Blog Archives

Holding Space for Those Impacted by Racial Trauma

This past week has been an exhausting whirlwind of explosive emotions.  If that’s not true for you, you probably haven’t turned on a TV, read the news online or talked to another human about current US events.

In the middle of an already high stress-inducing pandemic, America witnessed a murder captured on cellphone video and played (and replayed) for all to see. 

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Child Trafficking: How Teachers Can Help

Child trafficking: from victim to advocate

In 2019, I found myself in front of an auditorium full of school staff members from 70 Colorado school districts, speaking at a training on how to identify child trafficking. Several years earlier, my therapist had told me, “One day, you will be addressing the systems that failed you.

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Complex “Yes/And” Solutions to End Mass Shootings

Just days after one of the bloodiest non-war weekends in US history, thousands have taken to their social media pulpits to preach about mass shootings. Some advocate gun control, mental health services, or an end to racism. Thousands more preach just the opposite, saying guns, mental illness, or racism could not possibly be the cause.

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Being a CASA: Another Way to Help Kids

My kids are grown, and while my spouse and I have agreed to be done parenting, we still want to help kids, so I became a CASA. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. In some places, they call this person GAL, Guardian Ad Litem. I, along with my husband,

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Dear Educator, Part III

Dear educator,

Here we are, the last of my three letters about childhood trauma. I appreciate you taking the time to read what I have to say. Here are my last pieces of trauma-sensitive teacher advice.

Kids with trauma need teachers to understand that emotional age does not always equal chronological age.

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Dear Educator: A Series of Heartfelt Letters about what Kids with Trauma Need in School

Dear educator,

Thank you so much for teaching my child.

I appreciate this opportunity to share with you some insight into the challenges that my child has been having in your classroom and as a student in your school.

I was one of you.

A few short years ago,

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When The Political Becomes Personal

Last week was just plain emotionally exhausting! As the mom of a child who experienced severe early childhood trauma, a mom who has spent the last two decades immersed in the study of what these early traumas (abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, separation from your parent) do to the developing brains of infants and toddlers,

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ATN Responds #KeepFamiliesTogether


On June 20, 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order halting the practice of separating children from families after they are detained crossing the U.S. border illegally.  There is still more work needed, however, as the President’s E.O. does not address what is to be done with the more than 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents prior to his action yesterday. 

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Respect Thy Parent Voice

–by Donald Craig Peterson [originally published on the author’s blog, Adopting Faith: A Father’s Unconditional Love, March 19, 2018]

logoPlain and simple. Parents know their children best from years of observation and interaction. They might not used fancy terms. They might not know the latest clinical terms.

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Oh No…He’s One of “Ours”

ATN–by Julie Beem

I knew it. As the news poured in on that Wednesday afternoon about the shooting at the Broward County high school, my heart sank, not only for the unspeakable trauma of all involved and the loss of so many lives, but for whatever had…or hadn’t…happened before to this young man we now know is named Nikolas Cruz.

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