Over the past 18 years, I’ve worked with elementary and middle school-aged children who have presented nearly the entire gamut of trauma symptoms outlined in Module 1 of this course. Most recently, I worked with a 12 year-old boy who displayed strong arousal symptoms, often beating-up other students and acting out violently. Although I no longer work directly with students, I do work with individuals who support students with trauma. I’m specifically curious to learn more about preteen students who gossip and instigate emotional battles among their peers. I often wonder why this consistently occurs in the spring-time for female students aged 11-13. Are they coping with emotional adjustments brought on by puberty? Is it a result of CPTSD? What are ways to prevent such emotionally taxing and destructive behaviors?
I currently do not work with youth but will be in the near future as our program expands. I do see the effects of trauma on the adults who participate in our programs. Some adults that I work with relive abuse that they suffered as a child on an ongoing basis. Certain dates, certain smells and sometimes unrecognized stimuli can trigger the individual. I have worked with individuals who have experienced all different types of abuse and traumas that were outline Module 1.
I have worked with young children who have presented with trauma through the symptoms of phobias, panic attacks, compulsive behaviours such as skin picking, tapping and body issues like rapid movement (unable to be still and continually moving in a way that is exaggerated).
I work with teenagers that have barriers to education. I would say that 95% of the students I work with hit 4 or more of the ACEs. The most prevalent are verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional neglect, exposure to mental illness, divorce, and drug exposure. I am not aware of my students suffering from the “other” types of traumas, such as terrorism, war, etc. I would guess that the closest my students get to this “other” list is the systematic, community violence and trauma through.
One level of trauma that I am seeing more and more is trauma through media. Social networks are providing a platform for students to bully and harass their peers, which has caused trauma for the students that I work with. Another trauma that I see is trauma from using drugs. While the DSM-5 lists exposure to drugs in the household as being a cause of trauma, it does not mention personal usage of drugs. With opioids becoming more readily available to youth, I have been seeing more students who have trauma from using drugs. They also have trauma from friends and relatives dying from overdoses and suicide by drug usage. This ties into community violence/systematic trauma as the youth that are typically effected are those in impoverished communities, gangs, and are a minority race. I also see more students using drugs and alcohol to cover up traumas from their childhood or that they are currently facing. The feelings/emotions are too much for them to deal with, so they use drugs as a coping mechanism or shield to stop thinking about it.
As a K-12 School Counselor, the types of trauma I encounter in my work with youth varies from day to day and year to year and I feel like I’ve seen most instances of trauma that were outlined in this first module. I have been a School Counselor for 10 years now and just when I think I’ve got it mostly figured out or that I’ve seen it all, I meet a new student or family and realize that I am definitely still learning. As an online school counselor we have a lot of students who choose to come to our school who have had or are having Adverse Childhood Experiences. These students are those who have been victims of bullying, had a family member or friend die, experienced physical, emotional and sexual abuse, are suffering with long-term illnesses that require them to work on school from home, and more. I love our online environment as a safe place to learn for students who have had some negative life experiences, though this can also make it hard to identify those students who may need a counselor’s help. Online, these students may present as disengaged from learning (ie: not logging in to complete lessons, not contacting teachers, not attending classroom sessions, etc…). Because we can’t see some of those physical symptoms of trauma online, we rely a lot on students to self-report when speaking to us or for parents and families to share what may be going on at home that we cannot see. I often can see that students who aren’t doing work may have something else going on in their life that is causing this trauma. Some of the teachers with whom I work have a hard time seeing that this could be the reason for someone not turning in an assignment or calling them back. I’d love to really grown in my knowledge of trauma to be able to take back some strategies for students to help them with their trauma, but also to help teachers help students as well! I feel as though supporting the staff at our school to best support our students is really important.
I currently work with high school students who have identified barriers to education. This week’s course work prompted me to think about the impulsive, attention seeking, or unfocused behavior that I sometimes see in students and wonder if some of this is attributed to trauma.
In reviewing the ACESs quiz I was struck by question #7 and that the scope is focused on the mother/step-mother. Upon reflection with a coworker I realized that it may be due to the age of the study (mid-1990s). Given the acceptance and prevalence of same sex couples as well as the reality that men are victims of domestic abuse/violence will the questionnaire be re-evaluated?
As a teacher and a foster parent I don’t often know the cause of the trauma, but I do get to experience the side-effect. For the most part I see a lot individuals affected by neglect, drug abuse, deaths of loved of ones, and parents in prison. As a foster parent in the home setting signs of sexual abuse are evident with fears of the bathroom, and neglect when the child is 5 still in diapers. I am curious about the effects of social media as a new form of trauma.
This year I started a job as a school health nurse. Previously I had worked in hospitals in the emergency department and in plastic surgery. The job was not what I expected it to be, rather than first aid, bullying, family issues, I was immediately faced with suicidal students, self-harming and eating disorders. It has been a huge learning curve and I plan to undertake a post graduate diploma next year to further my knowledge.
I work with youths dealing with domestic violence, PTSD after being raised in DV situations. Youths whose parents are on drugs and neglecting to feed them, and who have become homeless. Youths who are re-traumatised by systems that don’t believe them, and don’t help even if they do believe them. There is a lot of verbal, emotional and physical abuse, parents who are in prison, attachment disorders, rape, one of my work places has had a suicide this year.
It’s a tough job, but I’ll learn to help as best I can.
The youths I work with are unable to manage mainstream school & alternate provision is the last resort. Most if not all the students I work with would hit at least 4 of the ACEs named in module 1 and the majority are using substances themselves. This causes more problems for them, drug running, child sexual exploitation and community gangs are rife in the most deprived and vulnerable areas. Some of our youths struggle to manage if they dont have somthing drastic happening in their lives and will go out of their way to create a drama, damage property or hurt peers, to name but a few. Social media has become a large problem, due to this we have banned personal belonginings on their person whilst in school. All students are searched (with a body scanner that detects metal) when they enter the building and every door is secure. When we have the students in school they have less distractions as they are not checking social media every 5 minutes, creating problems for thereselves by adding things on to social media & they are safe from outside threats.
I work in the public school system in an alternative education program. For many of my students their lives have consisted of at least one, if not several, ACEs. Not only have the students experienced previous ACEs, such as abuse or neglect, but they continue to experience trauma. Everyday I hear student stories about living in communities where they are physically assaulted, robbed, or have constant fear of such things occurring because they know someone that experienced such a situation. Other frequent stories include having inconsistent parents in the home due to alcohol, drugs, and/or prison. There are also students who have been in juvenile detention centers themselves and sometimes several times. I am also discovering young students experimenting with or regularly using drugs. Since I am based in the school system, other traumatic experiences not mentioned include frequent transitioning between homes/schools, homelessness, repeated suspension from school and/or expulsion from school.
With the type of work that I do a lot of the youths have experienced trauma through Verbal Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional, Neglect, Physical Neglect, Separation, Domestic Violence Alcohol/Drug Exposure and a Household member going to Prison. Many times the verbal abuse and physical abuse comes from parents who are unable to identify why their child may be expressing themselves through adverse behavior. The parents themselves would experience levels of frustration because of their own personal relationships with their spouse or financial constraints. There is also a higher percentage of single parent families within the population that I work with especially single mothers. Many times these broken homes contain multiple ACES in the youths being exposed to and using drugs/alcohol in addition to household members going to prison. There has also been a rise in the exposure to images due to social media. It has now become standard that as traumatic events occur within minutes it is placed on social media. People are usually on the scene of the incident and broadcast uncensored images and videos for everyone to see.
When in the field, I worked with youth who experienced all types of trauma and were often “labelled” by their behaviour without using a trauma-informed lens. Drug use, unhealthy dating relationships, suicidal ideation, lack of direction and motivation were common. One community I worked in had a hopelessness that was systemic to the community based on generations living in poverty without gainful or meaningful employment. Now, in my role as a college teacher, a large percentage of my leaners come to college with trauma histories. I believe they are drawn to our program, Child and Youth Care, as they have experienced traumas and loss and are looking to help others as they were helped, or they are hoping to help others as they felt alone and want to prevent this for youth. Many of our learners have diagnosed mental health issues, however, they also carry the burdens of their adverse experiences and most have not received help for the one time or compounded traumas they have endured. We had a student at our college commit suicide just last week. Many come to the classroom with histories of abuse; physical, emotional, sexual, and some are still in unhealthy home environments; many have lived, or still live in poverty. We have also begun to recognize the impact of residential schools and the 60’s scoop on our first nations peoples and Canada has begun efforts to repair the harm this historical trauma has had on many generations. One thing that I do think will need to be addressed, as Alvin noted in his post above, is the impact of social media on this generation. The potential for re-traumatization via social media, for those who have experienced a trauma, is concerning to say the least. We have seen young people who were raped and reported the crime, be taunted via social media or young people who are encouraged to harm themselves when they post messages about their sadness.
I currently work with adults as a CMT, but I’ve found that our physical body holds on to or recovers more slowly from childhood trauma a lot longer than we may realize. In general, I’m curious to see more research into and partnerships with those that practice therapy and those practicing bodywork.
