This week’s blog was written by Carrie Champ Morera, PsyD. Dr. Champ Morera is a project director at PAR. She is also a nationally certified school psychologist and licensed psychologist with more than 20 years of experience in the field. She enjoys traveling and exploring beaches.
Traumatic experiences are widespread. More than 38% of children have experienced a traumatic event. Though many children are able to demonstrate resiliency and continue to thrive in school after experiencing an adverse event, others are not as fortunate without intervention. The impact of trauma too often interferes with children’s behavior and learning in school. On average, children spend about 1,000 out of 6,000 waking hours in school each year; therefore, it is critical for school professionals to become knowledgeable about trauma and learn how to help children improve their emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning so that they can be successful.
PAR author Steven G. Feifer, DEd, has written a new book, The Neuropsychology of Stress & Trauma: How to Develop a Trauma Informed School, meant to educate and help professionals, parents, and other caregivers. The book includes a foreword by Robert B. Brooks, PhD, faculty at Harvard Medical School, provides information on the physiological, psychological, environmental, and educational impacts of childhood trauma. The book also provides an abundance of additional resources for trauma information including evidence-based interventions for addressing trauma in the schools and at home. Key learning points, figures, and tables are provided in each chapter, making the information easy to digest and providing the reader with major takeaways.
Furthermore, the book examines how trauma and stress impact the brain. Dr. Feifer explores how the impact of trauma can disrupt behavior and learning, particularly in the school setting, an area that only has been explored recently. Strategies and interventions on how to develop a trauma-informed classroom are provided. Finally, Dr. Feifer provides guidance in the area of assessment by providing a framework for trauma-informed assessment, with a review of important areas to assess and suggested tools.
Dr. Feifer will present on trauma at the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) annual convention in February. In his workshop, The Neuropsychology of Trauma: Trauma-Sensitive Assessment, Dr. Feifer will discuss steps in developing trauma-informed schools, cover trauma assessment techniques, and explore classroom and school-wide interventions to foster emotional growth. If you attend the convention, feel free to stop by the PAR booth to learn more about how PAR can meet your assessment needs.
Dr. Feifer is also the author of the Feifer Assessment of Math (FAM), the Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR), and the Feifer Assessment of Writing (FAW).