What does a harmed child look like? It’s the little girl on the playground who has mysterious bruises on her legs. It’s the three-month-old baby boy who arches his back when you try to hold him. It’s the four-year-old who bites and hits when asked to clean up. These are the faces of traumatized children.
As an early childhood professional, you play a key role in the early identification of maltreatment and unhealthy patterns of development. You are also the gateway to healing. In Reaching and Teaching Children Exposed to Trauma, you will find the tools and strategies to connect with harmed children and start them on the path to healing.
Dr. Sorrels offers practical strategies that caregivers need to help these littlest victims:
- Connecting with a harmed child using games, music, gentle touch, and play
- Meeting children’s sensory needs throughout the day: morning arrival, group time, meal times, outdoor play, and naptime
- Creating a sensory-rich classroom environment with easy, simple ideas
- Teaching a traumatized child self-regulation skills and impulse control using visual cues, rehearsal and role play, games, and scripted stories
- Coaching and supporting social skills: turn taking, sharing, joining in play, empathy, and conflict resolution
- Communicating unconditional love and acceptance to children from hard places