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  • Writer's pictureGary Darma

We are all awareness Educators: Name it to tame it!.

This Afteroon’s meeting was fantastic Peter Eastaugh filled us with his knowledge of handling kids affected with trauma.  Check out the powerpoint he used below:

How we have come to know about the issues in child development: A child’s behaviour is determined from 30 weeks in the uterus to 4 years of age. The infant’s behavioural brain is predominantly the right side of the brain. How adults usually try to manage behaviour is through the left side of the brain.

Child Trauma: Felt Emotional Reactions “Feeling Felt”.

Breastfed children (exclusively for the first 10 months) compared to children who weren’t breastfed show huge differences in behaviour. Breast feeding helps child attachment and behaviour development.

The structure and function of the developing brain are determined by experiences, especially within interpersonal relationships, which shape the genetically programmed maturation of the nervous system.

Long term exposure to high amounts of the stress hormone cortisol shrinks the behavioural area of the brain on the right hand side affecting its ability to regulate behaviour appropriately.

Right hand side of the brain begins to form at 30 weeks and is almost completely developed by the age of 4.

Right Hand Side of the brain is also the relationship side of the brain.  These are students who show little empathy, struggle to develop relationships and friendships. This area of the brain also impacts on a child’s concentration, creativity and inspiration. Students who have had trauma struggle to regulate stress, unhappiness, anger, anxiousness due to the damage cause from trauma and high levels of cortisol.

Right hemisphere dysfunction: Trauma and autistic children present similar symptoms. Autistic children often have some sort of attachment disorder which is  why they present with similar symptoms.

Most important way to deal with a child with trauma affected brain is through play.

Chronic trauma (neurological trauma) affects the behaviour side of the brain (right hand side). Neurologically this area of the brain has a loss of integration between neurons affecting the regulation of behaviour. Loss of myelination of nerves therefore disconnecting their nerves and the activation between the nerves.

Neuroplasticity (growing part of the brain): growing myolin

Relationships do not replace attachment but can be a source of strength for the child’s developing mind.

Neighbourhood schools project:   overview and process

Vulnerable families, 89-92% disadvantaged families, need for paediatric assessment, poor attendance rate at public clinics, school log jammed, 300 children on waiting lists, not a popular branch of paediatrics, Intergenerational disadvantage ( epigenesist), Failure of past and current services. Conclusion that there are no effective trauma services.

School identifies the child, paediatrician comes and does an assessment, checklist done by teachers and parents, multidisciplinary case management meeting, formulation re further assessment and/or diagnosis.

Therapeutic service: The aim is to have 4 accredited play based therapists in Shepparton. Minimum therapeutic time is 2 yrs. (Still in the trial and set up stages).

What should teachers be doing? “Name it to tame it”

Students who are trauma affected or show signs and symptoms spoken about need constant reminding and teaching about awareness of self and feelings. Doing this will help bring your consciousness out from your subconsciousness.

Children need to develop their awareness of feelings.

Children aged 2-8 years old are going through the development of “me” stage after that it’s the development of “we”.

When children can identify their feelings, actions and emotions they can then regulate it. We should become awareness educators, name the behaviour, emotion of feeling whether positive or negative and the affect it has to develop a child’s awareness.

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