Trauma occurs every day and in every person’s life. However, those with less resiliency, fewer resources, a past of adverse experience, or who are in the beginning stages of development, are more debilitated by traumatic experiences and are highly susceptible to traumatic disorders. A person that suffers from a trauma disorder carries that disorder everywhere; there is no discarding it at the door of a church, a playground, a babysitter’s, or a school. When children with traumatic disorders are in school they are surrounded by triggers (any sensory event that may remind the person’s brain or body of a past traumatic experience) and may become reactive or dissociative in response to a trigger.
While not every student comes in contact with a mental health professional, nearly every child in America comes in contact with a teacher and educational professionals. When educators have learned to recognize signs of developmental trauma, and how to respond, more children are served, and it is more possible to provide a solid education.
This concentration examines trauma in the context of the learning environment. The classes have been developed to instruct practitioners in the overall impact of trauma in the school setting, the community, and the child’s home. The developmental effects of trauma and the ramifications of those effects on the academic setting of the child and their peers and teachers are explored in the second class. The interaction of the child within the community is the focus of the third class. In the fourth class, practitioners learn to apply the knowledge they have acquired to their individual child, classroom, and school. Students get the opportunity to practice their acquired knowledge in a practicum that puts everything they have learned to use in a classroom or other setting with children who have experienced trauma.