Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Presentations to Teachers 
Swallow Dell School 4th Dec 2014 
MAKING SENSE OF NONSENSE 
Seminar with Helen Oakwater 
HOW IN...
Flow of presentation 
Normal and Maladaptive 
• Attachment & belief formation 
• Childrens developmental needs 
• Arousal ...
Helen Oakwater: Professional 
Δ Teacher≈10 years (B. Ed Hons) PE & more 
Δ Trainer: Communication Skills & NLP 
Δ 250+ day...
Helen Oakwater: Adoption 
Δ Adoptive Parent (sibling group 5, 4, 2 in early 1990s) 
Δ Therapy with children at Family Futu...
Housekeeping & Preframe 
Health Warnings 
! 
Δ Bad Language - highly probable 
Δ Shocking content - quite possible 
Δ Pers...
What’s an infants 
experience with 
Excellent, Good, Okay 
and “Good Enough” 
Parenting? 
6
Securely Attached Cycle 
Baby experiences 
discomfort or a need 
Baby protests, 
usually by crying 
Mother responds 
Baby ...
Excellent → Good → “Good Enough” 
• VIEW OF SELF 
• I’m safe 
• I’m loved 
• I’m cared for 
• I’m valued 
• I can trust ad...
Wall as metaphor for children's needs 
Childs needs during second & third year include: ! 
Attachment Play Security Bounda...
Arousal Diagram Infant(Oakwater) 
Adult as external brain and regulation moderator 
10
Arousal Development Diagram (Oakwater) 
Development of Self Regulation 
11
(Adult) Arousal Diagram (Ogden & others) 
Self Regulation & Window of Tolerance 
12 
Window! 
of ! 
Tolerance 
Hyper / ove...
BELIEFS SHAPE BEHAVIOUR 
Event 
Action / 
Behaviour FILTERS 
13 
BELIEFS
What are Beliefs? 
• Make sense of our world 
• Give meaning to experiences by connecting 
them 
• Answer the question “Wh...
What’s an infants 
experience with 
Inadequate, Poor or 
Toxic Parenting 
and/or 
Chaos 
and/or 
Trauma? 
15
Toxic Parenting 
Classified by Dr Susan Forward in her book “Toxic Parents” 1989 
The inadequate parents constantly focuss...
What is T R A U M A ? 
Psychological trauma is generally defined by two conditions 
An individual experiences either: 
ove...
T r a u m a 
Δ PTSD: adult 
Δ Developmental Trauma Disorder: children 
Δ Secondary Trauma: Adults 
Δ Brain wiring: look at...
How Trauma Manifests 
Δ Stored in body: shrapnel metaphor 
Δ Police rescue scenario 
Δ Sensory Triggers : 
Δ Installed 
Δ ...
Disturbed Attachment Cycle 
Baby experiences 
discomfort or a need 
Baby protests, 
usually by crying 
Baby rests 
Mother ...
Inadequate→ Poor → Toxic Parenting 
• VIEW OF SELF 
• I’m not safe 
• I’m not cared for 
• I’m scared 
• I’m unlovable 
• ...
Unmet early needs creates insecure ‘Wall’ 
thus destabilizing the future 
Need 
Need Need 
Need 
Need 
Need Need Need 
Nee...
Arousal Development Diagram (Oakwater) 
Minimal Self Regulation & Small Window of Tolerance 
23
Infant Perspective 
24 
FEEL 
External Touch 
Internal Sensations 
SEE 
HEAR 
SMELL TASTE 
Only sensory memories: 
stored ...
Reasons children are permanently removed from their birth families 
Classification What was done to them 
Some examples 
W...
Sensory Experience ! 
with Neglect! 
! 
•Hear - Crashing doors .. 
“shut up you stupid f**ing 
Bi**h”! 
•See - darkness! 
...
BELIEFS SHAPE BEHAVIOUR 
Event 
BELI 
EF 
Action / 
Behaviour FILTERS 
27 
S 
Beliefs, values, shame, identity, 
lurk belo...
