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Why Kids in Crisis (Trauma) are not in a Place to Learn

Trauma kids live in the moment - we must be available to be there with them.

As educators and support staff we often struggle with our challenging kids as their

progressions seems so slow or they move forward only to regress.

I like to ask people to step outside for a moment and put themselves in a similar situation which would affect them on the same level and ask the question:

How would I cope effectively?

If you were facing a similar crisis, would you be able to come to work or would take a leave? If you came to work would you do your job effectively? Would you be able to focus on work or would the problem waiting for you get in the way?

The difference with children is that they do not have a choice. They have to come to school despite the chaos of there lives. Their options are limited and sometimes, the most we can do, is show them the way and know that it might not be in that moment or with us that they find it.


How Trauma Affects Our Students Learning:

-The ability to acquire language and communication skills

-Understand cause and effect - A to B to C

-View from another person's perspective

-Attend to classroom structure, routine, instructions

-Regulate emotions

-Engage in learning (they often see little point to school as their life issues are so big)

-Utilize their executive functions to:

Make plans

Be organized

Follow routine

Trauma affects the child as a whole - body, memory, attention, emotion, learning and behaviour. We must meet them where they are to support them. We must create a safe environment where they can be successful. We must set expectations they can meet at this time. We must support them in creating a growth mindset and resiliency. We must model that there is a better way and life and they can cope with their challenges.

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