Blog

Laralyn McWilliams on rediscovering creativity following trauma [gamasutra.com]

Emotional distress caused by uncontrollable life events robs us of our creative power. This was the message from Laralyn McWilliams, chief creative officer at Skydance Interactive who, at an emotional talk at GDC 2018, recounted her experience struggling to make games after being diagnosed with incurable lung cancer. “I could not be creative or do my job,” said McWilliams. “I sat on the couch and said to my husband: ‘I am a talentless hack.’ I thought in that moment that I would never create...

How life outside of a school affects student performance in school [brookings.edu]

This report presents findings from a unique partnership between the University of Michigan and the State that allowed us to match the universe of child maltreatment records in Michigan with educational data on all public school children in the state. We find that roughly 18 percent of third-grade students have been subject to at least one formal investigation for child maltreatment. In some schools, more than fifty percent of third graders have experienced an investigation for maltreatment.

Mom Has a Kitchen Dance Party With 3-Yr-Old. Then She Hears “I Miss My Other Daddy.” (faithit.com)

Being a foster parent is not for the faint of heart. A cycle of taking in broken, wounded little hearts, often just for them to get broken and wounded again — all while remaining “unattached” for the sake of their assured departure from your care — is a nearly impossible job for most to fathom undertaking. And all that aside, how do you even begin to explain to a 3-year-old that they have a “new daddy” or “new mommy” in a way that doesn’t completely wreck their perception of what it means to...

The Rising Criminalization of Black Girls [citylab.com]

The kids are not alright—well, not all of them. In Washington, D.C., the percentage of young black girls entering the juvenile justice system has risen dramatically, even as that of young black boys has decreased. Young black girls are now likely to be arrested at 30 times the rate of white boys and girls together, according to a new report by the advocacy group Rights4Girls and the Georgetown Juvenile Justice Initiative. “Girls of color are dealing with challenges posed by racism but...

King Wanted More Than Just Desegregation [theatlantic.com]

About employment, housing, and the military—institutions central to Americans’ social life—Martin Luther King Jr. had plenty to say. But about schools and education, perhaps surprisingly, he said less. One reason may have been timing. The landmark education battle of the civil-rights movement took place when King was at the beginning of his career. The Supreme Court struck down the legality of “separate but equal” public schools in 1954, the year he became a pastor, one year after he got...

Early life experiences influence DNA in the adult brain [sciencedaily.com]

In the perennial question of nature versus nurture, a new study suggests an intriguing connection between the two. Salk Institute scientists report in the journal Science that the type of mothering a female mouse provides her pups actually changes their DNA. The work lends support to studies about how childhood environments affect brain development in humans and could provide insights into neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. "We are taught that our DNA is...

In the Shadows [msmagazine.com]

We have yet to create safe space for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) to heal. Of the 50 million adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America, only 15 percent of them were identified as victims in childhood. That means that 85 percent of them came into adulthood without ever addressing issues related to their abuse. Isolation comes easy for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Sometimes they isolate themselves because they feel so misunderstood. It is easier to...

7 Signs You Have Mild PTSD Rather Than Anxiety [bustle.com]

It's easy to write-off excessive worries and racing thoughts as symptoms of anxiety. But if you know you're dealing with anxiety, it's important to be aware of where certain fears are really coming from. Although anxiety is different from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the two mental health conditions can show up in similar ways. So how can you tell the difference between signs of post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety? "The main similarity between PTSD and anxiety is that the...

Congress rejects Betsy DeVos’ education agenda [thinkprogress.org]

Congress’ spending bill demolishes many of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ budget priorities and proposals. The bill rejects many of her proposed cuts for the department, and instead allocates more money to the Office for Civil Rights, preserves funding for before and after school programs, and keeps in place a grant program that helps provide school-based mental health services. House and Senate leaders released this bill, which would fund the government through September, on Wednesday...

How photography shines a light on America’s dark prison system [dazeddigital.com]

Slavery in the United States was never abolished – it simply changed shape, allowing the government, corporations, and individuals to continue to profit off the oppression and exploitation of men, women, and children since the 13th Amendment of the constitution was ratified in 1865. The 13th Amendment, which legalises slavery in the case of incarceration, has spawned a massive prison industrial complex. Although the US is a mere 5 per cent of the world’s population, it accounts for 25 per...

'Campaign to Heal Childhood Trauma' May 4-11 Six-City Western Tour

Please join me and my friends at Calo Programs, Attachment and Trauma Network (ATN), the American Adoption Congress (AAC) and the Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh) for their "Campaign to Heal Childhood Trauma." It's a six-city bus tour May 4-11 to raise broad public awareness and engage people in inter-active workshops; here's the website: www.endchildhoodtrauma.com From the Campaign's flier: Calo Programs is partnering with three of the nation's leading...

2018 Prevention Resource Guide: Keeping Children Safe and Families Strong in Supportive Communities [childwelfare.gov]

The 2018 Prevention Resource Guide: Keeping Children Safe and Families Strong in Supportive Communities was recently released by the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect in the Children's Bureau of the US Department of Health and Human Services. This guide is designed to support service providers as they work with families to promote child well-being and prevent child maltreatment. It focuses on protective factors that build on family strengths to foster healthy child and youth development. In...

Recovering from addiction means withdrawing from emotional stress, too [pressherald.com]

One of the most challenging parts of entering recovery is that you are forced to face the same painful emotions and challenges you did before, but this time without the help of drugs and alcohol. In a previous column , I wrote that: Abstaining from drugs and alcohol didn’t immediately take away the problems in my life and within myself emotionally. Although they compounded my problems, drugs were never the actual issue. Mind-altering substances were how I attempted to treat myself. I was...

'Teaching Hope': How California Schools Can Improve Ways To Address Student Trauma [capradio.org]

Dealing with students’ childhood trauma may improve classroom behavior and attendance rates — at least that’s the idea at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s wellness centers. They are located in or near schools, and are designed to serve kids impacted by issues such as deportation threats, domestic abuse, housing instability and other trauma. The district is working with local nonprofits to expand the program. Suzanne Markey is a social worker with the district. She said schools often...

Suicide prevention bill gets final OK from Iowa Senate [desmoinesregister.com]

Iowa school employees working with students would be required to have least one hour annually of training in suicide prevention under a bill that received final approval Wednesday from the Iowa Senate. Senate File 2213 , which was amended by the Iowa House, passed on a 49-0 vote. The bill now heads to Gov. Kim Reynolds for consideration... The legislation requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules requiring school districts to adopt protocols for suicide prevention and intervention...

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