Activity

How Genes Respond to Trauma and Stress

Okay! So, after getting YOUR answers to my crowdsourcing question (thank you for the 100 responses on Facebook and Instagram !): "What do you want to see from me on social media?" the overwhelming #1 response was more nuggets of science, offered with the shared sense that I understand YOUR struggles, I see your suffering. And I do. Oh, you have no idea how much I do. So, with that in mind, here's a nugget of science about How Genes Respond to Trauma and Stress . Some genes, like the ones...

What's Lost When Black Children Are Socialized Into a White World [theatlantic.com]

By Dani McClain, The Atlantic, November 21, 2019 Jessica Black is a Pittsburg, California, mother of two black teenagers, both of whom have been disciplined multiple times at their middle and high schools. Her daughter has been suspended more than once, and teachers often deem her son’s behavior out of line, reprimanding him for not taking off his hoodie in class and for raising his voice. In observing her own family and others, Black has noticed a pattern: Behaviors that many black parents...

Toxic Schools Worsening Toxic Stress: The Destructive Reign of Universal Standards, Pathology, Medication and Behaviorism

This post is the first chapter of a book. The names HAVE NOT been changed, as each individual profoundly impacted the author's growth and development. She wants their identities to remain intact. I did not realize that my first years in public education would profoundly shape my trauma-informed journey and what I would do nearly twenty years later. But I clearly remember the late fall of 2001. I was completing my second year in a master’s program for school counseling at the University of...

In a converted bus in Tijuana, a school emerges for asylum seekers (Los Angeles Times)

By Alejandro Maciel, December 4, 2019, LA Times TIJUANA — It’s a Friday morning and, as at any other school, children are cutting paper, drawing, reading aloud and playing with friends. There’s some shouting and pushing too, and their teacher patiently arranges the desks and gives instructions. What’s unusual is the setting: the inside of a passenger bus that has been converted into a classroom. The school is part of the Yes We Can Mobile Schools project of the Yes We Can World Foundation ,...

Shared Use in the Summer: Opening School Spaces to the Public When Classes Are Out [changelabsolutions.org]

By ChangeLab Solutions and Merced County Public Health Department (CA), November 20, 2019 How can communities use school spaces during vacation times? Schools are more than just places of learning for children. They serve as centers of connection for families from surrounding neighborhoods and have many facilities and resources that can benefit the wider community. Opening school spaces during times when students are not on campus can significantly improve health and equity for those who...

Trauma in the Classroom: How Educators Should Approach it and What Parents and Students Should Expect From Schools [newsstand.clemson.edu]

By Michael Staton, Clemson University College of Education, November 18, 2019 When students arrive at school, they don’t check their trauma at the door or ignore it. Considering the effect trauma can have on student learning, teachers can’t choose to ignore it, either. Trauma leads to learning problems, lower grades, suspensions, expulsions and even long-term health problems. Teachers are increasingly expected to identify and work with issues students bring to school, and based on related...

“Disgraceful” Disparities In School Discipline Funnel Kids Into Justice System [witnessla.com]

By Taylor Walker, Witness LA, November 11, 2019 Research and the national conversation around racial disparities in school discipline have largely remained focused on the outsized disparate treatment that black students receive when compared with their white peers. Yet Native American youth face much the same disciplinary treatment in schools that black students do, according to a report from San Diego State University and Sacramento Native American Higher Education Collaborative (SNAHEC)...

CenteringParenting Recognized as Innovative Pediatric Intervention in New Report from The Center for the Study of Social Policy [globenewswire.com]

By Vandana Devgan, Centering Healthcare Institute, November 15, 2019 Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI) is honored to share that its pediatric group care model CenteringParenting®, has been recognized by The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) as an innovative pediatric intervention in its latest study. "Fostering Social and Emotional Health: Common Threads to Transform Everyday Practice and System" , released as part of the Pediatrics Supporting Parents (PSP) initiative, shares...

