Early Childhood Trauma significantly impairs a child’s ability to learn, and is often not recognized by educators. At ATN we advocate for system-wide Trauma Sensitive Schools as the best environment for all children, and especially those experiencing early childhood trauma, to learn. However, there are many schools and educators who are not familiar with the impact of trauma and attachment challenges on learning. So we offer the following resources that contain information that has been helpful to families as they explain the impact of trauma and attachment disorders to their local school systems:
How to Help a Traumatized Child in the Classroom — article by Joyce Dorado, Director of UCSF’s HEARTS program
Help for Billy — book by Heather Forbes, LCSW, of Beyond Consequences Institute
Children of Trauma: What Educators Need to Know— Kathleen Benckendorf, a former ATN Board Member, wrote this very comprehensive article for the National Council for Adoption’s Advocate publication. (2013)
Trauma-Informed Approach to Behaviors in the Classroom — free open letter to teachers from Robyn Gobbel, LCSW
Attachment Disorder/RAD Resources
“Oil and Water: The Attachment Disordered Child in School “- Lawrence B. Smith, LCSW, Attachment Disorder Maryland and ATN Board Member
Open Letter to Educators – written by Carey McGinn, Ed.D, CCC/SLP, through the Attachment Institute of New England
School Interventions that Don’t Work with Children who have Attachment Disorders – Attachment Disorder Maryland
Specific Strategies for School Personnel:
MindUP – a research-based training program that teaches social and emotional learning skills that link cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology and mindful awareness training utilizing a brain centric approach.
Sound Discipline – a website for both parents and educators about the practice of Positive Discipline. Free newsletter articles and resources.
Navigating Uncharted Waters – an article for School Psychologists about International Adopted Children – Dr. Boris Gindis
FuelEd Schools – training in social/emotional competency and teaching empathy, as well as exploring teachers’ attachment styles
MeMoves – a patented system for teaching self-regulation using music, images and movement. Both home versions and school versions are available
Special Education Resources:
Center for Cognitive-Developmental Assessment and Remediation – Dr. Boris Gindis in New York City
This site deals specifically with the psycho-educational issues of older internationally adopted children.
Definitions of Disabilities/Eligibilities for Special Education from US Dept of Education website.
LD Online – The Educator’s Guide to Learning Disabilities and ADHD
TASH – an international disability advocate for fully inclusive schools, workplaces and communities
Wrightslaw—Special Education Advocate – comprehensive site for parents to learn about special education, IEPs and IDEA