ACEs, communication issues and disability

Hi from Down Under

On Monday I had the honour of providing trauma training to staff from 3 special schools in Sydney's western suburbs. These schools cater for children with moderate to severe intellectual and physical disabilities. The feedback has been very positive, which is great, but this population is not my area of expertise (I generally work with mainstream schools or populations of severe emotional and behavioural disturbance. I am completing my PhD in trauma informed education so I am familiar with general research in the field however there seem to be limited resources available anywhere in regard to ACEs, disability and school specific interventions. If you have experience with this, could you please comment on the question below: 

"Do you feel that the isolation and frustrations of severe communication issues commonly experienced by people with disabilities could be a source of ongoing trauma? " 

I had a teacher write to me after the training to ask about this. I will be responding, and also sending her the resources I can find, but I would like to seek the wisdom of this group please.

Thank you in advance for any contributions you may be able to make. 


Original Post

As a mom of two boys who were diagnosed with autism - and now ~ 20 years later - are doing great - I would say Y.E.S.!  

The social isolation, the bullying, the internal frustration they have due to difficultly effectively communicating  - which exacerbates social isolation -  compounded by (usually) a lack of adult understanding regarding how easy it is for other students to sort of "trick" our literal kids into doing things that they shouldn't .... all of which contributes to further isolation.  

These experiences during childhood lead to real physiological stress responses - which is also how "trauma" impacts the body and the brain.  So in my opinion, YES! 

This Aces Connection Link has a slide deck that may be of interest.  

Here is another link:  Slide deck UW  

Hi Michelle, Steve Marcal, from the Center for Disability Services in Albany and a member of their local ACE Collaborative, HEARTS, recently wrote  "A Trauma Informed Toolkit for Providers in the Field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.   I hope it has some useful information.  You can find a link to it here  http://marc.healthfederation.o...ectual-developmental

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Charisse FeldmanKaren Clemmer