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Teacher training modules can help traumatized students

(Eric Gregory/The Journal-Star via AP)

PHOENIX — A new online course, developed by a team at Arizona State University, offers tools to teachers so they can identify and help traumatized children.

Children who have been traumatized by an event like the loss of a parent, through death or incarceration, or those experiencing maltreatment might find it difficult to learn.

Now, online training can help teachers, which in turn will help these young students.

Director of “The Center for Child Well Being” Dr. Judy Krysik and Elizabeth Anthony, both associate professors from ASU’s School of Social Work, created the content in the teaching modules.

“It’s only been relatively recently that we’ve learned how trauma can impact the brain,” Krysik said. “Trauma can impact the brain and it can actually create physiological changes in the brain where information that’s received is processed differently.

“So, there might a circumstance that’s really rather benign and the child interprets it as something that makes them unsafe or makes them want to run away.”

Research has shown that the brain can help repair itself, “And so, these modules are designed to create an atmosphere within the classroom that will lead to healing,” Krysik said.

Krysik said the first step is to identify the symptoms of trauma, and then create a classroom environment that helps these students to cope.

The training modules are part of the Sanford Inspire Program. They are packaged as two online mini-courses with each module lasting one hour. The training modules are free and available to all teachers.

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