World Premiere: Stress & Resilience: How Toxic Stress Affects Us, and What We Can Do About It [developingchild.harvard.edu]

By Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University, November 13, 2019 When the stress in your life just doesn’t let up, and it feels like you have no support to get through the day—let alone do everything you need to do to be the best parent you can be—it can seem like there’s nothing that can make it better. But there are resources that can help, and this kind of stress—known as “toxic stress”—doesn’t have to define your life. In this video, learn more about what toxic stress is, how it...

'How Do We Recover?': Experts Weigh In on How to Talk to Your Kids About Shootings [latimes.com]

By Nina Agrawal, Los Angeles Times, November 14, 2019 The shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita on Thursday touched off intense, heart-sinking fear among many teenagers who ran for cover, barricaded classroom doors with tables and chairs, and hid in closets. Later, as they were reunited at a park, evacuated students and parents collapsed into one another’s arms in long, tearful hugs. “Fear made it feel like we were waiting in silence forever,” said Andrei Mojica, 17, who locked...

Principal starts 'No phone, new friends Friday' lunchtime tradition

Thanks to Northwest PBIS Network, Inc. for sharing this on Facebook. Jackie Kennon - KCRG.com, Eastern Iowa, November 8, 2019 'No phone, new friends Fridays' is a new tradition at Iowa Valley Junior-Senior High School in Marendo. Principal Janet Behrens started it this year. She says she noticed students at the school with their heads down, looking at their phones. Instead, she wanted them to look at each other, and learn face-to-face communication skills. Students like junior Page Weick say...

The Little Book of ACEs

What this little book tells you This little book has been written by a small group of front line practitioners who have extensive experience in supporting children who are living with trauma and/or experiencing traumatic events. We are all based in the North West of England and work in the education sector and the NHS. We have written this Little Book to inform other practitioners about what ACEs are, what their immediate effects are and how they can affect children both in the short-term...

Despite Gains, the Emotional Lives of Children Often Forgotten by Our Medical System [centerforhealthjournalism.org]

By A.K. Whitney, Center for Health Journalism, November 11, 2019 I don’t remember the date, or even the time of year, though the medical records tell me it was 1977. I was 6. But I will always remember that day: the gloomy, wood-paneled exam room at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, the hard, high table I sat on, the doctor looming above me as he muttered about swan necks and hammers, though there were no birds or tools in sight. He didn’t bother making eye contact with me. I’m not sure he...

Principals to Get Specialized Training to Tackle Racial Inequities in Their Schools [blogs.edweek.org]

By Denisa R. Superville, Education Week, November 5, 2019 The country's second-largest school district—where 82 percent of students are Latino and African American—is tapping principals to root out racial bias and inequitable practices in their schools. Los Angeles Unified School District and the Race and Equity Center at the University of Southern California have partnered to train principals and other school leaders to tackle systemic inequities. The Racial Equity Leadership Academy for...

Trauma-Informed Classrooms: Calming Corners

In our trauma-informed classrooms blog post last week, we talked about choices. We mentioned the benefit of having a space in the room where a child can go to help them calm down and become regulated. While this has become increasingly common at the elementary level, we have found that this is a tool that can work for students of all ages. Even when we survey adults about the things that help them to calm down when they are upset, one of the most common answers we hear is that they want time...

Experts Worry Active Shooter Drills in Schools Could be Traumatic for Students [npr.org]

By Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Sophia Alvarez-Boyd, and James Doubek, National Public Radio, November 10, 2019 A regular drumbeat of mass shootings in the U.S., both inside schools and out, has ramped up pressure on education and law enforcement officials to do all they can to prevent the next attack. Close to all public schools in the U.S. conducted some kind of lockdown drill in 2015-2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Last year, 57% of teens told researchers they...

From Trauma to Teaching: Survivor of Child Sex Trafficking Shares Story in Hopes of Educating the Public [nny360.com]

By Rachel Burt, NNY360, November 9, 2019 During the summer of 1992, while hanging out with her friends at a local mall, the same one she had been visiting with her family for years, Holly Austin Gibbs first made contact with one of the men who would turn her world upside down. Weeks later, the 14-year-old would find herself miles away from her hometown of Tuckerton, N.J., and thrust into the dark world of child sex trafficking. Now, 27 years later, Mrs. Gibbs is an advocate working to...

