How Trauma Affects Kids in School


The Child Mind Institute offers some important thoughts on how trauma affects kids in school.  This informative article by  Caroline Miller  is based on the work Dr. Nancy Rappaport (pictured) and Jessica Minahan.

“Dr. Rappaport offers tools for understanding and managing disruptive behavior in the classroom in her book,  The Behavior Code : A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, written with behavioral analyst Jessica Minahan. 

We tend to think of trauma as the result of a frightening and upsetting event. But many children experience trauma through ongoing exposure, throughout their early development, to abuse, neglect, homelessness, domestic violence or violence in their communities. And it’s clear that chronic trauma can cause serious problems with learning and behavior.

Trauma is particularly challenging for educators to address because kids often don’t express the distress they’re feeling in a way that’s easily recognizable — and they may mask their pain with behavior that’s aggressive or off-putting. As Nancy Rappaport, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist who focuses on mental health issues in schools, puts it, “They are masters at making sure you do not see them bleed.”

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How Trauma Affects Kids in School