As a mental health and substance abuse counselor working with incarcerated males, I have primarily encountered youth presenting with complex trauma. For many of these youth, drug use, incarceration, violence, gang activity, poverty, racism, abuse, and neglect are the norm. The youth I work with present with trauma in a variety of ways. The most common ones that come to mind include aggression, problematic sexual behaviors, social conflict (drama), alcohol and other drugs, and a strong emphasis on material gain. Ultimately, I believe their behavioral response to trauma is an attempt to experience a sense of control in a world in which they believe they have none.
I work with young people currently taking up non-formal education within an urban community. I can say that most of them have 4 and above ACEs. These learners have experiences on different kinds of abuses (physical, emotional/psychological and even sexual), domestic violence, neglect, have lived with a parent who is a problem drinker or a relative who is a drug user, violence seen on media, separated parents, and community violence (especially on what is happening now in the country). Although none of them have experiences with Terrorism, Refugee Trauma, Mass Shootings, Victims of Burns, etc. Aggression and anger issues, very low self-esteem, alcoholism, worldview shifts, sexual promiscuity, delinquency and detachment are some few behaviors/effects that I can name because of these experiences. Some have expressed, outright, that they think their behaviors now are brought on by their experiences in the past. However, some of these learners don’t show signs of trauma although they’ve also had 4 ACEs and they can be viewed as having more resiliency than others.
The module so far has covered, among the categories, the experiences of the young people I work with as well as the effects of these. I am looking forward to the next module to have a deeper understanding on how these experiences affects people in different ways and how to deal with these cases. Thank you.
As a chaplain in two primary schools in regional Australia, the students I see have up to 4 of the ACEs. That being physical neglect, emotional neglect, verbal and physical neglect. There is a high percentage of the community that are drug takers and alcoholics is ever present.
I am working with refugee children and young adults. The types of trauma that they experienced or are currently experiencing include: verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, domestic violence, and household member in prison. I would like to add also that these children also experienced at least one loss of parent/significant attachment figure, due to war and violence back in their home country. Nearly all of them present with complex PTSD and live in a peri-traumatic state.
I work in a middle school. Needless to say I see students who have many of the symptoms listed in this module. Many students who have been diagnosed with ADHD and Behavioral Disorders. I also work in a community that is right next to Flint, Michigan so many students have been affected by the water crisis. Because I know people are so complex I try to be understanding and patient in the classroom. I am highly interested how the increase use of technology and social media has affected our youth.
I currently work as a school social worker. Children in the schools are displaying behaviors that are likely a result of trauma. Neglect, family substance use, and divorce. I also have a strong interest in childhood grief. I see the death of a significant loved one as a traumatic event based upon how some children/families respond and the relationship to the person who died.
Having worked in inner city schools for 20 years I have seen trauma and more trauma and I continue to see the symptoms increase and increase with intensity. One of my most powerful memories of children dealing with trauma was when I was working at an “arts school” during the Columbine shootings. The day after the shootings was difficult for everyone. The students arrived with the trauma of a “school shooting”??!! What was that? Never would we have thought that could happen is the safe haven of a school.
I was thankful that I had the space and freedom as the art teacher to throw out the day’s curriculum of creating landscapes and instead let the kids express themselves. All I know is that trauma is on the rise and it is a fast rise, unfortunately.
I work with at risk boys primarily in a residential home setting. Most of the boys come with histories of multiple placement breakdowns that have occurred while in the system; which was the result of initial abuse and neglect. The boys I have worked with generally struggle with aggression and poor impulse concerns. Sadly, most of them come with diagnoses other than PTSD (or DTD). Most are heavily medicated to remediate any behavioural concerns that they may show, and a question I always like to ask is: “How do we expect kids, who have come from significant adverse trauma experiences, to behave?” I feel that systemic influences are looking for quick fix approaches and do not want to make the time, or invest the dollars, needed to effectively engage these youth. I also think that our western medical model has pathologized many of these trauma responses in our youth and have not left any room for post-traumatic growth and resiliency development, which has also been attributed to children: ie “kids are highly resilient.” Anyway this course has been a great reminder for the need to begin to look at these youth with a broader lens like the one offered with the trauma informed perspective.
The types of Trauma that I encounter in my work with Youth varies. There are youth who have experienced physical, verbal, sexual Abuse, also emotional and physical neglect. Which has led the youth to present attachment issues, PTSD, complex trauma’s. The most common trauma that I have encountered would be forms of PTSD, from the youth Avoiding thoughts or memories, to the Arousal Symptoms being the most apparent within the youth so far.
We have students who turn to an online schooling environment for many reasons. As we serve K-12 students all throughout Minnesota, we will often receive background information during their time of enrollment, or during our initial conversations with the family in regards to why they chose to enroll with us. We have many students with severe mental health needs, and are often working with outside agencies for additional support. Sometimes the families will self-disclose incidents of Trauma, other times they prefer to be left alone and would much rather just focus on the day-to-day, or the academic component. As we have students who experience extreme anxiety, it can be very challenging to connect with them as we do not see them face-to-face.
I normally don’t work directly with youths. However, I do work with families in having their children enrolled in school and make referrals so they get the assistance they need.
Just a few weeks ago I’ve gotten a complaint from a Principal that my 8yr old client was suspended from school. My first thought, “what could an 8 yr old boy have done to be suspended from school for 2 weeks?” After speaking to the teacher, it came to knowledge that the reasons for such was due to, his hyper-active behaviour, disobedience, not completing school assignments, being violent with other students as well as inappropriate behaviour with another student of the opposite sex. His mother stated that she did see a changed in his behaviour at home over summer. I thought, “these are all signs of a child that has experienced something traumatic.” After viewing your videos I can see that the child is displaying strong Arousal symptoms.
3 years ago I was able to identify a family member who had 4+ ACEs. She suffered from verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exposed to domestic violence, her parents were divorced and she was also exposed to drugs. Due to what she experienced/was exposed to she has become very angry, detached, avoid family members, developed a loss of interest in school and playing her favourite sports, she’s also aggressive, has low self-esteem and is very promiscuous.
I’ve gotten a deeper understanding of Trauma and its symptoms’ based on Module 1. I’m looking forward to learning more about interventions (how to deal/assist with such cases).
Currently I work with youth ages 0-12, with only a handful that go to age 18. Cases from all areas of abuse and neglect that bring children into the foster care system cross my desk. I also supervise volunteer Guardian ad Litems. So far in this course, there are many things that stand out to me that cause me pause to think about my approach with not only the children, but also the parents as they have multi generational abuse/neglect stories and the volunteers and how this work affects them. I have better insight into what their reactions mean. Another thing that I have been thinking a lot about is what trauma looks like in infants. There is a direct correlation between feeding and attachment/bonding, but thinking in terms of the expanded definitions of trauma, there is so much more meaning to this rather than a baby with feeding issues because of exposure to drugs while mom was pregnant. It all just gives me a lot to think about, especially when you bring in the ncDNA conversations. Great information for me during this first week!
I am a fairly new counselor but have been in public education in Texas for over 18 years. I would say that have seen all of the ACEs described in Module 1 in the teenagers I work with, but I would say the most prevalent ones are Neglect (both types), Alcohol/Drug Exposure and Domestic Violence. I can’t think of other types of trauma not mentioned in the module that I may have encountered. I think it is more the way the types of trauma and ACEs combine for a specific teen and affect his/her personality and temperament within their given context that creates unpredictible situations for the educator.
I was also reflecting on the fact that, as we learn about and dissect the various facets and components of trauma and the impact they have on individual behavior, we are moving along a conrtinuum of thought from sources to internal responses to external behaviors, but what we witness in the field moves in the opposite direction. So, we often will deal with a teen who has behavioral issues that we may label as ODD or ED, until we dig deeper or an event occurs that reveals the root cause as traumatic events. I have a student who recently moved to our school with an IEP including behavioral support (things like Focus or Prepare). She got into fights, had an attitude, burst out of classrooms, cussed, until one more personal trauma of sexual abuse and arrest allowed us to uncover all the ACEs she had faced: from abandonment as an infant to verbal and emotional abuse and neglect, to drug/alcohol exposure, domestic volence, and, and, and.
Bottomline, it takes patience and an open mind and heart to let the deep dark truth surface when helping troubled teens.
Over the 18 years that I’ve been in education, I can say without hesitation that most of my student body have 4 or more ACES! Currently, I have one family who have seven children and each of the children have all 10 ACES that were discussed in module 1. Abuse, neglect, drugs/alcohol,. violence in the home, parents in prison all are part of most of my student’s every day life. Viewing education through a Trauma Informed Lens is such an important addition to our educational system. For as we know based upon Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, to think that we can educate students who don’t have their basic needs being met is absolutely ludicrous. Much more so with students who have a high ACES count! To be informed in this important work will not only allow us to do our jobs better but maybe, just maybe, before we think that we have a disciplinary issue on our hand, we might stop and consider the function behind behaviors. In other words, viewing our students through a trauma informed lens might actually encourage us to go deeper in understanding the the struggles that our students are having emotionally, socially, academically and behaviorally!