Considering Family, Environmental, Cultural and Economic Factors, an opportunity to exclude children from Special Education and Address ACES and become more Trauma Informed.

Unfortunately, by putting the problem on the students we are causing more trauma. We are making “something wrong with them” and trying to fix it. But I don’t think it is working. Because the families and the teachers are not addressing the root cause and children are stressed, suicide rates are up, and teachers are leaving the profession.

Trauma-Informed Classrooms: Choices

One thing that is common among many traumatic events is a complete lack of choices. When a person feels like they do not have a choice or control, it can be triggering and cause the negative emotions that the person ties to the original trauma. While you can do a lot relationally with how you interact with your students, you can also set up your physical space with choices in mind. As you think about choices in your classroom, here are a couple of options you may want to consider. First of...

Flint’s Children Suffer in Class After Years of Drinking the Lead-Poisoned Water

By Erica L. Green, The New York Times, November 6, 2019 Nakiya Wakes could not understand how her wiry, toothy-grinned 6-year-old had gone from hyperactive one school year to what teachers described as hysterical the next. Then, in 2015, the state of Michigan delivered a diagnosis of sorts: Ms. Wakes’s neighborhood’s water — which her son, Jaylon, had been drinking and bathing in for more than a year — was saturated with lead, at some of the highest levels in the city. Jaylon would cycle...

Only 3 States Have a Gay-Straight Alliance in More Than Half of Their High Schools [childtrends.org]

By Dominique Parris and Brandon Stratford, Child Trends, November 5, 2019 In 45 states and the District of Columbia, less than half of all high schools report having a gay-straight alliance (also known as a genders and sexualities alliance, or GSA), according to 2016 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among the 48 states (as well as the District of Columbia) that provide data, only three states (New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts) can claim that more than half of...

Fires Take a Toll on Students; Some Districts Rethink Suspensions (Podcast) [edsource.org]

By EdSource, November 4, 2019 From Sonoma County to Simi Valley, fires forced hundreds of thousands of Californians out of their homes in October. In this week’s podcast, reporter Sydney Johnson shares what she found at evacuation centers in Santa Rosa and Petaluma, where she spoke with college students worried about how they will make up lost time. Also, with a big decline in out-of-school suspensions for disruptive behavior, some districts are looking at ways to transform how they handle...

Victims of Teacher Misconduct Say Schools Should Go Beyond Checking Boxes [voiceofsandiego.org]

By Ashly McGlone, Voice of San Diego, November 4, 2019 “Just so you know, no one else has ever made a complaint,” a Chula Vista High graduate recalls being told by school officials before she complained her show choir teacher was sexually harassing her and groped her repeatedly. “I feel like every adult who was an administrator in my life at the time failed me,” a former Bonita Vista High student sexually abused by his band teacher said. “I had a counselor talk to me for 10 minutes and then...

Kids of Color Often Shut Out of High-Quality State Preschool, Research Says [blogs.edweek.org]

By Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week, November 6, 2019 A study of 26 states and their preschool programs finds that as of roughly two years ago, a mere 1 percent of Latino children and just 4 percent of black children in those states were enrolled in "high-quality" state-backed early-learning opportunities. That's one main conclusion from a new report from the Education Trust, an education civil rights advocacy group. "Young Learners, Missed Opportunities: Ensuring That Black and Latino...

Immune Biomarkers of Early-Life Adversity and Exposure to Stress and Violence - Searching Outside the Streetlight [jamanetwork.com]

By Nicole R. Bush and Kirstin Aschbacher, JAMA Pediatrics, November 4, 2019 Evidence of an association between early-life adversity and heightened risk of chronic disease in adulthood has been found, but the optimal biomarkers for identifying vulnerable or resilient individuals remain unclear. Global trends, including widening socioeconomic disparities, the refugee crises, and climate change, increasingly sculpt trauma exposure and call for scalable early-risk identification and treatment...

