Title

Creating Trauma-Sensitive School Experiences for “At-Risk” Children

First Presenter's Institution

Attachment & Trauma Network

Second Presenter's Institution

Attachment & Trauma Network

Third Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fourth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fifth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Location

Westbrook

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

Social & Emotional -- The latest in brain research, especially interpersonal neurobiology makes it clear that the toxic stress that results from early exposure to traumatic situations (abuse, neglect, in-utero exposures to drugs and alcohol, exposure to domestic violence) greatly impacts brain development and the ability to learn. The most significant, and often overlooked, aspect is in a child's social and emotional development. Science is proving that trauma significantly impacts a child's ability to learn. The change in brain development can be connected to bullying (both perpetrators and bullies) and to the achievement gap.

Developing trauma-sensitive school systems and interventions will help mitigate the impact of this toxic stress on the children's ability to learn.

Mental & Physical Health - The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study has revolutionized how we think about public health. ACEs comes from the CDC-Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, a groundbreaking public health study that discovered that childhood trauma leads to the adult onset of chronic diseases, depression and other mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence. The 11 ACEs the researchers measured include physical, sexual and verbal abuse, physical and emotional neglect; a family member who is depressed or diagnosed with other mental illness, addicted to alcohol or another substance, in prison, witnessing a mother being abused, losing a parent to separation, divorce or other reason.

Further, according to research from the Washington State University Area Health Education Center, children who have an ACE score of 3 are more than three times as likely to be suspended, six times more likely to experience behavioral problems, five times more likely to have severe attendance issues. They also have reduced reading ability and lower grade point averages. Thus the number of ACES a child has can be used to predict likelihood of participating in Bullying, being bullied, or falling in the achievement gap.

Because trauma and the resulting toxic stress is so pervasive in at-risk populations, trauma-sensitive school systems are needed nationwide. It was difficult picking a strand for this topic as the invasive nature of trauma permeates all aspects of students' lives (and the educators who work with them). Trauma-sensitive school systems will also have positive impacts on academic achievement, student safety and violence prevention and improvements in family and community.

s will help mitigate the impact of this toxic stress on the children's ability to learn.

Brief Program Description

Children who have been abused, neglected and exposed to violence often have trauma that interferes with their ability to learn. They can behave as bullies and be bullied. They are often children who are in the achievement gap. This workshop-- led by an experienced special educator and administrator, a school counselor and a trauma professional-- will define “trauma-sensitive schools” and give an overview of strategies that educators can use to move traumatized children away from Bullying and out of the achievement gap.

Summary

1) Defining the problem of trauma

a) What is trauma - how does it impact a child?

b) How widespread is the problem (ACES)?

c) How trauma impacts Learning?

d) What neuroscience tells us (Interpersonal Neurobiology)

e) The dance of attachment

f) What traumatized children look like in the classroom

i) Freeze/Flight/Fight

ii) Processing

iii) Executive Function

2) How trauma impacts learning and behavior

a) The impact of trauma on learning

b) Falling into the achievement gap

c) The impact to trauma on behavior

d) A connection between trauma and bullying

3) What does it mean to be trauma-informed?

a) The Four R’s of Trauma-informed care

i) Realizing

ii) Responding

iii) Recognizing

iv) Realizing

b) Making the paradigm shift from focusing on controlling behaviors to focusing on what the behaviors are trying to communicate

c) Can’t vs. won’t

d) Sensory components

e) Why traditional behavior modification strategies for the classroom (tokens, rewards, punishments) aren’t effective

4) What does work?

a) Definition of a Trauma-Informed classroom/school

b) Help for Bullies and victims

c) Resilience

d) Mindfulness

e) Regulation

i) Feel Safe

ii) Be connected

iii) Get regulated

iv) Learn

5) Success Stories

Evidence

This presentation on Creating Trauma Sensitive School Systems will be based on the results coming from schools implementing our programs and research that is being conducted in several places throughout the U.S. on the impact of trauma/toxic stress on the developing brain coupled with research into successful practices both in the classroom and system wide for helping to relieve toxic stress and promote resilience in children. The following resources/studies will be cited:

Helping Traumatized Children Learn and Creating and Advocating for Trauma-Sensitive Schools, Massachusetts Advocates for Children.

Center of the Developing Child, Harvard University www.developingchildharvard.edu (especially their work on toxic stress and resilience)

Area Health Education center of Eastern Washington's research into trauma-informed system change process, Washington State University (including the CLEAR - Collaborative Learning for Education Achievement & Resilience program). http://ext100.wsu.edu/ahec/

National Child Traumatic Stress Network - http://nctsnet.org/resources/audiences/school-personnel

The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute - http://www.traumacenter.org/

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Melissa Sadin, MAT, M.Ed., MS, Director - Ducks&Lions: Trauma Sensitive Resources, LLC Melissa Sadin is a life-long educator. She has served as a special education teacher. an elementary school building administrator, and a director of special education. She earned two masters degrees and is currently working on a doctoral degree in special education. Melissa has presented numerous workshops and webinars to educators at all levels on trauma-sensitive schools in New Jersey and nationwide. Melissa is also an Attachment & Trauma Network member and active in the Trauma Sensitive Schools Think Tank.

Julie Beem, MBA, Executive Director of Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc. As the Executive Director of the Attachment & Trauma Network (ATN), Julie is responsible for the daily operations of this 20-year-old non-profit that supports traumatized children and their families. Her duties include leadership, administration, coordinating the efforts of all the other directors, and acting as spokesperson for the organization. Prior to ATN, Julie was the president of a marketing and communications consultancy. Julie holds a BS in Secondary Education (English) from Northwest Missouri State University and an MBA from Avila College in Kansas City. Julie, and her husband Dave, are parents to four children, including their youngest daughter, adopted from China. Through her experiences finding the right solutions for her daughter who struggles with Developmental Trauma Disorder, Julie has garnered a great deal of experience in the areas of special education, school issues, and disabilities advocacy. She frequently presents workshops on attachment and trauma to educators, juvenile justice, child welfare, adoptive and foster groups, and the general public.

Keyword Descriptors

trauma-sensitive, resilience, trauma-informed, toxic stress, developmental trauma trauma, neurobiology, attachment, mindfulness, Bullying

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-6-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

3-6-2017 4:15 PM

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Mar 6th, 3:00 PM Mar 6th, 4:15 PM

Creating Trauma-Sensitive School Experiences for “At-Risk” Children

Westbrook

Children who have been abused, neglected and exposed to violence often have trauma that interferes with their ability to learn. They can behave as bullies and be bullied. They are often children who are in the achievement gap. This workshop-- led by an experienced special educator and administrator, a school counselor and a trauma professional-- will define “trauma-sensitive schools” and give an overview of strategies that educators can use to move traumatized children away from Bullying and out of the achievement gap.