It seems about 4 of the sixteen students on my caseload are affected by trauma. Their symptoms vary. In the last five years I have had caseloads full of traumatized students. They were able to qualify for special education services, but I sincerely believe their learning deficits were significantly due to their childhood experiences with trauma. Students experience academic growth because of building a positive rapport. Behaviors have ranged from tantrums if screaming to throwing or pulling electrical cords to complete withdrawal with a students balled up in the floor sobbing as they rock themselves. I have seen significant results in letting students see videos of how folks overcame difficulties. Les Brown is a good choice to view. I am thankful for the daily opportunity to present students with opportunities for growing their individual abilities.
I’ve been working for the past fourteen years with children and families in early childhood. In this age category, I’m most often aware of the affects of divorce, separation, verbal and sexual abuse as the children leave my care and go on through the grades.
Over the years, having worked with the youth population especially those who come in conflict with the law and/or at risk of doing so, i have observed mainly Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Development Trauma Disorder. The one that is most observed is the Development Trauma disorder because a lot the the youths have been exposed to various types of trauma and had to endure some firsthand. Several of the youths that we work with have been somewhat diagnosed with ADHD or ADD due to impaired functioning at school and in society. The behaviors that often manifest are drug use, criminal behaviors that often time leads to gang involvement and more risky behaviors.
The levels of dysfunction in the homes is so prevalent that is becomes so hard for the youth to gain some sort of balance/ change while remaining in the same environments. Often times their hope lies in relocating and living with a family member who is willing to support them throughout their teen years, giving them some structure and balance to their life.
I do not currently work directly with you, but teach and train those who do. In the past when I did work with youth, the evidence that manifested was acting out in sessions, self-harm, depression, lack of focus, being withdrawn, picking fights, hyper-sensitive to others being in their space.
Over the time I have worked with the youth population I have encounter many of them that have had traumatic experiences in their lives. Most common ones are the ACE’s; especially Verbal and Physical abuse along with Physical neglect. In our society their is a high percentage of single parents especially mother who are frustrated from their inability to provide basic needs for their children. Investigating you find that most of these mother have been through their own traumatic experience; one of which would be having children at a very young age. Often time these young women do not have the support of their family and they feel as though they have no where to turn. Looking into their back ground you find that it is Complex Trauma like Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome where by these young woman have generation after generation of various traumatic experience that eventually seems like normal for them simply because the generations before went through the same experiences. Developmental Trauma Disorder plays a key role as well, by observation many of the youth endure these same traumatic experience which leads to exposure and use of drugs/alcohol.
Many of these Youth have life long symptoms of PTSD like flash backs, avoiding thoughts, trouble concentrating, detachment just to name a few those symptoms eventually manifest into risky behavior; gang involvement; and criminal behavior.
As a Community Rehabilitation Officer working with juvenile offenders and “uncontrollable children”, I do encounter a prolific number of youth that have experienced some degree of trauma. The ACES really resounded for me in relation to the question asked as the trauma does include alcohol and substance abuse, various angles of neglect and abuse, and separation just to name a few. Most of the young people I work with come from single parent home, a dynamic very common in the Caribbean, and also one that most of the young men especially cite as one of the etiological factors of being pulled into maladaptive social groups. Correspondingly, the trauma experienced somewhat potentially nurtures procriminal ideologies and behaviours, and tends to be the fundamental reason why the youth I work with end up in the juvenile justice system. Moreover, for the female youth who end up in the system for “uncontrollable behaviour”, it is almost always that when research is done into their bio psychosocial history that there were initially victims of some degree sexual abuse as toddlers and children. These females in their teenaged years then tend to display risky behaviours that sometimes result in their committal to detention facilities. I can recall one male child who was criminally charged for a physical assault on a family member, only later to find out he was sexually assaulted as a child by another family member. In confinement, it was noted how he displayed bouts of paranoia, multiple personalities, and anxiety attacks when taking about his family and had a very hard time fostering relationships at an level. In retrospect, I do not think I have worked with youths who have present with trauma in ways not mentioned in the module. This was a very engaging module and allowed for profound personal and general reflection
I most recently worked in a Workforce Education Program where most of the youth were African American, living in low-income neighborhoods with a history of community trauma. Most of them were seeking to obtain a GED and were likely unable to succeed in a regular school setting due to trauma responses. In my role as a case manager, teacher and trainer, I sometimes found out about significant family trauma the youth had experienced. I believe that most of them experienced systemic (racism), intergenerational (descendants of slaves), historical (legacy of oppression) and community (neighborhood violence, gangs, drugs and poverty) trauma. Most of them knew someone who was a victim of gun violence and on some level found that as a norm though it was still devastating. I remember one young African American man in particular who was unable to make progress towards obtaining his GED. When I discussed with him the fact that he showed up high for class daily, he told me that if he wasn’t high, he could not sit through class because he was so angry that he would explode or hurt someone. I believe this ever present anger was probably just one of many trauma responses he experienced.
Additionally, I used to work at an emergency shelter for kids/youth in foster care. This system unintentionally re-traumatized some of the youth. Kids were placed with other kids who were being triggered and responding with highly intense behaviors. Kids often left the setting to go home with foster parents who they had never met. Overall, it seemed that kids were shuffled around in ways that reinforced negative changes in cognition/mood (blaming self, a negative world view, feelings of detachment), possibly led to increased arousal symptoms and changes in self-perception, social relations and meaning in life. Because the foster care system has racialized outcomes, this unintentional re-traumatization is worse for children/youth of color.
In my line of work, I do see some of the signs of trauma explained here in week 1. My job as a Social Mobilizer is prevention. Prevention of the family from coming into our social system. I come across cases of children that are really withdrawn or completely opposite, extremely open and willing to please. The more I work with them, the more I learn that the case has depth to it and there was some traumatic experience. Through this presentation, I now know what I was seeing in some clients. Some clients would come in babbling, paranoid, resistant. I now know that there was more to it than them just having a mental illness or something like that. I am hoping to get further information on this and possibly more signs or symptoms or more information on them.
Many of our students have experienced complex traumas and have 4+ ACEs. The most common behaviors seen in the classroom are avoidance and arousal symptoms–fighting, hyper-vigilance, hyper-sensitivity, and anger. Concentration and self-destructive behaviors are also frequent. The all-male student body also creates an environment that reinforces repression of emotion (detachment) and self-isolation.
In my work I have encountered many students with trauma of various forms. The population that I work with now in BC is very different from the one I worked with in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and some of the ACEs for the students in these populations are very different. For example in Michigan I worked with students who witnessed community violence, drug exposure, extremely violent events involving family members, and lived in chronic, historical, familial poverty. The ACEs which lead to trauma for the students I work with currently are most commonly having to do with abuse or neglect of some form, but I also have students who are refugees, have attachment disorders, suffer systemic trauma such as poverty, among others. The population of students I work with directly is very small vs the total student population of the district, so I know that within the district there are students living with other kinds of trauma, and I hope this course helps me to better support my colleagues who support those students directly. In my direct work I currently have several students with complex trauma who also happen to be in foster care, so their apprehension, at the very least, would likely have been a traumatizing event. I discussed with a colleague that the “loss” of a parent in any form could be an ACE or traumatic event, be that loss due to apprehension, death, incarceration, divorce, etc. though we noted that loss due to death was not directly discussed as an ACE. We also discussed whether comorbidity of traumatic events or ACEs with other mental or physical/medical illness would be a compounding factor.
As a learning support teacher I encounter a wide range of trauma impacted youth. I have, over the course of my career, worked with students that suffered from complex trauma, inter-generational trauma and historical trauma. My most significantly impacted students have been students in the foster care system, often with multiple placements. I have also worked with students that were prenatally exposed to narcotics and or alcohol prior to their adverse childhood experiences. I have had drug addicted students. I have worked with students that have co-morbidities such as Learning Disabilities, Tourette’s Syndrome, Autism, Fragile X and Schizophrenia. (I am wondering about Wolynn’s work in regards to co-morbitity) These complex children have shown me the human capacity for resilience and forgiveness. Most have gone on to struggle as adults.
As an aside, I was surprised that parental death was not included in the 10 original ACEs, particularly if it was witnessed by the child.
Part 1: Quiz.
Thanks for that. I went through it and it was fine. My score was high. No surprises there.
Part 2: Answer the below question
What types of trauma do you encounter in your work with youth? Do you work with individuals who present with trauma in ways not mentioned thus far in module/week 1? (answer in the comments section below).
I work one-to-one with adolescents 16-18; young adults 23-28 and adults 30 plus. In the population I have attended in the past year I have encountered at least 6-7 out of the 10 ACE’s. Mind you, the majority of my patients are women, so is no wonder to find out they have experienced 1). Verbal abuse; 2). Physical abuse; 3). Sexual abuse; 4). Domestic violence; 5). Emotional neglect; 6). Physical Neglect; 7). Exposure to alcohol or drugs. One of my male patients was sexually abused repeatedly over several years. And another witness how his father murdered another man and kept quiet for over forty years. He ‘remembered’ that episode after his psychiatrist suggested the exploration of possible trauma in childhood or adolescence after a life-threatening illness. My adult population have also experienced colective trauma due to natural disasters (more recently on September 19), drug-related trauma, and women experience daily violence in many forms. Mexico City has been termed one of the most dangerous cities for women in the world.