I am useless 
I deserve the pain and 
suffering I’m experiencing 
I don’t belong Helplessness 
I’m a 
victim Its out of my...
Inadequate→ Poor → Toxic Parenting 
29 
! 
Likely LifeTrajectory with little 
intervention 
0 10 20 
TIMELINE
Triune Brain (Maclean) 
3 parts: evolved responding to evolutionary need 
? 
30 
Base (Reptilian brain) Hindbrain Oldest, ...
Triune Brain Diagram 
31
32 
HYPER-AROUSAL 
CONTINUM 
(over ) 
Aggression 
Defiance 
tantrums 
Resistance 
crying 
Vigilance 
Rest 
Brain 
Region n...
Dysregulated children in school 
Simple! 
Consistent! 
Open 
will not learn 
Three step process 
1. Regulate 
(you & them)...
Energetic NLP: Art Giser 
MAGNET 
MAGNET 
www.energeticnlp.com 
Mother Earth 
Energy 
Universal 
Energy 
34
Trauma: Sources, References & People 
Bessel Van Der Kolk 
Developmental Trauma Disorder 
(Proposed in DSM 5) & much more ...
Adoption Now 
• Adoption breakdowns 
(after Order) statistics 
were not captured 
• Few long term studies 
(all small) 
• ...
Consequences of neglect and 
maltreatment 
• Developmental gaps 
• Damage from Trauma: (“overwhelming affect or 
belief yo...
What do traumatised children need? 
1. Undo the damage 
2. Fill the gaps 
3. Rewiring 
THERAPEUTIC REPARENTING 
38 
ALSO C...
therapists 
teachers 
SAFELY 
CONTAINED 
social workers 
friends 
CAMHS 
extended family 
medics 
society 
government 
loc...
Metaphorical! 
Bubblewrap 
distorts their 
view of the 
world and ! 
the world’s 
view of them 
40
What doesn’t work 
• Naming and Shaming (they already feel bad about 
themselves and think they are toxic) 
• Raised voice...
To understand traumatised children 
whether adopted,fostered or in 
birth families, you must see beyond 
42 
their present...
SOME BOOKS 
Δ First Steps in Parenting the Child who Hurts: Archer 
Δ Next Parenting the Child who Hurts: Caroline Archer ...
OTHER SOURCES OF LEARNING 
Δ We need to talk about Kevin: Lionel Schriver (Novel) impact 
on parents of living with challe...
Contact details 
Downloadable articles, podcasts, blog, 
videos, responses to govt docs, links, 
newsletter subscription 
...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Making Sense of Classroom Nonsense: How trauma (maltreatment, chaos, poor attachments) manifests in childrens behaviour

3,245 views

Published on

Presentation to Hertfordshire teachers _ Why do adopted and fostered children struggle?
For some children (especially adopted and fostered) their erratic and challenging behaviour results from their maltreatment or neglect in infancy.  These children have difficulties because they experienced severe neglect, repeated abuse, domestic violence or chaos which interrupted and derailed their normal developmental path and brain wiring. 
