–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD The teacher and I exchanged knowing looks as a kindergartener flung herself across the table, scattering crayons and paper in every direction. We understood that intervening at this moment would only make it worse, although it probably was going to get worse anyway. I was a volunteer. I had no clue what to do, so I sat down on the floor next to the table under which the child had crawled.
–by Laura Dennis, with much gratitude to Hilary Jacobs Hendel, to whom I owe both the title and content of this post This is not a book review Last month, I wrote a post previewing Hilary Jacobs Hendel’s new book, It’s Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self. In it, I promised a review of that book, which Hilary was gracious
Dear educator: My kids have been blessed with many amazing teachers. I have many friends and family in education. They put in many hours and pursue continuing education to become better. Most deal with students from a wide variety of backgrounds with varying abilities, skills, weaknesses, and experiences. It is difficult to learn about every special need, disability, trigger, culture or background that might impact the students you work with. I totally get that. I,
–by Lorraine Fuller Back-to-school time involves mixed feelings for so many of us trauma moms. We might look forward to the respite it provides. I am a stay-at-home mom and while I love my kids, I enjoy the much-needed break at the end of a long summer. The routine my child thrives on is easier for me to keep up with during school. Plus being able to grocery shop without my son stealing is nice.
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD Every adult knows that there are triggers in life. We often know each other’s triggers, and in toxic relationships, we talk about how we push each other’s buttons. We know those buttons exist, but we often don’t remember how they got there. It is even harder for children, who are not yet developmentally capable of identifying the trigger. Most difficult of all, for children and adults alike, is that triggers and
–by Janyne McConnaughey, Ph.D. The doctor my parents took me to was wise beyond his era. He said, “She seems to be a bit anxious about school. Maybe it would help to keep her home for a week.” My first-grade report card proves that his advice was taken. In the midst of almost perfect attendance, there was an anomaly. It was called trauma. I used to tell a story about that year, a story I
by: Lorraine Fuller My son told me once that the reason he lies and breaks rules is because he is testing the person. He will do things that seem to make no sense, tell lies that get him into trouble, or steal inconsequential things. If a teacher tells him to write his name on the top left side of his paper, he will put it on the right side or the middle. He might also leave
Manager’s note: Altogether too many families raising traumatized kids have been investigated on false charges of abuse or neglect. This might be triggered a school retaliating against a family advocating for their challenging child, an ignorant bystander, or even the child himself. Not that it really matters who starts it. The point is, families needs to be prepared. Contributing blogger Craig Peterson offers excellent, concrete advice on things therapeutic parents of traumatized children can do
by: Melissa Sadin At ATN we believe that early childhood trauma and attachment disruption impacts brain development. A study found that children living in an Eastern European orphanage had larger more reactive amygdalae and smaller hippocampal volume than children in the same country that had never been in an orphanage. In addition, the same researchers found that the longer a child lived in an orphanage, the greater the difference in brain development. At ATN we
by: Gari Lister Most schools in Dallas started Monday, and my Facebook feed is full of happy children getting ready for their first day of school. My own daughter started last week — on Wednesday, of all weird days — and somehow I missed posting her picture (so of course I’m embarrassing her by posting it here). But if I’m honest, maybe it wasn’t a mistake. I know summers are really hard for lots of