Needless to say that all of them have developed unhealthy and often damaging coping strategies, have developed addictive tendencies, have exhibited violent behavior, and have a string of failed relationships. As far as I can see, the majority of the people I work with, have experienced complex PTSD that gone untreated.
In my work as a therapist on an elementary school campus (k-6), I come in contact with not only students experiencing trauma but students whose parents have also experienced ACES and may be unable to guide their children. The reality is the school environment, families and the school community struggle with the impacts of trauma and need help. I am incredibly aware of how vital relationships are in building resiliency and the ability to move forward.
Pd. Something that is missing is an editing option. I clicked post comment by accident and my comment went unchecked… I have noticed several grammatical mistakes. Sorry…
the last line reads “experienced complex PTSC that gone untreated…” It should say: “that has gone untreated”.. this is just one example, there are two or three other mistakes…
The children I work with are primarily under 5 years old. Sadly some of these children already have high ACE scores. Drug and alcohol addiction, parents with mental illness, divorce and separation and attachment issues are what I witness most often. When families are struggling with issues such as these neglect and further attachment issues can be the result. Parents are often unable to properly support and care for their children while they are dealing with their own trauma. Sometimes they don’t know how.
Parental Alienation was not mentioned as a trauma though the characteristics certainly were. Divorce and separation, mental illness, attachment issues, adultification, emotional abuse, to mention a few. Trauma for the targeted parent might be, loss of a child and long term emotional abuse as a result of repeated rejection from the child and false accusations.
This is also a trauma where there is little professional help and understanding.
As a Women Development Officer, I work with abused women that have experience intimate partner violence. When working with them, their stories indicate that at childhood or during their youth, they experienced violence at home and in trying to run away from such experiences, they are caught in similar experience in their own life. These women experience more than 4 ACE’s during their childhood. Children that experience abuse can either be victims themselves or perpetrators of abuse. The most common ACE’s experience by women during their childhood are Physical Abuse, Emotional/Psychological, Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse, Divorce/Separation. Reports received indicate that the cycle of violence is repeated when they form their own families. Women reporting domestic violence have direct experiences of abuse or have witness such abuse during their childhood. All individuals I have worked their cases are related to types of trauma mentioned in the unit.
Yes I work with youth that experience trauma because of their living conditions. The schools I have taught in have always been in areas that families in those communities are struggling to make it daily. I have kids that are considered homeless, kids that are exposed to drugs and violence , kids that are caring for themselves and their siblings because their parent is not. All of these students are exposed to abnormal living conditions which in turn can cause trauma and ptsd.
I work at a public high school in a township, which, in South Africa, refers to an area outside a town or city which was once exclusively reserved for black people during the time of Apartheid (legislated racial segregation). Though the political system has changed, life has not changed for most people. All of the kids at my school are black and almost all of them are from poor backgrounds. Many live with their grandparents or other family members (not mother or father) and some are even the heads of their households. This disintegration of families was one of the results of the migrant labor system during Apartheid. We live in one of the most violent societies in the world and there is a high prevalence of sexual violence. Many of the kids write about traumatic experiences in the essays and some display many of the symptoms while in class. We definitely have a situation where the majority of kids are experiencing multi-event, multi-faceted complex trauma due to their current living conditions and the history of oppressions and violence in our society. Despite all of this, so many of the kids exhibit an amazing degree of resilience (at least on the outside) and I feel privileged to spend time with them, even though it is seldom easy due to all of the issues we are all dealing with.
Most of my work so far has not been with youth who have experienced trauma. I have had some youth in my classes who present with trauma in ways mentioned thus far in module 1, specifically the PTSD criteria of intrusion, avoidance, negative disturbance of mood or cognition, and arousal symptoms. I work in Sonoma County where we’ve just had devastating fires — and many of the families and students I work with were affected. I anticipate encountering many types of trauma going forward — in those most directly affected by the fires through loss of homes &/or loved ones, and in the entirety of my community as we all witnessed – and are still witnessing – this devastation.
What types of trauma do you encounter in your work with youth?
I work within a specific program for children who have an educational diagnosis of emotional disturbance. These students vary in their backgrounds, some are foster children, some come from abusive homes, some live in poverty, and some have a serious mental illness.
Do you work with individuals who present with trauma in ways not mentioned thus far in module/week 1?
I think about just the combination of factors that can co-occur.
The manifestation of trauma described in this module is consistent with the presentation I have seen in both youths and adults. The trauma experiences that I often see with my students is exposure to death, real for their loved ones and often perceived with the regular gang culture that surrounds their lives. Additionally, trauma through physical violence, sexual abuse, neglect, injury, racism and/or oppression. I’m relieved to see that unhealthy early relational attachments is called out as such because this is also something that the population I serve has exposure to that has its own problems affecting individuals’ capacity to connect with one another.
As a high school counselor, I noticed students experiencing numerous different ACE’s: neglect (primarily emotional), abuse (verbal mostly) , divorce/single parent home (absent father, death of a parent, incarceration of parent, etc), drug use/abuse as well as mental health issues (parent and/or child). Other sources of trauma that I know some of my students experience is community and systemic violence as well as homelessness and parents who have ‘given up’ on them. As someone else mentioned, many of the parents have experienced similar issues so generally do not have the coping skills to help their child, let alone, themselves. With all of this on their plates, it is no wonder these students struggle academically, emotionally, and behaviorally. As educators, my peers and I often discuss how to help change behaviors, attittudes, etc. toward school and self, when many of the students go back home to the situation that may be causing the trauma. Sometimes it seems like we take one step forward and ten steps back! We just keep pushing forward trying to make an impact where ever we can.
The elementary school students that I work with have been exposed to the majority of the trauma’s mentioned in module 1, including but not limited to, domestic violence, neglect, abuse, poverty, substance abuse, divorce/separation, mental illness, oppression and/or incarceration of a parent/caregiver. Most have 4 or more ACE’s and often times their behaviors or lack of behaviors are a manifestation of the trauma they have experienced in their lives. Many also are being raised by parents who also have high ACE’s. It is imperative that educators understand the challenges that children and their families encounter in their daily lives.
In my line of work I do not necessarily work directly with youth however we work with the family holistically therefore at times we do encounter families who have youths in the household who may display signs of post traumatic stress disorder. Many times these are as a result of emotional neglect given that in most cases there is only one parent in the house and there is minimal to no family support from parents and/or extended families. Another ACEs is domestic violence; having witness first hand their fathers abusing their mothers and mothers abusing fathers and at times the children getting hit as well. One of the most common ACEs is separation of parents as at times the mother would tell them outrightly that it is their behavior that led the father to walk out hence there is no income in the house again. There is also a high rate of a member(s) of the household being incarcerated be it the father, brother/s, uncle or cousins in extended families.
I work with elementary aged children. Many of the children have several ACES listed in the previous units. Their behaviors manifest inside of the classroom such as anger outbursts, negative self talk, low self esteem, and injury to others due to the lack of awareness and supportive services.
My name is John Hintze (not Judith Pierce as listed – Judy is our administrative assistant who registered me for this course with a university Pro-Card) and I have been a school psychologist for 35 years. For many years I worked in the public schools, however, at a time where the notion of trauma wasn’t on the radar screen yet. While I now realize that many of the children I worked with likely experienced forms of complex trauma, this rarely factored into our treatment and/or special education plans. I have now been a university trainer and researcher for 20+ years and can fully appreciate the role that complex trauma plays in practice. My concerns, and what has led me to learn more about trauma, is that the predominant approach to dealing with many of the symptoms of trauma (e.g., arousal symptoms) has been behavioral containment. While systems such as Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) posits to deal with challenging behavior in a “positive” manner, much of what is done is simply containment and extinguishing of behavior (from a behavioral paradigm) with little attention placed on how trauma may affect student social-emotional/behavioral development. The first module has given me a much greater appreciation for complex trauma and I can now see where developmental, intergenerational, and historical features of complex trauma may explain a good deal of what we see in schools. From a social justice informed approach, I can see begin to see how interventions and treatments can be designed that attend to the salient features of complex trauma. Can’t wait to get my hands on some of the resources that are listed (e.g., DeGruy, 2005; Herman, 1992; Van Der Kolk, 2014; and Wolynn, 2016).
I work with the families of children from K-8 and homeless families K-12. Both parents and children score very high on the ACES. In regards to the kids it is often not addressed at school and treated as purely behavioral or ADHD/ADD issues. This leaves the children and teachers in desperate situations. To be able to share this information and big picture way of looking at the issue will hopefully help everyone.
As a Child Protection Officer, I have worked with children who come from various situations that were deemed as a risk to their safety and developmental well-being. The most prevalent issues being: Children who have been sexually, emotionally and physically abused, neglected, abandoned and orphaned, living with parents suffering from mental illnesses and children who were directly/indirectly exposed to domestic violence. As I followed module 1, I could not help but reflect on the adverse childhood experiences study; ALL indicators are evident in the cases that I have worked with.
Some ways in which these experiences affects these children are: aggression towards others, self-harm (cutting), suicidal tendencies, promiscuity, poor regard for authority, excessive drug use, violent outburst with little to no triggers, criminogenic behaviours, hoarding of food (despite the reassurance that provision will always be made to meet their physiological needs), and an inability or struggle for them to cope academically, just to name a few.