A Wakeup Call About Children's Sleep and What To Do About It [psychologytoday.com]

By Robyn Koslowitz, Psychology Today, November 3, 2019 Only half of children in the United States routinely get enough sleep each night, and this has significant effects on their academic performance and social, and emotional well-being. A comprehensive study analyzed responses from parents or caregivers of 49,050 children, 6 to 17 years old, who were part of the 2016-2017 cohort of the National Survey of Children’s Health. They were queried about how many nights of sleep a randomly selected...

Trauma-Informed Care as a Universal Precaution: Beyond the Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire [jamanetwork.com]

By Nicole Racine, Teresa Killam, and Sheri Madigan, JAMA Pediatrics, November 4, 2019 Experiences of childhood adversity are common, with more than 50% of adults reporting having experienced at least 1 adversity as children and more than 6% exposed to 4 or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). There is currently a controversial debate in the medical field as to whether the ACEs questionnaire, which asks about abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction before age 18 years, should be...

Association of Adverse Experiences and Exposure to Violence in Childhood and Adolescence With Inflammatory Burden in Young People [jamanetwork.com]

By Line J.H. Rasmussen, Terry E. Moffit, et al., JAMA Pediatrics, November 4, 2019 Question: Is exposure to adverse experiences, stress, and violence in childhood associated with an increase in blood levels of the inflammatory biomarker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor in young people? Findings: In this cohort study of 1391 young people followed up to 18 years of age in the United Kingdom, exposure to adverse experiences, stress, and violence during childhood or adolescence...

Study: Stress Disorders Linked to Greater Infection Risk [mercurynews.com]

By Lisa Rapaport, Reuters, October 31, 2019 People who have stress disorders like PTSD may be more vulnerable to potentially life-threatening infections, especially if they are diagnosed at younger ages or dealing with other psychiatric issues, a recent study suggests. Researchers examined data on 144,919 people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), adjustment disorders common after a major life change like a death or move, and other stress-related conditions. They also...

Adolescent Suicide Up 87 Percent Over Last Decade; LGBT and American Indian/Alaskan Native Teens at Highest Risk [prnewswire.com]

By Trust for America's Health, October 29, 2019 Adolescent suicide deaths have spiked over the last decade and substance misuse including vaping is exacting a heavy toll on teens according to a report released today by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and Well Being Trust (WBT). The report, Addressing a Crisis: Cross-Sector Strategies to Prevent Adolescent Substance Misuse and Suicide finds that, while progress has been made in reducing some risky behaviors, adolescent suicide and substance...

In School Suspensions the Answer to School Discipline? Not Necessarily, Experts Say [edsource.org]

By Carolyn Jones, EdSource, October 29, 2019 More California schools are allowing disruptive students to serve suspensions on campus instead of sending them home. But experts said educators need to provide those students with high-quality behavior counseling for that approach to be successful. Schools throughout the state have embraced in-school suspensions in recent years, as studies have shown that traditional out-of-school suspensions can hurt students’ academic performance and actually...

How to Help a Child Struggling With Anxiety [npr.org]

By Cory Turner, National Public Radio, October 29, 2019 Childhood anxiety is one of the most important mental health challenges of our time. One in five children will experience some kind of clinical-level anxiety by the time they reach adolescence, according to Danny Pine, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health and one of the world's top anxiety researchers. Pine says that for most kids, these feelings of worry won't last, but for some, they will —...

Safety First - Toxic Stress in Education

What is the purpose of having school without power? I work in a small school in a big state. The local school community had the power shut over the weekend as a preventive action for avoiding fires. This morning I was told that there would be school without power and to plan to provide services and teach children without power. My instinct was - this is not safe!

Program gives Spokane schools resources to help students rise above adversity

By Jim Allen , Thu., Oct. 24, 2019 Think of it as a well-school checkup. On Tuesday morning at Bemiss Elementary School, educators and health professionals spoke enthusiastically about something called Resilience in School Environments, or RISE. A collaboration between Kaiser Permanente and the Spokane and West Valley school districts, the RISE program is expected to lift up teachers and administrators and give them tools to cope with all the challenges of the modern student. The challenges...

