—by Laura Dennis 1) There are (at least) 2 kinds of being brave. One is an illusion in which we tell ourselves a version of events that we would like to be true. The other is the real deal. It involves facing our fears head on and living to tell the tale. In a future ATN blog post, Janyne will talk more about these two kinds of being brave. 2) Even the most “together” person
–by Donald Craig Peterson [originally published on the author’s blog, Adopting Faith: A Father’s Unconditional Love, March 19, 2018] Plain and simple. Parents know their children best from years of observation and interaction. They might not used fancy terms. They might not know the latest clinical terms. But they are the experts. If someone asks. If someone doesn’t assume. If someone engages them and builds a meaningful conversation. They deserve a voice. For children with special
–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 Julie Beem I knew it. As the news poured in on that Wednesday afternoon about the shooting at the Broward County high school, my heart sank, not only for the unspeakable trauma of all involved and the loss of so many lives, but for whatever had…or hadn’t…happened before to this young man we now know is named Nikolas Cruz. “I’ll bet he’s one of ours,” I said to my husband. “You’re always saying that,”
–by Lorraine Fuller This is one of the hardest blogs I have ever written, harder even than the one about failure. You see, I have been asked my thoughts about the latest school shooting. Like many people, my thoughts and emotions are scattered, and being the parent of a child with early trauma has changed how I see things even more. When the Columbine shooting happened, I had three children, all emotionally healthy. One was
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 Janyne McConnaughey, PhD “It’s just me.” That’s what I used to think about my behavior, including when I myself was a student. Then I began to learn. My growing understanding of the effects of trauma on children and how they learn has come from several sources. In addition to my own experiences as a traumatized child and later as a teacher educator, I have been researching trauma-sensitive schools while watching a series of webinars
–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 Julie Beem In my last post, I wrote about a mom in search of an appropriate consequence for her daughter’s misbehavior at school. I suggested that an at-home consequence (taking away Wednesday night church activities) for an in-school behavior might not be the best approach, in part because children with brains affected by trauma lack neurotypical cause-and-effect thinking. Today, I’m going to address two other reasons such consequences usually don’t work. First of all,