Similar to adult PTSD the legacy of infancy trauma causes them to act in apparently nonsensical ways. Consequently parents and carers feel inadequate and use ineffective parenting and behaviour management strategies.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

Making Sense of Classroom Nonsense: How trauma (maltreatment, chaos, poor attachments) manifests in childrens behaviour

  1. 1. Presentations to Teachers Swallow Dell School 4th Dec 2014 MAKING SENSE OF NONSENSE Seminar with Helen Oakwater HOW INFANT TRAUMA ! (NEGLECT, MALTREATMENT, CHAOS & POOR ATTACHMENTS) ! MANIFESTS IN CHILDREN'S BEHAVIOUR ! ! A problem well defined is a problem half solved 1
  2. 2. Flow of presentation Normal and Maladaptive • Attachment & belief formation • Childrens developmental needs • Arousal and emotional regulation • Trauma & Sensory Triggers • Brain • Some strategies - often counterintuitive • Questions 2 }+ & -
  3. 3. Helen Oakwater: Professional Δ Teacher≈10 years (B. Ed Hons) PE & more Δ Trainer: Communication Skills & NLP Δ 250+ days training UK & USA Δ Trainer: City & Political Campaigning Δ Professional Coach: Executive & Personal Δ Trainer: Adoption, Trauma & Parenting Δ Author: Bubble Wrapped Children & Articles Δ Different Perspectives and Experiences Helen’s experience is primarily in adoption, so anecdotes come more from adoption than fostering; however trauma principles apply equally to both www.helenoakwater.co.uk www.bubblewrappedchildren.co.uk 3
  4. 4. Helen Oakwater: Adoption Δ Adoptive Parent (sibling group 5, 4, 2 in early 1990s) Δ Therapy with children at Family Futures Δ Adoption UK: former Trustee, Coordinator & Lobbyist Δ Adoption Panel Member: 2 x LA (5 + 3 Years) Δ Member - DfES Adoption & Permanence Task Force Δ Post Graduate Attachment & Adoption Course @ Family Futures: Δ Author: Δ Bubble Wrapped Children: How Social Networking is Transforming the Face of 21st Century Adoption Jan 2012 Δ“A Wish List”; Chapter 2 in “Models of Adoption Support” BAAF 2003 Δ Regular Feature Articles in Adoption Today from 2006 Δ “Facebook: Adoption Destabilizer “(Dec 2010) pdf (out of print) Δ “Making Sense of Nonsense” underway www.helenoakwater.co.uk 4
  5. 5. Housekeeping & Preframe Health Warnings ! Δ Bad Language - highly probable Δ Shocking content - quite possible Δ Perspectives .. 24/7 …. being real … truth Δ Confidentiality Δ Oakwater is Helen’s surname, not her children's Δ Examples have identifying features removed Δ Within these walls, sharing 5 A problem well defined is a problem half solved
  6. 6. What’s an infants experience with Excellent, Good, Okay and “Good Enough” Parenting? 6
  7. 7. Securely Attached Cycle Baby experiences discomfort or a need Baby protests, usually by crying Mother responds Baby plays and interacts with mother picks baby up, makes eye contact, talks to and soothes baby Baby calms trust develops Baby rests 7
  8. 8. Excellent → Good → “Good Enough” • VIEW OF SELF • I’m safe • I’m loved • I’m cared for • I’m valued • I can trust adults • I’m special • I’m okay • VIEW OF THE WORLD • It’s a safe place • People love me • People care for me • I am important to them • There is a place for me here • The world is okay Attachment between child and others 8
  9. 9. Wall as metaphor for children's needs Childs needs during second & third year include: ! Attachment Play Security Boundaries Food Love Friends Encouragement Eye Contact Comfort Attunement Security Calm Food Empathy Responsive adults Stimulation 2-3 Need Need Need Need Need Need 0-1 Sleep Hugs Warmth Shelter Routine Social skills Trust Toys Need Need Need Need Need Need See Adoption UK website for “The Wall” interactive demonstration
  10. 10. Arousal Diagram Infant(Oakwater) Adult as external brain and regulation moderator 10
  11. 11. Arousal Development Diagram (Oakwater) Development of Self Regulation 11
  12. 12. (Adult) Arousal Diagram (Ogden & others) Self Regulation & Window of Tolerance 12 Window! of ! Tolerance Hyper / over vigilant Hypo / under vigilant! ?? Dissociated?? Feel Feel! & ! Think Feel?