In my capacity as the Inspector for care facilities, every day is spent helping carers of these children to understand that the behaviours being displayed, in most cases, are not because the children want to be defiant but that the behaviours they manifest is as a result of the trauma that they experienced or was exposed to.
Compounding the problem is the exposure to social media and media in general where these matters are sensationalized and often times result in re-victimization. Having gained new knowledge from module 1 regarding the definitions and contextual overview of trauma and PTSD, I look forward to progressing through the course to learn the skills necessary to continue to provide appropriate interventions for the children and support to their carers.
I work in a seocndary prevention program in which I address the needs of children and families that have been exposed to any type of violence and trauma. The children range in age from 0-18 years of age. I work togethre with police officers and community providers in which our focus is safety and empowerment. The types of trauma that I encounter in youth on a daily basis is domestic violence, witnessing violence or abuse, medical procedures, physical abuse, neglect, death of loved ones, sexual abuse, bullying, arrest/incarcerations, homelessness, lack of basic needs, car accidents, house break-in, robberies, shootings of individuals and residences, and community violence. I work with the families to provide safety planning, advocacy and support, information to help the children and familes understand reactions and behaviors, and connections to counseling and community resources/agencies.
I too often see “all of the above” type of trauma — students who have experienced multiple forms of interpersonal trauma, maybe a disaster like a house fire, addiction, incarceration, racism, ableism, sexism and sexual assault, homophobia or transphobia or biphobia, homelessness, etc. — and the amazing thing is, they still enroll in school and make a go of it. Our resources as a college to support such students are not sufficient to the need — although there are some great programs. We have a program in our department for women leaving incarceration (jail or prison) called WayPass, founded by a formerly incarcerated student who now works on the staff of the program. It forms a kind of home, in a large urban college, for many women, a place they can find themselves reflected and encouraged and accompanied by other women just like them.
That said, I do also see the suffering in students who have not experienced “all of the above,” just one super difficult trauma. I remember a very bright middle-class white student who grew up with the ACEs of having a parent with severe mental illness, and I could see the effects of this on her.
Working in the field of children who have experienced trauma and have developed PTSD after living through negative environments, I must say the ACEs all seems to be to multiple. Noteworthy domestic violence is one of the biggest that I must declare that has affected children in my area. Adults in the relationship do not see the effects as the children will display their behavior in acts of delinquency. Yet even if the child is not directly receiving the abuse it affects them adversely, to the point where children and adolescent will develop some form of mental illness. Overall sexual abuse in my is one of the most destructive forms of trauma that will definitely inhibit PTSD.
As a social worker in an elementary school I work with several students who have experienced and/or are actively experiencing adverse experiences. They often displayed the symptoms listed with developmental trauma. I find the hardest part is coordinating the support for the students with all school staff- and not trigger the students
I work with children whose families are involved with child protective services so the types of trauma I see most often are neglect,verbal and physical abuse, and substance exposure. We live just outside a large city, and see a lot of parents using methadone and suboxine clinics with resulting in neglectful parenting and unfortunately, accidental child consumption. The trauma experiences are often compounded when the children are removed from abusive or neglectful parents.
I am currently working with adults with a history of addiction and involvement with the criminal justice system. Many have experienced poverty, substance abuse and/or incarceration in their family as a child. Many have experienced abuse and or neglect.
I work in a juvenile facility that detains the youth who comes in conflict with the law. As the facility social worker I am a part of a team of professionals who works intently on rehabilitation of the youth. In so doing we have come across that many of the youth we serve are suffering from trauma hence the adverse actions that contributed to them getting into conflict with the law. The introduction to the various type of trauma and the description of the symptoms has certainly expanded my professional scope of the youth. The ACEs has sound an alarm to me since a majority of the youth has been exposed from young ages to violence in the home, having a parent or close family member in prison, the youth having early exposure to community violence where a close family member, parent or close friend getting gun down in the streets. By the time the youth is sent by the courts to the facility; that may also become another challenge for them being away from their environment. I certainly see CPTSD and Developmental Trauma in the youth; they have layers and layers of complications that displays in mis-trust towards those working with the youth. I did not hear where the youth who has developed identity crisis due to learning of being adopted fits in regards to trauma. Or of the youth who has become wards of the state due to being an orphan or other dysfunction in their homes that caused child protection to step in. I have been seeing some symptoms of trauma in these youth who are also in the facility.
I do not currently work with youth that have sustained Trauma ,yet maybe they do and the public or school I work at does not know about it, My ace score is 5 and I was never considered in the Trauma category as a youth by the school system.
Working with all kind of youth today I am hoping to be able to recognize and point out a few behavior in order to help them succeed
The current population of students i work with generally don’t present trauma symptoms as listed from unit 1. Many do have IEP’s or a diagnosis of Autism, Aspergers, ED or Eating disorders. I recently worked with community high school students in which there was a suicide cluster (investigated by the CDC) over a 4 year period and the trauma related to those experiences. I have also worked with preschool age kids that experienced trauma related to living conditions and most of the ACE’s.
Over the years I have worked with young persons in private practice and within school settings. During those period I have encountered persons in all 10 ACE’s. The majority of persons have been sexually abused.
Working with youths since 2008 have definitely made me encountered many youths who have displayed various trauma types such as the ACEs, Developmental Trauma Disorder, and I am sure the evolved term of trauma that encompasses all “Complex Trauma”. I have seen youths who have displayed the various attachment styles as well especially avoidant, ambivalent and disorganized attachment. Currently our country is being plagued by community violence courtesy the gang warfare and our young males are the ones who are now being exposed to this on a daily basis engaging in such violence from a young age of 7 years and up. There are many contributing factors to this violence but nonetheless this is definitely a traumatic reinforcement of community violence which is one of the other experiences leading to trauma. I currently work with some of these young men who have been on the frontlines of this community violence as a result of coming in conflict with the law.
I am currently working with Elementary and Middle school aged children in low income neighborhood schools with a history of community violence in St. Louis, Missouri. Many of my students have parents that are incarcerated or on probation and/or working multiple jobs and are as a result neglecting them and their siblings. I have a student that has been missing school to take care of his younger siblings because his mother cannot afford childcare. Several have been exposed to sexual, emotional and physical abuse, have been abandoned or are living with their grandparents, have divorced or separated parents and are living in an area with significant historical trauma (racial relations in St. Louis have been on an ongoing documented issue for well over 100 years here). I cannot help but think as we go through this module how much the trauma they experience in their daily lives will effect them as adults. I am really hoping that I will be able to apply this knowledge and educate my colleagues on how a lot of the negative behavior we see is a result of the trauma that these students experience and is not necessarily a reflection of the student wanting or choosing to exhibit negative behavior. The inter-generational and historical trauma in conjunction with community violence that was mentioned also was very interesting to learn about as race relations here are at an all time high with recent protests in the city.
I work primarily with children that have been neglected and there has not been one single traumatic event but rather multiple events that come with being neglected. The symptoms I generally see are disruptive and explosive behaviors, not able to regulate emotions, inattention, inability to socialize with peers at school (lacking in social skills, which was not mentioned in your presentation), avoidance to talk about anything related to their childhood, parentified, nightmare, anxiety, and wanting to be in control. What has stood out the most to me in working with this population of children neglected is how it impacts their brain development, and how important it is to provide them structure and consistency. Reacting to their behaviors can be further traumatizing. It isn’t a fast process for the child to rehabilitate and it takes a village that are willing to get to know the child and their background and then work to provide an environment he/she feels safe in.
I work with children and adults who have suffered as children from complex developmental trauma. They have been neglected and/or physically, emotionally and sexually abused. I also work with children that are or have been in the foster care system or adoption system. Their wounds can be real or imagined. Either way, the adopted children struggle with abandonment issues, RAD or disorganized attachment issues. I think I have seen every symptom and none that have not been mentioned. Anxiety and substance abuse are prevalent. Many cut, steal, hoard or have eating disorders. Many have IEPs in school.
I work with children, women and men of all ages. Many of my clients do have traumatic experiences which often co e to surface following a life event or after attending g a mindfulness workshop which we offer.
The youth that I am working with has experienced many of the ACEs. I can see the experience of trauma manifested in all the types of symptoms mentioned. It has become all too important and intentional for me and other adults to make our students feel safe.
Like others in this forum, I am concerned how the online platform remains a dangerous avenue to how students are exposed to or experience trauma, whether it be bullying, mass shootings, brutality, etc. I need to be more aware of how students are experiencing these types of trauma.
Moreover, I am excited to learn more about how trauma, particularly inter-generational and historical, affects our physiology.
The kids that I work with all hit on one of the 10 major areas discussed in the ACES study. Neglect is a big one, one of my youth was recently diagnosed with autism, I can’t help but wonder if her autistic symptoms are actually trauma manifestations from being raised as a feral animal. Maybe what we are seeing as symptoms to base diagnosis for services are truly trauma symptoms manifesting in a different way. I am more recently starting to deal with the effects of inter-generational and historical trauma as it relates to the Native American Culture. I have special interest in this area as half of my current case load is Native American.
