Rethink School Psychology
Special education teachers along with school psychologist and school counselors provide support to children presenting learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Often times these presentations are symptomatic of the more hidden diagnosis of complex trauma from abuse or severe attachment disruption. I call it the Dr. Trajeckyl and Mr. Hide Effect(TM) of trauma.
Trauma masks potential. The ability for educators to understand trauma symptomology enables them to work collaboratively with professionals outside the classroom to discern how to best serve the children.
Inappropriate assessments give flawed impressions of students’ true abilities. Academic evaluations made in error create a trajectory of irreversible consequences for children and deposit residual effects that follow them into adulthood. Based on an educator’s interpretation of the presenting symptoms, even his or her choice of a diagnostic tool or therapeutic protocol can have impact on children’s outcomes.
Current strategies in the classroom allow for the accommodation of perceived disabilities. When a traumatized student does not have a true disability, providing an inappropriate accommodation serves to only exacerbate the problem rather than to override or correct it.