Many children grow up in living situations their are beyond our personal comprehension, yet somehow we know where the line is of neglect, abuse, and malnourished exist. When a child does not have proper nutrition , is sheltered and treated with love and kindness. Each of us knows that their basic needs are not being met, Trauma informed helps us to create a lense of how these traumas – abuse, affects the development of the brain from conception to adult years, potentially until death. Though there are marking signs of what trauma and abuse can look like for a child or adolescent, a study conducted by Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to 1997 with two waves of data collection called (ACEs) goes on further to show how impactful even one measure of traumas can be on the lifespan of those who have experienced the trauma.
The ACEs measures 10 factors of trauma. Ven just one of these markers can have serious impacts on children’s development, 4 or more can have serious impacts on adult lifestyle choices, substance use, stress levels, and overall health.
What is most striking about this information is the study was conducted on educated white males from Kaiser. The results were quite surprising how many had experienced even 2 markers of ACEs, however if this same information was applied to individuals growing up marginalized populations it is easy to imagine the results would be astonishingly higher.
So what do we do? Knowing that trauma impacts everyone, is an invisible characteristic, change the way people behave and show up in work, school, and life.
We become trauma informed. We look for signs of trauma.
We treat everyone the same, as though they may have experienced a trauma that we are unaware of.
We build relationships: as studies have shown trauma impacts the development of the brain, and it takes only ONE buffering adult to create connection and love to help the individual develop potential skills of resilience.
Resilience is taught.
Looking at and understanding how brains develop differently from impacts of trauma helps ues become trauma-informed. Understanding that for children who have experienced trauma going “inside” for a meditation moment maybe agitating and uncomfortable, what others projects of activities may you have to address that?Getting acquainted with trauma and how it shows up is essential to giving every student a chance at succeeding in your classroom.