As a Social worker working in Child protection I am tasked to investiagte physical, sexual abuse and neglect of children. Which puts me in a position to work fisrt hand with children and youths that have experienced either one or more Adverse Childhood experiences that have impcated their life. For some clients the trauma from sexual abuse causes them to experienece PTSD symptoms which makes them withdrawn and also they become sexually reactive and have low self esteem.
Many of the young men that I work with in the juvenile section of the prison have shared their adverse childhood experiences which include being physically and sexually abused to witnessing various forms of violence in their homes and communities. Some of them have witnessed their fathers and other family members being beaten by police. Most of them have displayed symptoms of PTSD which include continuous aggression towards authority and each other, withdrawal and hyper-vigilance as they share that they always feel that their lives are in danger. Some have shared vivid dreams of their own demise. It is sometimes difficult to work with them as they find it difficult to trust. You can tell that they have experienced a negative worldview shift as they feel that everyone is a part of the system that is set up to destroy them.
For the last 6 years I have worked with middle-high school aged students, 12-19 years old primarily. I have encountered various types of trauma including: domestic violence, divorce, inter-generational trauma, physical and verbal abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and physical neglect, drug abuse in the home and/or with peers, exposure to mental illness and a household member in prison. What I see come up the most is the abuse and neglect trauma. When I have students who are showing the most observable symptoms of PTSD they often times reveal abuse and neglect. I deal with a lot of angry students who get very passionate about injustices, such as another student getting the quarterback position when “he’s a jerk” or a guy dating a girl who “Is ugly and out of his league.” Domestic violence is often brought up as a “normal” part of the home environment and “not that bad.” I see a lot of aggression towards authority, including passive aggressiveness such as eye rolling and via social media. The detached and dysregulataion I do not see as much but I also am not looking for it with PTSD as often.
As a psychotherapist, I´ve worked with people who had suffered one or more, inclusive all ACE´s, sometimes it takes a long time for them to open and verbalize some issues that have been banned in regular conversations and espose themselves to observe and evaluate their own development over time. Most of my clients present PTSD symptoms and those are the reasons why they look for advice and companionship in a therapeutic safe space. The most frequent traumas I deal with are divorce, loses, rape and domestic violence and the majority of my clients are women with teenager children
Most if not all, students that I work with have experienced traumatic events in their life as mentioned in module 1. Most students exhibit some kind of behavioral outburst and have concentration issues. Not only have the students experienced trauma, but also their parents, which have also manifested some of the symptoms of PTSD.
I think I might have a little different type of experience than most of the people taking this course bc I am a yoga teacher working within the public school system. All of the symptoms/dx listed in the videos are found somewhere in the school system. I work with (not consistently- bc there are 7 of us who share the responsibility) K-8 graders in 7 different schools so that’s a lot of kids. We don’t counsel, however we try to provide somatic releases, guided meditation and mindfulness skills. This year our curriculum strongly follows the chakra system of the body so we are trying to provide releases thru grounding physical practices, positive affirmations, and meditations before anything has a chance to move from a dis-ease in the body to a disease in the body. I have the ability to move passed the curriculum and work on specialized projects with in the district, ex: we will be starting a gratitude project with 5th graders that has more to do with yogic philosophy than a “yoga practice”. I feel really blessed to do what I do, having scored a high number on the ACE questionnaire, I know how important this work is and how lucky I am to work within a very progressive school district.
I work as a therapist in a non-public school setting with youth ages 11-18 who have been kicked out of public school for aggressive behavior, bringing weapons to school. etc. Many of youth are foster youth, some homeless, and others adopted. Like someone else above described, I would say about 95% of my youth score 4 and above on the ACE’s. They certainly endure complex, systemic, historical trauma. It’s heartbreaking. Many youth display severe self-harm behaviors, are in and out of Juvenile Hall and group homes, and have substance use issues. I’m curious about those who have been adopted nearly at birth and continue to show these severe symptoms. Sometimes they are hospitalized and never return, leaving me wondering how I can more effectively work with them.
I want to share that I truly appreciate the expansion/additions to the definitions of trauma and their complexity. It is useful in encompassing the full human experience as a result of these major stressors. It is helpful for those of us educating others in the school setting, as many students are misunderstood or “labeled,” in ways that do not capture their true symptoms or experience. These labels lead to adults at times seeing them as invisible or “bad kids,” as well as increased suspensions, expulsions and getting pushed around to different school placements rather than gaining assistance that could improve their lives. Deeper education on trauma can result in more adults having a more equipped lens to observe a child’s needs.
Over the last 2 years working as a Social Mobilizer I have worked with children and entire families. Now that I have listened to the videos and learned what Trauma and ACEs are I realized that I have worked with persons who experienced different degrees of Trauma. Some were rebellious drop out students with 3 – 4 ACEs ( Emotional neglect, Verbal abuse, Alcohol exposure, Domestic violence, Separation). I also recognized various ACEs with persons who were victims of Fire, Elderly abuse and Physical abuse and believe some may still be experiencing PTSD. I found Module 1 extremely informative and clear in indicating causes of Trauma and symptoms/ signs of PTSD.
While working in residential treatment I worked with several clients who had a significant number of ACEs. Many of the clients families have issues with drug and alcohol abuse, and many of the clients have experienced or witness domestic violence in th household. Many of these ACEs displayed themselves in behavioural issues. It became very important to learn as much as we could about the clients to be able to work with them more effectively and ensure to the best of our abilities we weren’t doing anything that would refrigerate them.
The students I work with now have some of the experiences also however it is not always as well known if the parents do not disclose this information upon admittance. Most of our students have experienced vision loss, either congenital or acquired blindness. Some of our students lose their sight later in life. As a teenager about to get their licenses and experiencing some more freedom, losing their vision can be very traumatic. While not a standard source of trauma, losing one of your main senses can be very difficult and therefore would have to learn so many skills over again.
Working in the Child Protection Service as a Social Worker I investigation allegations of Abuse , sexual, emotional, verbal etc . these children who have suffered any of these are of the four (4W ACE’s according to the lesson that was taught. working with this population is difficult at times especial when the clientele show sign of PTSD. This makes it hard to work with them because the tool that is know how to help is no there to do so. Whenever these reports are brought in and you sit and speak with the individual and them their parents and learn their family history you see that it is a cycle within the family that these now victims are experiencing.
Our organization works specifically with opportunity youth, impacted by poverty, barriers to education and employment, increasingly present mental health challenges and often substance abuse issues. Sometimes the trauma in their lives is talked about, more often it is not. I would suggest that often they don’t recognize the sources of trauma as such. Our young people often have behavioral challenges that likely are rooted in an attempt to cope with the pain, patterns that are ingrained, sometimes generationally, and difficult to shift. Lack of housing is a crisis here, and contributes powerfully to the stress of being a young adult and adds a thick layer of difficulty to any attempt to create positive change. Learned hopelessness is a very present entity in our world.
Being a teacher and not having received enough training on child-youth psychology, I know I have gaps on how to contextualize some behaviours and attitudes in school. Generally the tendency is to focus on a class progress and quantitative results, with huge time restraints and I can observe around me the difficutly to understand that learning will only occur if students and teachers establish their emotional common ground (and if the school works towards the same direction). My students come from the 4 coins of the world. We have kids from countries at war, kids who came to study here but who live away from their families, kids whose parents are never present due to work and kids whose present and future life choices are totally determined by their parents, with extremely high and not always real expectations.
correction: 4 corners of the world
Very informative first week!
I’ve worked with children who have witnessed and experienced violence, usually in domestic violence contexts. My experience with this group really exemplifies the differences you spoke about with respect to the DSM definition of trauma versus other more holistic definitions; as there were really no differences between the impacts on the children who experienced it first hand and those who witnessed the abuse of their mother or siblings. To say one was more impacted than the others would be a disservice.
I have also worked extensively with children on a national crisis line for children and youth. In this context we were often addressing the crisis issue that lead them to call in, but had to be ever mindful to be aware of and explore other ACE’s and trauma that may be contributing to the crisis or creating barriers for getting out of crisis.
I have had a variety of you that have been affected by trauma. Many have had symptoms mentioned due to the breakdown of their families and the fact that the adults in their lives are not treating each other respectfully.
In my current position of working with students and adults in K-6 school I have encountered the following types of trauma; death of a family member or loved one; parent incarceration; physical abuse or neglect; and placement in the foster care system. Not only are student experiencing trauma but so are some of the teachers that serve them. I have worked with teachers who have experienced many ACEs and who are still having a difficult time working through them. Their trauma manifest itself in their relationships with students and fellow staff. Based on the information I have obtained from the module I can definitely say that I have seen the way trauma presents itself in the classroom. For example, there are several students whom I have seen thrown desks, physically hurt themselves or others, or shut down completely to a state of disassociation. Being a restorative practice school counselor a lot of my work revolves on the need for meaningful relationship in creating resiliency that can overcome trauma; therefore, I am excited to see that attachment is mentioned in this course. I am looking forward to learning more about attachment styles and their connection to trauma informed practices.