  13. 13. BELIEFS SHAPE BEHAVIOUR Event Action / Behaviour FILTERS 13 BELIEFS
  14. 14. What are Beliefs? • Make sense of our world • Give meaning to experiences by connecting them • Answer the question “Why” • Serve us …or not • Limiting or Empowering • Drive behaviour 14
  15. 15. What’s an infants experience with Inadequate, Poor or Toxic Parenting and/or Chaos and/or Trauma? 15
  16. 16. Toxic Parenting Classified by Dr Susan Forward in her book “Toxic Parents” 1989 The inadequate parents constantly focussing on their own problems, they turn their children into “mini adults” who take care of them The controllers they use guilt, manipulation, and even over helpfulness to direct their children’s lives The alcoholics *(drug abusers)* mired in a denial and chaotic mood swings, their addiction leaves little time or energy for the demands of parenthood. The verbal abusers whether overtly abusive or subtly sarcastic, they demoralise their children with constant put downs and rob them of their self confidence. The physical abusers incapable of controlling their own deep seated rage they often blame their children for their own ungovernable behaviour The sexual abusers whether flagrantly sexual or covertly seductive, they are the ultimate betrayers, destroying the very heart of childhood - its innocence. ** In 1989 Dr Forward did not include drug abusers though similar issues would apply now 16 Taken from Bubble Wrapped Children
  17. 17. What is T R A U M A ? Psychological trauma is generally defined by two conditions An individual experiences either: overwhelming emotions which they are unable to integrate or a feeling/belief they might die Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (adults) Developmental Trauma Disorder (children) 17
  18. 18. T r a u m a Δ PTSD: adult Δ Developmental Trauma Disorder: children Δ Secondary Trauma: Adults Δ Brain wiring: look at CTA Δ Child Trauma Academy (Bruce Perry) Δ Sensory: Δ Visual Visual Δ Auditory ♫♪♪♪♫♪♫♪♪♫♪ Δ Kinaesthetic, Feeling, Internal bodily sensations Δ Taste Δ Smell 18
  19. 19. How Trauma Manifests Δ Stored in body: shrapnel metaphor Δ Police rescue scenario Δ Sensory Triggers : Δ Installed Δ Anchored Δ Brain wiring Δ Primitive (reptilian) brain Δ language, logic, thinking, controllable
  20. 20. Disturbed Attachment Cycle Baby experiences discomfort or a need Baby protests, usually by crying Baby rests Mother does not responds to baby’s cry or else responds inconsistently Baby plays with self or becomes apathetic Baby gives up, trust does not develop and RAGE or APATHY develops instead Baby protests even louder Mother responds with anger or resentment or does not respond 20
  21. 21. Inadequate→ Poor → Toxic Parenting • VIEW OF SELF • I’m not safe • I’m not cared for • I’m scared • I’m unlovable • I’m ignored • I’m not valued • I’m alone • I’m bad • VIEW OF THE WORLD • It’s a terrifying hostile world • People hurt you • Dangerous place • No one could ever love me • I am not important • There is no place for me • The world is dangerous • The world is not okay Poor attachment between child and others 21
  22. 22. Unmet early needs creates insecure ‘Wall’ thus destabilizing the future Need Need Need Need Need Need Need Need Need Need Need 18-25 13-18 8-12 Need Need Need Need Need Need Need 4-7 Need Need Need Need Need Need 2-3 Need Need Need Need Need 0-1 Need Need Need Need Need Need See Adoption UK website for “The Wall” interactive demonstration Taken from Bubble Wrapped Children
  23. 23. Arousal Development Diagram (Oakwater) Minimal Self Regulation & Small Window of Tolerance 23
  24. 24. Infant Perspective 24 FEEL External Touch Internal Sensations SEE HEAR SMELL TASTE Only sensory memories: stored in implicit memory: no words
