Let’s begin talking about the students you may be working with!
I have a theory about them. Whether they have a diagnosis or not they are suffering from trauma! Yes, every one of them has a form of trauma!
It can be from extreme circumstances, as in knowing your father drowned your baby sibling (yes, I have worked with a student, who was aged eight and knew this), to what seems mild to us, as in knowing they are different when suffering from ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome.
Peter A. Levine (Ph.d) writes in his book ‘Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes’, something as simple as falling off their bike can create a trauma in some children,’affecting them for years to come’. Levine believes the trauma can sometimes be traced back to a difficult birth.
When I said some students are traumatised by knowing they are different this is often because of bullying! (123RF Stock Photos)
And while on the subject of bullying, many students, whether they have a diagnosis or not, carry the scars of bullying, and so feel traumatised. An example of this is a child I met recently who while in Year 3 began rapidly putting on weight. This brought about bullying from other students! The students who did this were dealt with very well by the school, however the one being bullied has been displaying violent behaviour ever since, when at school. Is this child traumatised by the experience? In my opinion, yes!
With all this talk of students being traumatised please remember it’s not your job to find what has caused the trauma. However, it may help you empathise in those times they are driving you crazy!!!
An article I found interesting reading on this subject was from Greater Good Magazine, called ‘How to Help a Traumatized Child in the Classroom’ (October 23rd, 2013).
I especially liked point 5! Take care of yourself!!!!’
I’m hoping this may give you some insight into the students you work with!
Next time I will go into the behaviours and diagnoses the students may have.