Summer, Sunshine, and Stress by Nicole Fakaua, MC Candidate Summer holidays usually conjure up images of sunshine, sweet watermelon, and happy kids playing along the beach.   But let’s face it, for many kids with a trauma background, summer holidays can also be stressful!  Normal routines have been bypassed by longer, leisurely days filled with a degree of flexibility and unpredictability on many fronts.  Though enjoyable, this can be particularly challenging for kiddos with a history of trauma.  As a result, …

No One Eats Apples in Baja, California It’s a small town by Canadian Standards. The population is only approximately five thousand people. This makes it the size of Nelson, BC or Flin Flon, Manitoba. What makes this town unique is that one third of this population is under the age of 14. The town is Primo Tapia, located along the Baja California, an hour South of Tijuana, Mexico. What makes this town even more exceptional is that the number of …

Data Collection and Connecting Meaningful Interventions to the IEP Miss Peters knew that Jimmy had made some progress in the classroom because his shut downs and aggressive behaviours weren’t as severe as before.  Within the first three months of the new school year, she learned that Jimmy had experienced complex trauma from the time he was born to about 4 years of age, she learned about how complex trauma can affect children in the classroom, and she implemented numerous PEACE-ful …

Interventions to Help Traumatized Children Succeed in Education by Angela Murphy, School Psychologist, BCASP #370, MEd., BEd. Miss Peters was overwhelmed; she had a student, “Jimmy”, who was making it very difficult for her to teach and for others to learn.  She described Jimmy as having extreme behaviours (i.e. verbally and physically aggressive, running away, shutting down sometimes for hours at a time) that seemed to appear out of the nowhere, “one moment he seems fine and within a split …

by Elina Falk, MC., RCC What is he trying to do? Helping your child heal by supporting the intention behind the troubling behaviour. Suzie is always trying to get people’s attention.  Jonathan is an escape artist and can open any child-proof lock.  Peter is as quiet and unobtrusive as possible. On the face of it, it might not seem that these situations have much in common. But in fact, all these children are likely trying to complete their intention to …

Kids, Complex Trauma, and Medication – The Great Debate Continued. by Chuck Geddes, Ph.D. This post will offer some thoughts on the use of psychotropic medications for children and youth with complex trauma histories. This post is a follow-up on my previous post on this topic https://www.complextrauma.ca/complex-trauma-medications/. I’ve had a chance to speak to some child psychiatrists and I have also been learning from a webinar series on Psychopharmacology and Trauma hosted by Dr. Bruce Perry and the Child Trauma Academy. …

Signature Strengths By Dr. Kirk Austin Michael was in trouble again. The school had called Karen, the foster parent, to report his “bullying” behavior on the playground. In speaking to the principal, Karen learned that Michael had been playing aggressively with the other children. As others had reported, Michael would yell at other kids and push them if they refused to let him play in their games. The school personnel were clearly frustrated and hoped that Karen could offer some …

What Kind of Smart are You?  Understanding Multiple Intelligences By Dr. Kirk Austin Once upon a time the animals decided they had to do something decisive to meet the increasing complexity of their society. They held a meeting and decided to organize a school. The curriculum consisted of running, swimming and flying. Since these were the basic behaviors of most animals, they decided that all the students should take all of the subjects. The duck proved to be excellent at …

Compassion and Shame: When Your Best Interventions Seem to Backfire Little Lisa is sometimes crazed with fury and hatred and often directs this toward her foster mom, Susan. Susan has been learning a lot about shame and connection so she understands that Lisa is lashing out at her because she fears being hurt and being rejected. She recognizes that her behavior is an expression of her underlying needs and fears and therefore, Susan now knows she needs to respond to …

Complex Trauma and Medications by Chuck Geddes, Ph.D. This post will offer some thoughts on the use of psychotropic medications for children and youth with complex trauma histories.  In a previous post, Complex Trauma and Assessment {https://www.complextrauma.ca/complex-trauma-assessment/ }, I wrote about a young boy named David and how typical psychiatric assessment processes resulted in him receiving seven different diagnoses to describe the variety of emotional and behavioural challenges he was exhibiting.  Our premise is that this assessment and diagnostic process …