Trauma in children

Trauma comes in all different sizes. This is the definition I found on google Trauma is the lasting emotional response that often results from living through a distressing event. Experiencing a traumatic event can harm a person’s sense of safety, sense of self, and ability to regulate emotions and navigate relationships.

Trauma effects every part of our being. Sometimes we get stuck emotionally at the age maybe where the truama began. Our brains don’t function normally. Our bodies kick into survival mode. Flight, fight or freeze. In that moment our brain works hard to fend off whatever we think is a threat. Trauma changes the way we feel, act or think in situations. For me trust was huge because people often hurt me even when they thought they were helping me.

Trauma’s Impact on Brain Development

Exposure to chronic, prolonged traumatic experiences has the potential to alter children’s brains, which may cause longer-term effects in areas such as:

  • Attachment: Trouble with relationships, boundaries, empathy, and social isolation
  • Physical Health: Impaired sensorimotor development, coordination problems, increased medical problems, and somatic symptoms
  • Emotional Regulation: Difficulty identifying or labeling feelings and communicating needs
  • Dissociation: Altered states of consciousness, amnesia, impaired memory
  • Cognitive Ability: Problems with focus, learning, processing new information, language development, planning and orientation to time and space
  • Self-Concept: Lack of consistent sense of self, body image issues, low self-esteem,shame and guilt
  • Behavioral Control: Difficulty controlling impulses, oppositional behavior, aggression, disrupted sleep and eating patterns, trauma re-enactment

Source: Cook, et al, 2005

School was next to impossible for me to learn. For me it was my freedom from my nightmare at home. People who don’t know or have never experienced trauma have no idea why a child is acting out in class. They may be violent, low in ademics, impulsive, angry, or withdrawn or have other symptoms. How can we look at the whole child and see that maybe they have come from trauma. Every child is unique in their own way but children from trauma are extra special. One of the only good things that’s comes from my trauma as a kid is that I see children who have trauma in their lives. I’m drawn to them and I understand what and how they feel.

Children are not going to sit down and learn in a classroom. They fight for survival they bolt when they feel they cannot control their lives. Running is easier then facing the scary thing. Imagine coming to school for your first time you’ve never left your home that’s all you know. Then you discover that through a lot of trust the people you see everyday they make you feel like you’ve never felt before. What is that feeling? That feeling is called love. Before you trust anyone you own lash out at people hurting them. As a kid you model what you see at home. That you thought was your normal but you slowly realize that is not normal at all. Nobody else does that.

Trying to get a child in trauma to learn is next to impossible with no trust. I was so low in my schooling way below all the children. For me I was always hungry so you can’t concentrate on work if your stomach growls so much. I love my school because we have many programs that our children can get food from. No child is ever hungry. So next time a child is acting up in your class it could be for many reasons. Taking that time to figure out out it makes a world of difference for everyone. ❤️

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