Traumatic events can cause severe disruption to students’ ability to have a normal school experience. In her article for ASCD, Kristine Souers writes that trauma is toxic to students’ brains, spirits and bodies. We agree. Traumatic experiences can make the school life and other aspects of life intolerable for kids, and it disrupts their ability to learn.
To quote Kathleen Nader from Gift from Within
Trauma’s disruption of school life can take many forms. If the child feels stigmatized, frightened, or easily overwhelmed, s/he may resist returning to school. Arousal symptoms may interfere with attention and concentration and may undermine academic performance. The youth may become unable to handle multiple stimuli such as chatter, multiple images, pages of print, and competing sounds.
Normal school noises may be difficult to tolerate. The youth may overreact to stress or perceived threats. S/he may see threat or degradation when there is none intended. Traumatic reminders may trigger increased symptoms or behavioral outbursts that seem strange or disruptive.
Kathleen’s article has loads of tips and suggestions for parents, clinicians, and school psychologists to help device effective interventions for traumatized children. You can access her full paper over here.