How does trauma affects the child learning , behavior

From earliest stages through adulthood, trauma affects the manner in which we see ourselves, our general surroundings, and modifies our processing of information and also the manner in which we act and react to our environment.

How does trauma affects the child learning , behavior

Learning deficiencies, problems in performance, and behavior may arouse without intervention. In order to minimize the difficulties in learning and behavior, which occur when the requirements of the trauma victims are not recognized or regarded, educational systems should be urged to provide the victims with trauma-specific intervention.

Arousal State

Exposure to a conceivably trauma-inducing incident causes the survivors to wind up solidified in an activated condition of arousal. ‘Arousal’ is an elevated alert condition or a persevering dread for one’s security. Cognitive and behavioral functioning gets affected by the short-term or prolonged arousal.

It has been discovered that in the arousal state the processing of information gets difficult due to the altered working of the neocortex (Perry & Szalavitz (2006), Bremmer (2001). Any individual who had seen a doctor for conceivably dangerous condition may recollect almost nothing about what the doctor had said.

Simply in the wake of returning home, (a safe place) the victim realize of what number of questions should have been posed, which were overlooked at the time.

Today, the Health advocates see how troublesome it is for a patient to process data while in an arousal state and suggest that patients take another relative or companion with them to the specialist’s office just as he records every single question waiting to be posed.


A prolonged arousal state of a child/student results in difficulty for him in following directions, in recalling what was heard, in making sense out of what is being said, etc. Focusing, retaining, and recalling of verbal information turns out being troublesome for them.

According to a discovery by Schore (2001) and Hopkins & Butterworth (1990), activation of the arousal state (a condition of fear instigated by traumatic exposure) can lead to inappropriate responses to the external changes (stress/crisis).

On September 11, 2001 the assault on America resulted in the encounter of absence of a sense of security by millions in this nation. This trauma-inducing incident caused alterations in the thought processes of the people. The parents the nation over hurried to schools to be with their children, or to take them home.

The thoughts and conduct of the parents reflected fear, a feeling of weakness, and confusion i.e. they were unable to think clearly and to process all the information. Although for a little time but Americans did experienced somewhat quick arousal. Regardless of what were said (cognitive) individuals never felt safe again. Their thinking and cognitive processes were significantly altered.

Interventions in schools are the most effective method of helping the students and staff. They could be applied the days and weeks or even months following the trauma-inducing incidents. These interventions help in changing the thought processes of the traumatized children and help them in becoming trauma survivors from trauma victims.

In any case, the cognitive intervention must be fruitful when the sensory experience to trauma is altered.

For instance, after September 11th the Americans were over and again assured (cognitively) that they were secure and safe. However this could not be acknowledged until they first felt safe i.e. a sensory experience. Parents when saw formally dressed cops in the parking area when they reached at their child’s school, felt more secure than the parents who witnessed no noticeable signs of security.

What they saw conveyed them a more noteworthy feeling of security than what was being heard. The understanding of trauma as a sensory experience is necessary for the understanding of the levels of intervention which are important for reestablishing cognitive functioning along with behavioral appropriateness.


It was New Year’s Eve. A secondary school senior was introducing at a movie complex where few films ran simultaneously. He was going to graduate in the spring and had been accepted into the police academy. He was six feet tall, physically strong a basketball. Several kids were causing trouble he was assigned to. He attempted to get control but was unable to do so.

He sought out the manager for help, but the manager had a full house and told him he would just have to handle it on his own. The situation did not change. In this complex, movies were scheduled so several let out at the simultaneously. There was a “common” area that the theatres opened into, so everyone was moving into this area simultaneously.

He was responsible to monitor, the youngster took his post across the common area outside the doors of the movie. When the youths he had trouble with came out of the movie and into the common area they spotted him, rushed him, knocked him down and began beating on him.

They broke his nose and several ribs. About a month later his parish priest, who was trying to help this youngster, called for assistance. The boy was not attending the youth activities at church and skipping school which was not at all like him.

“What was the worst part for you?” was one of the trauma specific questions that helped to encourage this youngster’s telling of the story and focusing on specific details. When this case was presented in trainings and participants were asked to anticipate what the “worst part” must have been, their numerous responses rarely identified what the worst part was for this teenager.

Responses ranged from the anger he felt at the manager for leaving him on his own, the embarrassment and shame that he couldn’t help himself and the pain he felt during the beating. The point is, what we often as observers consider to be the worst part is not necessarily experienced by the victim. Only by giving the victim the opportunity to make us a witness can we truly know his experience as he knows it.

The teen’s response was as follows:

“I can see it as if it is happening all over again. I’m on the ground and they’re kicking me. As they are kicking me I can see between their legs. (This kind of detail is unique to trauma in which events seem to happen almost in slow motion so that such details emerge.) As I’m looking between their legs, I see all these people standing around and no one is helping me.”

At that moment in time, he experienced complete abandonment, betrayed by the adults in his world. Without appropriate intervention this could have easily triggered very self-defeating, even destructive responses. He had already begun to isolate himself, was missing school and was putting his future in jeopardy.

If he had gone much longer without help, it would not have been unusual for him to start carrying a weapon, join a gang, or even actively seek out the kids who beat him with the intent of getting revenge. Being unable to trust the adult world was the worst part of his experience and one that often leads to destructive behavior and identification with the aggressor.

By asking this one trauma-specific question, the specialist was able to help this teen work through the abandonment and cognitive distortion he experienced; a focus that likely would have otherwise gone untreated.

Cognitive Reframing

Cognitive reframing is scripted to guarantee that the victim is provided a “survivors” way of making sense of the trauma experience. The aim is to assist move the victim from “victim thinking” to “survivor thinking” which leads to empowerment, choice, active involvement in their own healing process and a renewed sense of safety and hope.

Activists likewise help with supporting the reframing of the experience. The secondary school senior, in our prior precedent, who was beaten on New Year’s Eve and had lost trust in the grown-up world, pulled back. By having him draw what his feelings of trepidation resembled and later giving them a name, he understood he was reacting as an unfortunate casualty to his very own dread that, if the police foundation discovered, they could never enable him to begin his preparation.

This was silly, however not from a “victim’s” perspective. A feeling of disgrace additionally developed, as his perspective on self was not having the capacity to deal with himself. At the point when inquired as to why standard working methodology of police was to dependably work with an accomplice, he had the capacity to refocus on the truth that by itself, even amidst observers, security and help was not constantly given.

Working in sets, he understood, managed the truth that even police could end up all of a sudden overpowered. At a psychological dimension, he was then ready to reframe that the end result for him was not his flaw and that as a cop he would accomplish for others what others couldn’t accomplish for him – help. In this sense, subjective reframing enabled him to reorder his involvement in a manner that gave his future new significance.


This could be concluded that TLC’s (National institute for Trauma and Loss in children) intervention programs reduce serious levels of trauma reactions; both violent and non-violent. Trained school counselors, social workers and psychologists can assist traumatized children in the reduction of symptoms across all diagnostic subcategories of PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), and for most, continue those reduction months after the last intervention.

Understanding the trauma is not a cognitive experience but a sensory one. The strategies are employed to restore the victims’ sense of safety and a new sense of empowerment despite the fear instigated by the incident. Reduction of the arousal level is important for the restoration of pre-trauma cognitive processes, learning functions and behavior and performance.