Monday, August 1, 2016

Three Ways to Help a Traumatized Child

How can you help a child who is suffering? As an educator, who sees the child every day, your reactions matter and studies show you can actually help alter brain chemistry. Here is how:

1. Create a predictable and safe environment. Emphasizing the following:
  • Love/Sense of Security- be the caregiver that provides a secure attachment with high engagement!
  • Repetition- reinforces brain connections
  • Predictable transitions and routines- helps build confidence and competence
  • Limits- for self regulation

2. Don't be afraid to talk about the traumatic event. Children do not benefit from "not thinking about it" or "putting it out of their minds." If a child senses that his/her caretakers are upset about the event, they will not bring it up. When the child brings it up, don't avoid discussion  listen to the child, answer questions, provide comfort and support.

3. Teach communication and self control skills to improve competence. Teach students the “ I -script” for verbal expression.

Early positive interactions and sensory interactions can make a huge difference in the emotional life of a child who is traumatized.

Have you worked with traumatized students? What did you notice?

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