“The need for survival, given their history of maltreatment, can be overwhelming, leaving them unable to profit from the learning environment. The child’s preoccupation with survival and acute hyper vigilance works against the organizational skills necessary for school functioning” (Schwartz and Davis, 2006).
At New Hope Academy , we take very seriously every child’s specific needs in their behavioral health, so that they may more successfully integrate back into a school environment with the skills necessary to thrive.
Research has indicated that “the emotional, social, and behavioral adjustment to school is just as important as cognitive and academic preparation. Children who cannot pay attention, follow teacher directions, get along with others, or control negative emotions do relatively poorly in school” (As cited in Schwartz and Davis, 2006).
When a child first comes to New Hope Academy we start with teaching the skill of self-regulation. This is a fundamental skill that allows a child to be more apt to progress in a typical school environment. Many children who have experienced trauma can be co-regulated, but few have the ability to self-regulate. This can greatly inhibit their ability to succeed in a regular school system or even when they try to hold down a job. Self-regulation is the ability to settle, make appropriate choices, and complete common tasks independently.
Once a child starts to build the ability to self-regulate, we can then start into other basic emotional and social skills, such as: following basic instructions, asking for help appropriately, handling transitions, completing tasks independently, and building appropriate relationships with others.