A Cute Children

This is a book for children, parents and teachers to teach kids to understand and overcome traumatic events that they might experience. 

The Day my Daddy Lost His Temper: Empowering Kids

The Empowering Kids Series is a collection of empathically reflective stories told from the perspective of young children. These books are meant to be used by parents and mental health providers to facilitate the child's verbalization of their feelings and experiences, thereby advancing the healing process and are aimed at validating the readers' experiences and feelings, thereby reducing feelings of shame and isolation.

Once I was very scared

A little squirrel announces that he was once very, very scared and finds out that he is not alone. Lots of little animals went through scary experiences, but they react in different ways. Turtle hides and gets a tummy ache, monkey clings, dog barks, and elephant doesn’t like to talk about it. They need help, and they get help from grown-ups who help them feel safe and learn ways to cope with difficult feelings. This story was written to help children and grown-ups (parents, teachers, and other important adults) understand how stress can affect children and ways to help them.  

Mobile Application

Help Kids Cope

Helps parents talk to their kids about the disasters they may face and know how best to support them throughout—whether sheltering-in-place at home, evacuating to a designated shelter, or helping your family heal after reuniting. This mobile app is also a great resource for teachers and other professionals involved in children's lives. This is the iOS version of the app.