Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives.
Schools have an important role in decreasing the impact of a traumatic event on a child. Children spend the majority of their day in school where caring adults are available to help them. Educators can help children by providing the structure of a usual routine, providing a safe place to share concerns, being sensitive to cues in the environment that may trigger a traumatic response, and providing additional supports.
- Trauma can have a lasting impact. Childhood trauma can increase the risk for psychological, behavioral or emotional problems (depression or PTSD), substance abuse, low occupational attainment or academic failure, social maladjustment and poor medical health.
- If a child perceives the event as threatening, there is an increased likelihood that the child will be traumatized. These threat perceptions are influenced by (1) the nature of the crisis event itself, (2) crisis exposure, (3) relationships with crisis victims, (4) adult reactions to the trauma, and (5) a variety of individual/personal vulnerability factors.
- Training for Trauma Informed classrooms (from Counselor Talk, January 2018):
- Our school is currently using the Lilly grant to become a trauma-certified school. We have been working with Starr Global’s National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. They are located in Michigan but will travel to your school to do on-site trainings. They also have online-trainings that our staff have done and enjoyed as well. Erin Good-Whiteford, Southeast Neighborhood School of Excellence, Indianapolis, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lori Desautels at Butler did a great training: https://www.edutopia.org/
profile/lori-desautels http://revelationineducation. com/?p=1715
- Dr. Nadine Burke Harris (featured in the this YouTube video) wrote a book, The Deepest Well. The Kindle edition is currently on sale for $1.99. I read it as soon as it came out. I LOVE the book!
- Trauma Informed Schools and ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences): Counselor Talk FB responses and additional Counselor Talk responses from April 2018
- Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators
- Talking to Children About Violence-Tips for Parents and Teachers
- The Ant Hill Disaster by Julia Cook
- Dr. Laurie Desautels has created a moodle about trauma-informed schools; Dr. Desautels is a foremost expert on this topic. This webinar is free at http://moodle.doe.in.gov/ You will need the enrollment key counselor. Here is her Brain-Aligned Strategies resource.
- “The Deepest Well” by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris (2018)
- ED Talks: Mark Sander, Trauma-Informed Classroom (YouTube video)
- Beyond Consequences Institute, Heather T. Forbes, LCSW
- Guidance for Trauma Screening in Schools
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This post was last modified by Heather on April 12, 2018.
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This post was created by QRST ContentManager on August 7, 2016.