Complex Trauma

What is complex trauma?

Complex trauma is early on repeated experiences in development. This trauma is a presents itself as PTSD but may not be as responsive to typical treatment for PTSD because it is very difficult to diagnosed a child with complex trauma.

Why is it’s significance?

Complex trauma Inhibits the neural system’s ability to return to normal but changes the system to appear like one that is always anticipating or responding to trauma.

Symptoms (often times occurs when a child is anticipating or believe that the trauma is reacuring):

-Poor concentration

-Poor attention

-Poor judgement

-Highly Reactive

-Responds to threat if not present

-Fight, flight, freeze

What does fight flight freeze look like?

Fight is seen as the aggressive reaction where the child may physically, and or verbally lash out.

Flight can present itself as a child fleeing a situation.

Freeze is often shown by the child not speaking, or moving. A child may be moving from shaking, crying, irregularly breathing but will not move places.

Effective treatment:

-Day to day collaboration with adults present in child’s life

-Preventative programs for parents who are at risk of not being able to provide for their child

-Trauma focused therapies (here is a link to distinguish the purpose of each trauma focused therapy: )

-Art therapy


Things that can be done as an educator:

-Recognize when a child is experiencing symptoms of trauma, and respond compassionately

-Create a routine classroom with predictable transitions

-Be cautious of what the trauma comes from and adapt your practice (ex: be cautious of discussing certain topics, consider rules of physical boundaries in classroom like asking before giving a friend a hug).

-Have a safety plan for the child (ex: a safe space for the child to go through when experiencing symptoms)

-Take care of yourself, and remember there are people to support you in your school!



Digging Up the Roots

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” -Ignacio Estrada

Hello blog!

I have been spending these past couple weeks researching my inquiry on how to manage violent behaviours in the classroom and I have come to the conclusion that there are many different approaches depending on the root cause of the issue. My experience with violent behaviour in children have come from a wide range of situations whether that be in the classroom as a pre-service teacher, in the gym as a behaviour interventionist, or parent meetings as a person of rapport. From my own personal experiences and research, I have decided to discuss 3 main reasons for aggression within children:

  1. Complex Trauma
  2. Mental Illness
  3. Mental Disabilities

In each blog post I will be delving deep into each category, define them, outline strategies, and give resources.  My goal is to shape my own understanding of classroom management and increase my ability to form an inclusive classroom.