Heather Forbes from 8:00 to 9:30 am“This is Your Brain on Trauma: Understanding the Impact Stress Has on Students”
“When kindergarteners get fired from kindergarten, we have a serious problem in our perspective of childhood behavior. The solutions that are traditionally in place for children with challenging, difficult, and even severe behaviors are not working--they are failing our children in the classroom.”
(From Help for Billy: A Beyond Consequences Approach to Helping Challenging Children in the Classroom)
We often underestimate the impact of stress on a child’s development. Unpredictable, unstructured, and emotionally or physically hurtful experiences create heightened states of autonomic arousal, anxiety, depression, mood changes, irritability, non-reality thinking, and a general pattern of disorganized behaviors. The typical demands placed on students within the classroom overwhelm children who have been impacted by stress in their homes and communities to the point they decompensate and they exhaust their windows of stress tolerance. The result is continual behavioral challenges and academic failure. Explanations as to why students act out in negative, resistant, defiant, and socially inappropriate ways will be given based on the science of the developing brain in this keynote address.