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Suzanne Zeedyk Leading Edge Keynote April 2017

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'The Biology of Attainment' Keynote from Suzanne Zeedyk

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Suzanne Zeedyk Leading Edge Keynote April 2017

  1. 1. 1 The biology of attainment Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk Univ of Dundee & connected baby AHDS Conference April 2017 The impact of emotional trauma on attainment Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk Univ of Dundee & connected baby AHDS Conference April 2017 What happens when schools help pupils fight anxiety? Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk Univ of Dundee & connected baby AHDS Conference April 2017 What happens when an attainment strategy overlooks anxiety? Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk Univ of Dundee & connected baby AHDS Conference April 2017 What happens when an attainment strategy overlooks biology? Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk Univ of Dundee & connected baby AHDS Conference April 2017 Musicians Voluntary sector
  2. 2. 2 My message 1. Babies arrive already connected. 2. Connection shapes brain development. 3. Society suffers when babies (and adults) don’t feel connected. Today 1. Scottish Attainment Challenge 2. Trauma 3. Changing a nation Today 1. Scottish Attainment Challenge 2. Trauma 3. Changing a nation A controversial start… A controversial start… The Scottish Attainment Strategy will fail unless it takes account of children’s biology. A controversial start… The Scottish Attainment Strategy will fail unless it is based in an understanding of emotional trauma.
  3. 3. 3 6 March 2017 We aren’t getting it ““The three environmental conditions absolutely essential to optimal human brain development are: nutrition, physical security, and consistent emotional nurturing. … The third one – emotional nurturance – is the one most likely to be disrupted in Western society.” 2010 “Christakis argues that most of today’s youngest children are spending their critical early- learning years in environments that ignore or misunderstand their needs…. The kind of respectful observation that children need -- of what they can (and can’t) do -- is rare in early childhood settings.” 2016 2014 8 January 2017 “Boys are more vulnerable to neuropsychiatric disorders that appear in the early years, such as autism and ADHD. Early disorders have been increasing in recent years. Notably, more babies have also been put into daycare settings in recent years, nearly all of which provide inadequate care for babies.”
  4. 4. 4 Upworthy.com August 2015 Social skills of 800 kindergarteners were measured. At age 25: • For every one-point increase in a child's social skill score in kindergarten, a child would be 54% more likely to finish secondary school, twice as likely to graduate from university, and 46% more likely to have a stable, full-time job at age 25. • For every one-point decrease in scores, a child had a 67% higher chance of having been arrested in early adulthood, a 52% higher rate of binge drinking and an 82% higher chance of being in public housing. Conclusion: “The bottom line? We need to do more than just teach kids information. We need to invest in teaching them how to relate to others and how to handle the things they're feeling inside. Ignoring social skills in our curricula could have huge ramifications for our kids down the road.” One in 4 foster children moved at least once. Some moved 7 times. 21 Sep 2015 2/3 have experienced 4 or more bereavements Some have had 22 care placements by age of 15
  5. 5. 5 26 Jan 2016 “Children as young as 3 have been disciplined for assaults on nursery school staff in Dundee.” The biology of attainment Facebook Response: 12,000 reach: “This is a sorely neglected topic.” “Head teachers need to hear this.” “Someone from our setting needs to go to this!” “I’m looking forward to hearing it!” “When are you coming to speak to the heedies?” “Please send a copy to Mr. Swinney.” Today 1. Scottish Attainment Challenge 2. Trauma 3. Changing a nation Adverse Childhood Experiences Study 1998 https://vimeo.com/214183672 Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) • 1995-1997 • 17,000 patients undergoing standard physical health examinations in USA • Published as: ‘The relationship of adult health status to childhood abuse and household dysfunction’ (American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 1998)
  6. 6. 6 Childhood Experiences Abuse: Physical abuse Emotional abuse Sexual abuse Neglect: Emotional neglect Physical neglect Household Dysfunction: Mother treated violently Substance misuse Parent mental illness Parent in prison Parental divorce Consequences for health • Liver disease • Heart disease • Depression • Fetal death • Illicit drug use • Alcoholism • Health-related quality of life • Early sexual activity • Adolescent pregnancy • Partner violence • Smoking • Suicide attempts • Sexually transmitted disease Number of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE Score) No. Experiences Percent 0 36% 1 26% 2 16% 3 10% 4 or more 13% Adverse Childhood Experiences Study 1998 My meetings last week Nadine Burke Harris
  7. 7. 7 February 2016 July 2016 https://vimeo.com/137282528 Scottish Tour Glasgow Edinburgh Dundee Inverness Kirkcaldy Airdrie Aberdeen Ardrossan Kirkwall Tranent Greenock Dumfries Stirling Hamilton www.connectedbaby.net / events
  8. 8. 8 My meetings last week: Outcome Today 1. Scottish Attainment Challenge 2. Trauma 3. Changing a nation We have arrived at a landmark moment in Scottish history
  9. 9. 9 “The cheery chimney sweep” 1904
  10. 10. 10 Where to start? 1. Mindfulness 1. Mindfulness “I love the idea I’ve seen of schools doing mindfulness and meditation, instead of detention. It could result in less children being labelled as ‘bad’ or ‘hyper’. I don’t think it even needs to be a big Randomised Control Trial or anything like that. It just needs to be a normal, every day thing in schools.” 2. Change our language Pitteuchar East Primary School, Fife 2. Change our language “We changed our language, from ‘challenging behaviour’ to ‘distressed behaviour’. That’s all we did. It transformed the school.” If we don’t help our children feel safe… …we can’t help them learn
  11. 11. 11 Thank you www.suzannezeedyk.com www.connectedbaby.net

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