  25. 25. Reasons children are permanently removed from their birth families Classification What was done to them Some examples What it did to them Their experience & possible interpretations Emotional Abuse Berated, insulted, compared unfavourably to others, ignored I am wrong, bad, worthless. They want me dead. I should not be alive, I’m not wanted Physical Abuse Beaten, thrashed, burned, used as ashtray, hit with chair/stick/hand/belt, locked in cupboard The world is a dangerous place, I am bad & powerless, Sexual Abuse Violated, Raped, forced to watch or participate in sexual acts Destroyed innocence. I can’t trust anyone Neglect Unfed for days, nappies not changed, no toys, no interaction with adults, left alone for hours, unwashed, no play, No self concept. I don’t matter, life is hopeless, I am helpless &/or rage filled. Do I even exist? Chaotic environment Lots of different carers, locations, broken promises, frequent moves, squalor No safe or secure base. I am terrified. Trauma A combination of experiences and events that felt utterly overwhelming or life threatening to the child I am going to die. 25 Taken from Bubble Wrapped Children
  26. 26. Sensory Experience ! with Neglect! ! •Hear - Crashing doors .. “shut up you stupid f**ing Bi**h”! •See - darkness! •Taste - sour milk, vomit! •Smell - own faeces & urine : vomit & sour milk! •Feel - cracked skin of nappy rash from stomach to knees, ! •Feel - cold feet, gripping stomach pains from hunger
  27. 27. BELIEFS SHAPE BEHAVIOUR Event BELI EF Action / Behaviour FILTERS 27 S Beliefs, values, shame, identity, lurk below the surface
  28. 28. I am useless I deserve the pain and suffering I’m experiencing I don’t belong Helplessness I’m a victim Its out of my control I can’t ! do this.. but you can Hopelessness Others can have it..but I to be…happy/cant healthy I don’t deserve ! Worthlessness Limiting beliefs There is something fundamentally wrong with me 28 I am bad
  29. 29. Inadequate→ Poor → Toxic Parenting 29 ! Likely LifeTrajectory with little intervention 0 10 20 TIMELINE
  30. 30. Triune Brain (Maclean) 3 parts: evolved responding to evolutionary need ? 30 Base (Reptilian brain) Hindbrain Oldest, FASTEST Brain Stem, physical survival, breathing, excretion, blood flow, temperature, other autonomic functions ! Emotional (Limbic system) Hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus. Seat of emotions ! Thinking (Neocortex) Newest SLOWEST cerebral cortex, forebrain Seat of reason ? Which part of Take a BET: are they in? their brain ?
  31. 31. Triune Brain Diagram 31
  32. 32. 32 HYPER-AROUSAL CONTINUM (over ) Aggression Defiance tantrums Resistance crying Vigilance Rest Brain Region neocortex cortex limbic midbrain brain stem INTERNAL CALM AROUSAL ALARM FEAR TERROR STATE Cognitive Style Abstract Concrete Emotional Reactive Reflexive HYPO AROUSAL CONTINUM (Under) Rest Avoidance Compliance Robotic/ detatched Dissociation Foetal/ rocking Fainting (Adapted from Bruce Perry Neurosequential model)
  33. 33. Dysregulated children in school Simple! Consistent! Open will not learn Three step process 1. Regulate (you & them) 2. Relate 3. Reason 33 (The words and concepts ! of Bruce Perry)
  34. 34. Energetic NLP: Art Giser MAGNET MAGNET www.energeticnlp.com Mother Earth Energy Universal Energy 34
  35. 35. Trauma: Sources, References & People Bessel Van Der Kolk Developmental Trauma Disorder (Proposed in DSM 5) & much more www.traumacenter.org Bruce Perry: Free Online training courses The Amazing Human Brain and Human Development; Brilliant source for learning and reference www.childtraumacademy.com ! CTA 6 free online lessons Bruce Perry: Child trauma academy articles www.ChildTrauma.org Peter Levine: Somatic Experiencing Healing Trauma (thin book + CD) www.traumahealing.com Babette Rothschild, Pat Ogden, Dan Seigel trauma & body links Complex Trauma Task Force white paper www.NCTSnet.org NLP Trauma Processes, EFT, EMDR, The Brain from Top to Bottom http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/index.php “Trauma” Prof Gordon Turnbull (Lockerbie etc) 35
