out aspects of the event, feelings, sensations, even knowledge that ithappened from awareness. While helpful during the event, dissociation canbecome a pattern of responding, where even minor reminders—whether thechild knows or doesn’t know what they remind her of—cause the child todissociate, resulting in disruptions to the child’s normal abilities. Thesedisruptions can result in difficulties in many every-day situations, including theclassroom and other school-hours interactions.Dissociation has been documented to follow a variety of childhood traumas.
Interpersonal Trauma :a.Abuse: physical, sexual, emotionalb.Neglect
Medical trauma :Repeated painful medical procedures due to: cancer, burns, accidents,congenital malformations (e.g. cleft-palate, cerebral-palsy), etc.
Environmental trauma :a.Domestic violenceb.Gang violence on streets and in housing complexesc.Povertyd.Immigration (especially when child’s family are refugees who wereexposed to trauma in native country)e.Natural disaster (especially being in or witnessing)
Separation, loss, and attachment trauma :a.Parental mental illness: mentally ill parents may be less able to care for the child, and their responses may be chaotic or frightening; the childmay end up in a care-taking position and have no one to go to for managing her own overwhelm.b.Foster placements (especially multiple placements, where the child isrepeatedly experiencing loss and unknown future).c.Family chaos: multiple family configurations that keep shifting,homelessness, frequent moving from one house to the next (whichmeans the child needs to keep adjusting to new surroundings as wellas at times new schools).
3.What can make dissociation in the classroom worse?
When a child’s behavior (or what may seem like misbehavior) in the classroomstems from a dissociative response, confronting the child while she isexperiencing dissociation is usually counterproductive and can lead to further increase in dissociation. For example, if a child dissociated because a loudvoice scared her, raising a voice at her to try and ‘get through’ can serve toscare her even more.Restraining or grabbing the child can similarly exacerbate the child’s need todissociate and in some may result in acute escalation of aggression or withdrawal.Similarly, judging the child as a whole (rather than a particular behavior) as“bad”, “lazy”, “manipulative”, “mean” and so forth, only serves to deepen the