It's More Than Pay: Striking Teachers Demand Counselors and Nurses [nytimes.com]

By Dana Goldstein, The New York Times, October 24, 2019 In a typical week, Adrienne Vaccarezza-Isla, a school counselor in Chicago, might help a dozen eighth graders apply to high schools across the city. Or try to convince a mother that her daughter, who had seen her get shot years earlier, should join a group for students dealing with trauma. Or work with sixth and seventh graders on time management. Even though she is the only counselor for 650 children at Avondale-Logandale Elementary...

Power of Family Resilience to Protect Children From Bullying [sciencedaily.com]

By American Academy of Pediatrics, Science Daily, October 25, 2019 Studies show that children exposed to childhood trauma known as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are at increased risk of being bullied or bullying others. New research being presented at the American American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2019 National Conference & Exhibition suggests that family resilience -- the ability to work together to overcome problems, for example -- reduces this risk. The research abstract,...

Opinion: Why 'Sesame Street' is Smarter About Foster Care Than Your Local Child Welfare Agency [latimes.com]

By Naomi Schaefer Riley, Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2019 When “Sesame Street” adds a character and a story line to its fabled neighborhood, people notice. In May, the show’s creators introduced Karli, a Muppet in foster care, and this month they revealed the reason for her situation: Her mom struggles with substance abuse. In supplemental “Sesame Street in the Community” videos available online, Elmo’s dad explains to him that “Karli’s mother has a disease called addiction. Addiction...

Toxic Stress: Issue Brief on Family Separation and Child Detention [immigrationinitiative.harvard.edu]

By Jack P. Shonkoff, Immigration Initiative at Harvard, October 2019 Background The separation of children from their parents and their prolonged detention for an indefinite period of time raise profound concerns that transcend partisan politics and demand immediate resolution. Forcibly separating children from their parents is like setting a house on fire. Preventing rapid reunification is like blocking the first responders from doing their job. And subjecting children to prolonged...

From Trauma-Informed to Asset-Informed Care in Early Childhood [brookings.edu]

By Ellen Galinsky, Brookings Institute, October 23, 2019 The focus on “toxic stress,” ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), and trauma-informed care have been game-changers in the field of early childhood development. They have helped us recognize the symptoms of trauma, provide appropriate assistance to children, and understand that prolonged adversity in the absence of nurturing relationships can derail a child’s healthy development. Just look at the media’s and the public’s reaction to...

A Landmark Lawsuit Aimed to Fix Special Ed for California's Black Students. It Didn't. [kqed.org]

By Lee Romney, KQED, October 18, 2019 Darryl Lester was at his mom’s place in Tacoma, Washington, when a letter he’d been waiting for arrived in the mail. At 40, he was destitute, in pain and out of work. The letter delivered good news: Lester would be getting disability benefits after blowing out his back in a sheet metal accident. But he crumpled it up and threw it in the trash. Why? Because he couldn’t read it. From first through seventh grades, Lester had attended three public schools in...

2020 Trauma-Informed Schools Conference [beyondconsequences.com]

By Heather T. Forbes, Beyond Consequences, October 23, 2019 If you'd like to be a speaker at one or both of our upcoming 2020 Trauma-Informed School Conferences, now is the time to submit a proposal. Join us to become one of our prestigious break-out speakers! These 2020 conferences will be building off the success of our last conferences and they will be evolving to an even higher level. I'm certain you have a knowledge base to share so submit your proposal by Friday, December 10, 2019. The...

How do these pediatricians do ACEs screening? Early adopters tell all.

Last week, three pediatricians — with a combined experience of 15 years integrating ACEs science into their practices — reflected on the urgency they felt several years ago that prompted them to begin screening patients for childhood adversity and resilience when there was practically no guidance at all. Along their journey , they accumulated a list of lessons learned for other pediatricians and family clinics to use. The three pediatricians participated in the ACEs Connection webinar,...

TIC: News and Notes for the Week of October 21, 2019 [dhs.wisconsin.gov]

ACEs, Adversity's Impact There is only one boat: The myth of normalcy by Dr. Gabor Mate Understanding historical trauma to strengthen community Childhood trauma linked to early, premarital childbirth and poor health for women Early life racial discrimination linked to depression, accelerated aging When mothers are killed by their partners, children often become 'forgotten' victims. It's time they were given a voice Children's language skills may be harmed by social hardship Does racism...

