Indiana: Trauma at home makes kids unable 'to cope emotionally' like others their age

Dec 12, 2017, WISH—TV, Indianapolis: Teachers, social workers address child trauma in schools Indiana teachers and mental health experts are advocating for communities to implement mental health programs emphasizing a method called “trauma-informed care” inside schools. “Trauma-informed care started from something called the ‘Adverse Childhood Experience Survey,’ and it shows that childhood experiences affect behavior,” said Stephanie Shene, communications coordinator for the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). “Instead of ‘kids act badly,’ some professionals started looking at why kids might act the way that they act, and a lot of that is just being aware of what kind of experiences they might have at home.”... Teresa Meredith, a kindergarten teacher and president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, said the need for more trauma-informed care studies and implementation was in ISTA’s legislative priority list issued last week. The group reiterated the need for awareness and care for students Tuesday. “If a child has had, I think it’s more than five adverse experiences before the age of 3, you can pretty much bet that they’re going to come to kindergarten with delayed language skills, the inability to cope emotionally like other children their age,” she said. Traumatic experiences don’t just include child abuse or neglect. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators lists 14 different situation examples, including car accidents, natural disasters, viewing acts of terrorism on television, or having a relative incarcerated. … Indiana School Mental Health Facilitator Christy Gauss works with Indiana schools to learn the mental health needs of students and educate staff and communities on the changes they could see with more robust mental health programs....

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