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Stamford, CT: Teachers see spike in children with trauma

Nov 5, 2017, Stamford (CT) Advocate: Wendy Lecker: Coping with trauma in the classroom http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Wendy-Lecker-Coping-with-trauma-in-the-classroom-12330538.php An experienced kindergarten teacher contacted me the other day. She reported that she and teachers in her district have seen a spike in children entering kindergarten having suffered trauma. Distraught, she said that she and her colleagues are not trained to meet these children’s needs, and there are not enough services in the schools to help. This phenomenon is sadly not unique. The New York Council of School Superintendents recently issued the results of its annual survey. In 2017, for the first time, increasing mental health services in schools shot up to be the No. 1 priority. A majority of superintendents reported that mental health was a significant problem in schools. Studies across the United States reveal that every classroom has at least one student affected by trauma. Almost half of American adolescents have experienced an adverse childhood experience (“ACE”). Almost a quarter have experienced two, and nearly one in 10 have had four or more ACEs. ACEs are a range of stressful childhood experiences that have long-lasting developmental, cognitive and behavioral effects. They include such things as living with a divorced or separated parent or guardian; living with a parent or guardian who died or is incarcerated; living with someone with mental illness or substance abuse problems; witnessing or being the victim of violence or abuse in the home or neighborhood; experiencing economic hardship or neglect. …