Schools Spotlight Social, Emotional Learning Amid Complex Times [fosters.com]

By Hadley Barndollar, Fosters.com, October 20, 2019 In a second-grade classroom at New Franklin Elementary School, a warm flurry of compliments. Seated in a circle, girls praise each other’s dresses and sweatshirts. A boy gives his friend kudos for helping him clean up after an activity the previous week. They all murmur the teacher-advised response — “thank you” — through toothy smiles. It’s a lesson on compliments. Down the hallway, in a first-grade circle, students talk about inclusion...

DCYF Director Says N.H. More Focused on Keeping Families Together [nhpr.org]

By Rick Ganley and Mary McIntyre, New Hampshire Public Radio, October 17, 2019 Reports of child abuse and neglect reached a record high in New Hampshire during the last fiscal year. That's according to data released last week by the Division for Children, Youth and Families, the state's child welfare system. NHPR's Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with the DCYF director Joe Ribsam about what this data mean for measuring the agency's progress and how DCYF plans to do better. [ Please...

Universal free lunch is linked to better test scores in New York City, new report finds [chalkbeat.org]

Offering all students free lunch helps boost academic performance, a new report, which looked at meal programs in New York City middle schools, shows. The study, out of Syracuse University’s Center for Policy Research, assessed the impact of universal free lunch on students who previously didn’t have access to such a meals program. Researchers found “statistically significant” bumps in reading and math state test scores once students attended schools with universal free lunch. One way to...

Positive Relationships Can Buffer Childhood Trauma and Toxic Stress, Researchers Say [bostonglobe.com]

By Kay Lazar, The Boston Globe, October 15, 2019 Traumatic events and toxic relationships during childhood can cast long shadows, often damaging mental health well into adulthood. But a growing body of research suggests sustained, positive relationships with caring adults can help mitigate the harmful effects of childhood trauma. And specialists say pediatricians, social workers, and others who work with kids should take steps to monitor and encourage those healthy relationships — just as...

From Trauma-Informed to Asset-Informed Care in Early Childhood [brookings.edu]

By Ellen Galinsky, Brookings Institute, October 23, 2019 The focus on “toxic stress,” ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), and trauma-informed care have been game-changers in the field of early childhood development. They have helped us recognize the symptoms of trauma, provide appropriate assistance to children, and understand that prolonged adversity in the absence of nurturing relationships can derail a child’s healthy development. Just look at the media’s and the public’s reaction to...

Toxic Stress: Issue Brief on Family Separation and Child Detention [immigrationinitiative.harvard.edu]

By Jack P. Shonkoff, Immigration Initiative at Harvard, October 2019 Background The separation of children from their parents and their prolonged detention for an indefinite period of time raise profound concerns that transcend partisan politics and demand immediate resolution. Forcibly separating children from their parents is like setting a house on fire. Preventing rapid reunification is like blocking the first responders from doing their job. And subjecting children to prolonged...

We Have to Better Understand What Foster Parents Need [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

By Ross Hunter, The Chronicle of Social Change, October 11, 2019 As a new leader in the child welfare space, I thought it would be worth my while to do some listening before I made any big changes. So I went on a tour all over the state of Washington. I talked to caseworkers, foster parents, birth families, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and anyone else I could find who had an opinion. I got an earful. “Everything is broken.” “I had a great experience.” “The caseworker never called...

This Trail-Blazing Suburb has Tried for 60 Years to Tackle Race. What if Trying Isn't Enough? [washingtonpost.com]

By Laura Meckler, The Washington Post, October 11, 2019 It’s an article of faith in this Cleveland suburb: If any place can navigate the complex issues of race in America, it’s Shaker Heights. Sixty years ago, black and white families came together to create and maintain integrated neighborhoods. The school district began voluntary busing in 1970, and boundary lines were drawn to make schools more integrated. Student groups dedicated themselves to black achievement, race relations and...

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