  36. 36. Adoption Now • Adoption breakdowns (after Order) statistics were not captured • Few long term studies (all small) • Anecdotal evidence is grim • Post adoption support woefully inadequate • Julie Selwyn
  37. 37. Consequences of neglect and maltreatment • Developmental gaps • Damage from Trauma: (“overwhelming affect or belief you might die”) • PTSD & Developmental Trauma • BUBBLE WRAP metaphor • Distorts our view of them and their map of the world • Belief formation “distorted”A problem well defined is a problem half solved
  38. 38. What do traumatised children need? 1. Undo the damage 2. Fill the gaps 3. Rewiring THERAPEUTIC REPARENTING 38 ALSO CALLED DEVELOPMENTAL PARENTING
  39. 39. therapists teachers SAFELY CONTAINED social workers friends CAMHS extended family medics society government local & national ?? ?? ? media SAFELY CONTAINED SAFELY CONTAINED SAFELY CONTAINED 39 adopters FCs
  40. 40. Metaphorical! Bubblewrap distorts their view of the world and ! the world’s view of them 40
  41. 41. What doesn’t work • Naming and Shaming (they already feel bad about themselves and think they are toxic) • Raised voice (echoes abuse) • Telling them it doesn't matter (eg if they don't have a photo of themselves as a baby). It does to them. • Tell them to “act their age” - they are - functionally not chronologically • Negative labelling • Trauma Think! Long verbal instructions • Expecting them to be like “normal” kids all the time 41
  42. 42. To understand traumatised children whether adopted,fostered or in birth families, you must see beyond 42 their presenting behaviour. ! Get deeply curious ! Run the trauma filter ! Be flexible and creative A problem well defined is a problem half solved
  43. 43. SOME BOOKS Δ First Steps in Parenting the Child who Hurts: Archer Δ Next Parenting the Child who Hurts: Caroline Archer Δ A Childs Journey through Placement: Vera Fahlberg Δ Building the Bonds of Attachment: Hughes ΔWhy Love matters: How affection shapes a baby’s brain: Sue Gerhardt ΔWhat every Parent needs to know: Margot Sunderland Δ The boy who was raised as a dog: Bruce Perry Δ Trauma through a childs eyes: Peter Levine Δ Attachment Trauma and Resilience: Kate Cairns Δ Adoption Now (feature magazine) by Adoption UK Δ Education Now by Adoption UK (£5) Δ Hertfordshire pamphlet for teachers Δ Bubble Wrapped Children: Helen Oakwater 43
  44. 44. OTHER SOURCES OF LEARNING Δ We need to talk about Kevin: Lionel Schriver (Novel) impact on parents of living with challenging child Δ Sherrybaby (film) – birth mothers effort to connect to daughter after several years in prison Δ Good Will Hunting (film) impact of infant trauma on unusually clever young man and effect of appropriate therapy Δ Adoption UK – national charity supporting adoptive families before, during and after adoption – bimonthly magazine, website, helpline, training – can be member or friend. www.adoptionuk.org Δ Articles previously published in Adoption Today magazine by Helen Oakwater free top download www.helenoakwater.co.uk Δ Dr Bruce Perry - online free tutorials on impact of trauma on brain www.childtraumaacademy.org Δ Dr Bessel Van Der Kolk - pioneer of trauma work and effective solutions including body work, brain/body connection www.traumacenter.org Δ White Paper from American National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Complex Trauma task Force - surprisingly readable with excellent explanation www.NCTSnet.org Δ Family Futures www.familyfutures.co.uk 44
  45. 45. Contact details Downloadable articles, podcasts, blog, videos, responses to govt docs, links, newsletter subscription + 3 chapters Bubble Wrapped Children ! www.bubblewrappedchildren.co.uk ! www.helenoakwater.co.uk ! E: helen@helenoakwater.co.uk ! @HelenOakwater !

×