I am learning a great deal by reading the responses of others, as well as by going through the course content. In contrast to many here, I work in a middle school in an apparently idyllic, upscale town in the California wine country. We have resources that many schools would envy, such as a full-time counselor and several community-based therapists who provide support for our student body of slightly less than 300. And yet. In my role as campus supervisor I commonly see students struggling with anxiety, panic attacks. thoughts of suicide or self-harm, and outbursts of behavior that they themselves clearly do not understand and which seem to hijack them, to use the words of Dr. Van der Kolk in “The Body Keeps The Score.” I don’t necessarily have access to a student’s comprehensive history, but I do know we have or have had kids who have experienced their parents’ death, or imprisonment, or substance abuse. We also have a wide disparity in socio-economic status, which I suspect can contribute to at least some level of environmental trauma. As with others in this cohort, I am just beginning to comprehend the potentially negative power of social media, from which vulnerable kids are really never safe.
I work with elementary aged students who have experienced all of the types of trauma that we have learned about. It breaks my heart. Our staff is not equipped with the tools yet to successfully meet the students needs.
I work in the high school setting in an “ED” “Emotionally Disturbed” classroom. Most of the kids who are labeled emotionally disturbed have experienced more than one traumatic event and many have family members who have experienced traumatic events. I have noticed that behaviors are mislabeled and misinterpreted. I am feeling hopeful that the more information we learn the better we will be able to serve this population.
I wrote a more in depth answer but somehow it got lost in cyber space, I have lost the will and time to recreate it, as I now want to get on with module 2 🙂
So to answer the question, I work with individuals age 18+ who have had trauma related experiences as described in module 1.
In my line of work for the past eight year as a Child Placement Specialized Services Officer, I am often found in situations dealing with families that have experience all the symptoms of Trauma. Some families that encounter separation and divorce are often at risk of trauma especially the children. So you find a break down in the family systems where if it is not rectify with counselling the family relive and re-experience the same Trauma in a more dreadful way which then becomes harmful to themselves and other.
I am a mental health nurse that works in schools directly with kids. The types of trauma that I have encountered in my clients are sexual assault, neglect and intergenerational trauma. The more informed I become re. trauma and it’s symptoms the more I am able to recognize behavior as being related to trauma. I have a couple of kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder and their symptoms are somewhat different in that they often lie, steal and hoard along with more classic symptoms like rage, attention issues and difficulty with relationships.
Most of the youth I work experience trauma just in their own neighborhoods. Many are from high crime areas and also face the constant fear and worry about losing their home to gentrification.
The youth I have worked with have experienced all types of abuse/trauma outlined in ACE’s as well as systematic trauma and historical trauma.
I work with a unique population in that they are considered to be among the most privileged youth. Their parents send them to very expensive schools and give them everything. However, their parents are often, certainly not always, very absent in their lives. They can be away for months at a time, or even living in another country. It is also a very transient population. These families move often. Often a child´s primary caretaker is the nanny who they have to say good bye to when they move countries again. Friends are never permanent for many. While this is not the same type of trauma that we typically associate with trauma I have many students who display a lot of the symptoms, lack of secure attachments, hyper-vigilance, acting out.
I currently work with youth of all ages but specialize in working with adolescents. Majority of the youth I work with have multiple forms of trauma that were discussed in this section. Majority of the youth I work with are placed in our residential substance use treatment facility. Often times they are engaging in the same behaviors has previous generations; or experienced the same form of abuse.
I work as a consultant in several different school and am discussing trauma sensitive practices as a way of understanding the challenges to learning and the need for a multitiered SEL program to address learning needs and issues
I currently work with adults, but before this worked with young people who were Looked After and Accommodated (in children’s homes). Without a doubt, their behaviours indicated that they were displaying the symptoms of trauma and yet staff who worked with the didn’t have the knowledge to demonstrate trauma informed practice. This is crucial.
While working with inner-city elementary students, I definitely saw trauma symptoms as a result of ACEs, as well as community violence and problems with early childhood attachment. The most common symptoms I saw were issues with concentration and hyper/hypo-arousal. Without context of (at least some of) the child’s family history, and of the community, their resulting diagnoses and treatment would not have addressed the depth of their problems. Using a trauma-informed lens can definitely inform my approach, hopefully making treatment more sensitive, effective, and enduring.
As an elementary level special education teacher, I work with students who have been exposed to a variety of ACEs. I work with a student who lost a parent to suicide and some who have lost a parent due to drug use/overdose. In one case the child was the one who found his/her deceased parent, not understanding that the parent had died. I routinely work with children who experience physical neglect, emotional neglect, alcohol/drug exposure and exposure to mental illness. As I work with these students in an academic setting I encounter many who have great difficulty regulating their mood and physical behavior. One student in particular had an incredibly negative view of the world and it was challenging to engage him in academic tasks due to his nearly constant negative emotional state. Generally, the symptoms of the students I work with would fall into the category of hyper-arousal. I can only think of 2 in my career whose symptoms fell into the category of hypo-arousal.
I am a high school teacher working for the past 17 years with youth who have shown various stages of trauma. The information presented in Module 1 is a recap of my teaching experience. I am happy to see that the individual’s experiences can have a adverse impact on their performance in a school setting. I see so often that individuals who work with students who have experienced trauma, tend to discount the events and see the student as one who is unwilling to conform to the expectations of the classroom. This problem is compounded by a lack of communication in the school setting of how to best support students who have experienced trauma. Being the case, teachers are, at times, left to wonder if they themselves are to blame for not being able to reach the student.
Secondly, it is good to know that teachers and staff who work with students who have experienced trauma can also experience trauma themselves. We used to call it secondary trauma, and would find ways to help each other through our secondary experiences. In working with youth who have lived through horrific experiences, one must remember to take care of yourselves while doing this work.
When working with Families in my line of work, a level of trauma can be observed from the youths of these families since we work holistically with families. I have observed that most of the families I have worked with have been through mostly Verbal Abuse & Physical Abuse. At times the verbal abuse and physical abuse comes from parents who are frustrated and have little to no family support. Our clientele is comprised of mostly single parents and families living below poverty level who are going through many financial constraints and lack of support in all different area/ pillars such as health, education, identification and other areas that are considered important for development. How families cope is very essential in surviving through trauma. Many of times the parent and the youth submit to drugs/alcohol use which can alter the chances of domestic violence or more family violence hence the reason treatment for trauma is very crucial so that there are not much adverse effect within the families.
Often times, teachers request for me to work with students who have behavior issues. After meeting with students and talking to their care provider to get background information on the student and family, it becomes evident that the student may have experienced trauma in his or her life. I liked learning about Complex PTSD and Developmental Trauma disorder because I was able to see trauma through a multilayer lens and understand how some of the behavior symptoms exhibited by students can be trauma based. Sometimes, teachers are quick to label a child as being oppositional defiant or conduct disorder when sometimes, these behaviors exhibited by a child can be trauma based.
As a Social Worker in the Department I encounter clients with diverse backgrounds but all have been exposed to some type of abuse throughout their childhood/ life. I found ACE most interesting as my clients have all experienced one or a combination of the the ten original ACEs. Many of them have experienced four or more ACES before the age of eighteen years old, and I have seen where as adults they are now dealing with depression, substance abuse, and have perpetrated the same abused they experienced as children. Interestingly, after learning about Complex Trauma and Developmental Trauma disorder, I instantly was able to recognize clients who have show symptoms of these disorders and if evaluated may be found to have one of these disorders. For our teens, many times their unfavorable behaviors are labelled as rebellious, uncontrollable, among others; learning about trauma we learn that these behaviors are manifested from the trauma they have experienced. This course gives us the ability to view our clients with a wider more informed lens.
Exploring module 1 had learned that the identifying of children that have an experience in some form of the ACES of PTSD. Many of my clients have exhibited antisocial behavior as a result of experiencing the ACES leading to the client experiencing PTSD. The most prevalent of the abuses are sexual and physical. To the society at large, these children are seen as outcast and infidels. This general attitude contributes to teenagers becoming criminal and becoming perpetrators of abuse themselves. This session has taught me to examine the ACES and how they contribute to juvenile delinquency.
I work with homeless and at-risk youth in a non-profit. Nearly all of our clients suffer from trauma, seemingly always complex trauma. The clients we work with deal with the intersection of a lifetime of physical and verbal abuse from their parents and guardians, sexual abuse at the hands of adults and peers, systemic trauma, drug and alcohol abuse, the death of friends and family members, and so on. These experiences manifest themselves in all the ways described in Unit 4: intrusion, avoidance, negative disturbances in cognition and mood, and arousal symptoms.
I feel as though the definition of ways clients present trauma were broad enough that they cover the myriad behaviors of my clientele. I could add that for our clients, there’s often a tendency to have some sort of intersection between avoidance and a negative disturbance in cognition or mood that causes them to fear change or feel disinclined to attempt to make improvements in their life – a sort of belief that the life they currently live is the only life available to them.
I have worked with youths; a large percentage of who grow up in single parent household who are neglected or have a lack of/limited basic needs. Fathers in prison for grievous offences or fathers killed in gang conflicts; fathers with children with several women. Youths with a lot of everyday hurts that has caused them to think the lowest of themselves and view life as something that is unfair. So by experience I see all the various types of traumas; basically a lot of hurting people, with a sense of hopelessness.
