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Helping Traumatized


Overview of Trauma
Definition: overwhelming psychological demands placed upon the physiological/psychological
system that result in a profound sense of vulnerability or loss of control
Impact on behavior
Impact on academics

Consider This
Children who have experienced trauma are disproportionately qualified as having a Specific
Learning Disability (SLD). (Van der Kolk, B.A. 2005)
Children who, have experienced trauma are often diagnosed with behavior disorders like
ADHD/ADD (Perry, 2001)
More than 5 million children in the U.S. experience at least one traumatic event annually.
Over 40% of children who experience a traumatic event will suffer from serious psychological, socialemotional and academic difficulties (Perry, B. D. 1999).

Changing Our View Of Traumatized

Children create strong and long lasting
associations (ex: mom/female with physical

Their behaviors are adaptive and may keep

children safe in other situations
fighting to live, as opposed to failing to

First Things First

Address trauma symptoms

Help children become regulated

Requires rewiring the brain by creating new and
positive associations

Enriched cognitive experiences such as

tutoring and specialized instruction or
behavioral interventions will not help if the
root of the learning or behavior problem is a
problem with self-regulation

Before children can be expected to learn,

they must be in a state of calm

Helping Children Regulate

Be present and calm in your interactions with children

Be consistent and predictable

Include regulating activities throughout the school day (ex: walking, running, rocking, doodling,
humming, swinging, jumping, dancing, yoga, mindfulness exercises)
Powerful forms of regulation because they mimic a mothers heartbeat

Include social skills lessons in your teachings

Build supportive relationships with your students
Implement a positive classroom management system that promotes self-discipline
Remember that your students can read your emotions so being regulated yourself is extremely
important Take care of yourself!

Schools that have taken the time to implement regulatory activities have seen:

Fewer behavior problems

Superior Acquisition of content

Students test better

We CANNOT expect children to reason before they are regulated and feel safe

Questions or Comments