Attachment and Trauma: Five things everyone should know
Author Rod Markham
Date 13th Sep 2018
Attachment relationships are critical to a young child’s development and attachment theory is essential in helping us to understand the way children perceive the world and form relationships with others.
Here we look at how attachment and trauma difficulties can present themselves, how they impact children and why it is important for teachers to ensure they can fully support the needs of their pupils:
1) There are many causes of attachment and trauma difficulties
Attachment and trauma is often associated with neglect, but children more often suffer the affects from a variety of situations including bereavement, exposure to divorce, a move, or being bullied.
2) There is a direct connection between stress and learning
When children are stressed, it’s difficult for them to learn and children who have experienced trauma or attachment difficulties have difficulty learning unless they feel safe and supported. There is also a direct connection between lowering stress and academic outcomes, so the support of a teacher is essential.
3) Strong emotional and physical attachment to at least one primary caregiver is critical to personal development
Attachments begin to form at a very young age and are usually established before a child begins school. ‘Secure’ attachment occurs when a child has been brought up in a loving, caring environment and feels protected by the primary care giver. ‘Insecure’ attachment develops when a young child experiences a negative home environment. This can lead to children perceiving adults as unreliable and they can respond with extreme reactions in times of stress.
4) Attachment & trauma difficulties can present themselves in a variety of ways
Often children suffering from attachment & trauma difficulties are misdiagnosed with anxiety, behaviour disorders or attention disorders, rather than understanding the trauma that’s driving those symptoms and reactions. Children can express themselves in many ways including aggression, violence, attention seeking, withdrawal, inattention and low self-esteem in addition to under achievement in school.
5) There is a higher risk for adopted children, or those in in care, having attachment disorders
Unsurprisingly, these children are often misunderstood and may struggle to manage their feelings. As a result, looked after children are five times more likely to receive a fixed term exclusion at school and are three times more likely to be permanently excluded than the general school population (DfE 2017).
Attachment & Trauma Course
Teachers and teaching professionals looking to develop an understanding of Attachment Theory can learn more by signing up to our newly developed Attachment and Trauma course designed to help all staff in schools.
The course looks at the impact these needs have on a learner’s life. It shows how you can make your classroom and practice more inclusive for these learners and offers practical assessment ideas and intervention strategies. The course is available with a tutor for support, or as a guided version from as little as £90pp.
About the author
Rod Markham is a tutor at Online Training.
(Log in to like) This blog has been liked 1 time(s)