I work with young people aged 12-18, most of whom are from single parent households and who are neglected by their parents to the extent that they don’t get enough food to eat, not to mention every getting a hug or told they are loved. A lot of them would have family members who are or have been in prison. And/or parents who are alcoholics or addicted to drugs. In some cases their mothers or fathers have abandoned them to start a new family with someone else. And they have never heard from this parent again. They have been so neglected and mistreated that they seem to think they are invisible. So they often act out in various aggressive ways as a cry for help. They have huge levels of mistrust and would display many of the repercussions of having 4 or more ACEs – especially angry outbursts, various self-destructive behaviours, as well as problems sleeping and concentrating.
Working at the Department of Human Services and also in my community I have come across many youth both boys and girls with behavioral problems, now that I have some knowledge of Trauma, ACE’s, and PTSD and looking back at their behaviors in these lens let me put some things in perspective when I would say “that one day they are angle and the next day they are the devil” now understanding a little of the four set of PTSD symptoms I could understand the reason for their behavior and how the trauma they face have affected them. As caregiver we don’t recognize that little things as shouting or a hug could trigger ACE and PTSD in a individual and when that happen we don’t know what to do but label them as rude, disrespectful etc. this unit gave me great insight of what to look for when client is displaying some behavior that don’t seen right, and how to get them help that they indirectly asking us for when these symptoms are trigger.
I have worked with young people of diverse backgrounds. Most commonly, the trauma they present with is domestic violence, homelessness, drug and alcohol use in the home (either self or family member) and childhood sexual assault. I found this last session the most expansive in terms of my thinking around layered trauma or complex trauma. When I think back to some of the most complex cases I have worked on, with young people presenting with very distressing and variable symptoms leading to changing mental health diagnosis, I now believe the experience of both historical and inter-generational trauma (particularly for Aboriginal young people in Australia and refugees new to our communities since the 1990s) would have changed the thinking about the diagnosis and support provided if a more holistic look at their trauma experiences was undertaken. Often times, services, specialists or psychologists only wanted to talk about the sexual assault, or the current homelessness, and ignore the multilayered trauma across their lifetime and in their DNA. I’m looking forward to learning more.
With the population of middle school students that I work with, there are a number of environmental factors that contribute to trauma among students. The district I work with is a Title 1 school, in which, more that 98% of the population is low income. Socioeconomic status plays a factor in the resources available to students and their families. Trauma that many of our youth face are not being acknowledged. Youth, often times, do not have the opportunities to process through trauma they have faced. There are many instances of gangs, drugs, violence, domestic violence, incarceration, immigration issues, and other factors that are prevalent in the our community.
The young people I work with generally have complex trauma and generational trauma. Many of the youth have several generations of family who once participated in polygamy and their history was opposite and abuse to females and there are publications about the young men being sent away from the community because the older males wanted the girls for their “family” and removed any competition. Many of the young people I see have been raised in a strict Mom on, patriarchal home where they are forced to participate in their religion. The youth I see generally are those who around the age of 14 or 15 have rebelled and no longer practice and the parents want them “fixed.”
I am not part of the faith but I have a substantial reputation of working with young people with behavioral problems which is generally the label they receive. My work generally is with a parent and youth to stop labeling and focusing on the strengths. Some kids return to the faith others don’t but there is a sense of acceptance and a change in how they are treated within the home. Many young people are ostracized from community and school activities and that is painful for them.
The other young people I treat are young people who have been involved with the legal system due to domestic violence in the home, drugs or alcohol has made the caregivers unwilling to care for their children, or at least one parent is or has been incarcerated. Many times the trauma of being in a state system is traumatic and unfortunately abusive. These young people will either be forced into counseling for “their mental health” and often not ready to talk about the trauma or unable to talk about their experiences and are often misunderstood as being diagnosed with conduct disorder. Often their resistance to counseling has to do with previously being forced into counseling and hating the experience.
As I have gone through this module it has prompted me to consider how both I and those professionals/parents that I teach/supervise/consult with can conceptualise the behaviours the youth present with from a trauma focused approach – how this can then help decrease judgments (particularly for those who work in the justice/care and protection facilities) and increase willingness to work alongside youth. In addition, how they can explain to the youth themselves that what they are experiencing is not because they are “naughty or damaged” rather they are responding to the trauma they have experienced…to assist them to conceptualise their own experiences. Looking forward to upcoming modules.
In my experience alcoholism of father and related events at home is a major concern. Sexual exploitation is another issue. Most often children feel less connected to or are overdependent on caretakers. Many times children themselves are not able to identify the reasons behind their stress.
In my line of work, the young people I encounter have been deeply impacted by the environment they grow up in, a lot are from disadvantaged backgrounds, poverty, with parental substance dependence, domestic abuse, mental health, trafficking. These life experiences for them manifest in ways such as self harming, suicide ideation, disordered eating alcoholism and/or drug use and aggression. There are few with positive role models in their lives and cannot always verbalise what is going on for them.
I have worked with youth over the last 15 years. In that time, I have seen just about everything in the spectrum of trauma that is discussed here. Many of the young people that I have worked with have been subjected to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
My experience is unique, I did not set out to work with traumatized individuals, instead, I found myself crossing paths with professional women in domestic violence homes, repeating the cycle. Later with my own health challenges, began to research causes and therapies for chronic illness, transitioned to an Naturopathic Doctor in the process. Once I began a practice, I met an educator on ACEs, which now included AAEs (Adult Adverse Trauma), where I started my research. When young family members needed out of a violent home, I became actively involved in their care and recovery. In both environments, ACEs was the missing link! I was able to correlate the chornic illness with ACE scores and began educating patients on HOW their body reached a chronic disease state and WHY traditional therapies did not work for them. Taking a Trauma-Informed approach to my own health & healing, addressing my <8 ACE score (not including URBAN ACE score) as well as learning to care for the young cousins, I was able to be successful in resolving my own health issues (maintain it now for 3 years+), as well as help many others. Knowing about ACES is part of understanding the body is doing what it is designed to do as a result of the experiences, I help people recognize the consequences of stress from triggers and its impact in their life and their health by educating them.
Learning about trauma in youth is important, as it manifests differently than adults, I hope to gain a better understanding to begin working more with youth, and teach other health professionals the importance of the ACE score on healing chronic disease.
So much more to learn!
This is my second year working in a prek classroom. I have worked with children in a variety of ways for the better part of 20 years. The behaviors that I see from the 4/5 yr olds are quick temper, willful defiance, phobias, sensory issues. I work at an inner city school with a high immigrant population, high poverty rate and high instances of homeless/highly mobile families. There were a lot of issues with my students last year after the election. We had one family that had to go on the run because they feared deportation, the child ended up missing 3-4 weeks of school. The area I am in also has a large Somali population. Many follow the Islamic faith and wear traditional clothing (i.e. a hijab). Our school board is not reflective of our student population and that oftentimes silences the voices of the families in our community.
I have been in the human services field for almost ten years. Through my experience, I have worked with infants, at-risk youth, women and youth experiencing homeless, and disabled young adults. I have worked (and currently) with people who have suffered through many aspects of trauma. Whether it is physical abuse, sexual abuse, gun violence, death, abandonment, substance abuse, homelessness etc. This training is giving me an opportunity to learn more about trauma in depth, and I am looking forward to what’s next.
I have worked with youth who have experienced all forms of abuse, neglect, divorce/separation, domestic violence, alcohol/drug exposure, exposure to mental health/suicide, incarcerated household member, economically challenged household, and attachment issues. I have noticed the prevalence of ADHD diagnoses in youth that I work with and wondered about the connection to trauma.
I am currently working with someone who is managing. I suspect sexual abuse in early adolescence.
I also know the family are steeped in denial about anything that doesn’t look just right. Some questioning
about maybe talking to a counselor- is met with “that will be in a file” and “people will think he’s crazy”.
He’s a high achiever in every way. But hyper aroused, reactions way out of proportion to boundary breeches.
Different person when not around family and his private school. Loves to be outside and active. Isolates
himself while many love to be in his company. I am in no position to diagnose PTSD, I am a mindfulness teacher,
but I am finding that so many of these little guys that like mindfulness, appreciate the break from thoughts and
even thinking about life. I only do short sessions- I’d like to be able to know what to look for in order to refer
them to a counselor. I’ve seen the hyper arousal, isolation, drifting to another place mentally.
I’m working with a young man who was sent to a “therapeutic boarding school” that was more similar to a cult and definitely destabilized his interpersonal relationships. A few of my patients of color experience fear of being seen as “an angry Black man” and as a result struggle with boundaries and limit setting as well as expressing their anger.
i’m from and in contact with first nation youth who suffer from multiple aces, as many of the other populations people have mentioned. what our youth also deal with is trauma of colonization – both from past actions and how it still oppresses today.
for decades, in canada and the u.s., police were sent into indigenous communities to steal all the children, sending them away to residential schools where many were physically, emotionally, culturally and sexually assaulted. this robbed generations of children a connection to their family members, communities and culture…many residential school kids never made it back to their homes, lost to urban centers. these children grew up taught to hate and reject their language, culture, spirit, in essence their very selves. robbed of any type of parenting models, harbouring unconscious self-hatred and suffering complex ptsd themselves they became parents of my generation. their children and grandchildren suffer some of the highest rates of diabetes, poverty, suicide, murder and drug addiction.
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