by: Craig Peterson Looking back to my elementary school years, I was lucky. Learning came easy. Fast forward 30 years. My children were struggling at school. When a flyer came home about a school workshop, I jumped at the chance to gain additional knowledge. Several weeks later I encountered a roomful of overwhelmed mothers. Within ten minutes I had an entirely new take on parental frustration. “My daughter’s behind her peers in everything,” said one
By: Jen Alexander, MA, NCC, RPT It’s back to school time for all of us. It can be overwhelming to think about what to tell this year’s teachers about our children. What’s too much? What’s too little? The answers, of course, are different for everyone, but here are some ideas to think about sharing. Educators need to know that trauma negatively impacts youth biologically, emotionally, behaviorally, cognitively, socially, and it can affect one’s sense of
by: Craig Peterson In elementary school my two attachment-challenged sons whipped through their assignments in class. They rarely had homework. Since both made excellent grades, I never gave the situation a second thought. All that quickly changed by middle school. As the missing work mounted, their grades plummeted. With seven teachers during the day, they had to pay attention – which isn’t easy for many kids overcoming early childhood trauma. They also had constant anxiety
by: Jane Samuel Like many children from hard places our daughter was diagnosed with sensory issues. As I began to get a grasp on her sensory needs and avoidances and attended OT sessions I kept a running list of what helped her and what would be a good tool to use at home. This Tuesday I am sharing what some things that we found invaluable in our home daily sensory diet. First, consider creating a
by: Gari Lister Have you read the Attachment & Trauma Network‘s belief statement? I hadn’t until I went to the board retreat in January, and since then it has inspired me on a daily basis. It reminds me why ATN is important — why we need to fight for traumatized children and their families — and why all of ATN’s programs, including the ground-breaking Education Summit, the advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and in state
by: Melissa Sadin
Teenager with problemsAs the parent of a child with moderate to severe attachment trauma, I have struggled for years to provide my son with an appropriate educational program. I have worked as a special education teacher and an administrator, so I know the lingo needed to get what I want at an IEP meeting. However, I was startled to discover recently that I wasn’t sure I knew what my son needed. My son always makes it very clear to all involved when something doesn’t work for him. The things that do work, however, are much more subtle and harder to see. My son has never said, “Oh, I like Mrs. Soandso. I feel safe in her class and am able to process language better there so I perform better academically.” The closest we get to that is, “She’s okay, I guess.”
As we begin 2015, many of us may have resolved to learn more about early childhood/attachment trauma and attachment disorders. We may need to delve into how to be therapeutic parents or need a refresher in strategies to stay calm and provide a healing environment. The following events are not organized by the Attachment & Trauma Network, but ones that our members and other parents have reported were valuable. If you live near any of
December 12, 2015 by: Craig Peterson Everyone at the elementary school was ready for my two newest sons. The principal had the facts. She “got” it. After several lengthy meetings, the teachers also understood and prepared for a smooth mid-year transition. Most likely, they felt sorry. Who wouldn’t after reading the one-page summary I provided? The 20 placements in 5 years caught their attention. Yet it was the story of older boy being beat with
By: Craig Peterson
The right teacher can make all the difference – for every student and especially those children healing from past trauma.
Boy with a Birthday CakeWhen my son Alex joined the family at the age of 10, he hadn’t been in a regular classroom since first grade. His behavior had been out of control, with anger filled rages getting the best of him. After grabbing a pair of scissors off a teacher’s desk and attempting to stab the principal in the neck, he spent a month in residential treatment. Upon his return to school, he was limited to two hours of instruction per day. A beefy ex-Marine stood guard.
October 15, 2014 by: Gari Lister Christine Moers: Homeschooling a Child with Attachment Trauma As part of ATN‘s Educating Traumatized Children Summit, Christine Moers, a parent of both adopted and biological children and a parent coach, spoke about the benefits of homeschooling traumatized children. For so many traumatized children, school — even with well-meaning teachers, even with trauma sensitive administrators — is terrifying. My youngest daughter is scared not so much of the teachers, but of