Understanding the impact trauma can have on learning - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Understanding the impact trauma can have on learning

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SALEM, Ohio -

Trauma touches the lives of many people, including children and it's often dealt with in a number of ways depending on a person's age and development.

"If the child broke his leg when he was one and no body fixed the leg, that would affect how he would walk when he was two or three, same with all of these other emotional traumas.  It does have an impact and adults aren't always aware of it," said ChildTrauma Academy's Gene Griffin.

Trauma experts Gene Griffin and Steve Graner spoke Tuesday at Columbiana County Educational Service Center's training day in Salem.  They says kids who've been exposed to trauma can struggle to handle life's stressors causing some to have problems with learning, getting along with others and maintaining respect.

"When we can build up positive relationships that can form new memories and sort of we would say new templates in their life, that really helps them overcome the struggles of the past," said ChildTrauma Academy fellow Steve Graner.

Children services agencies in the Valley have reported higher levels of trauma in kids they care for mostly due to the area's drug problem.  Experts say educators and other positive adults can play powerful roles in those kids lives.

"If you don't understand trauma and the background behind it, you might come down hard on those kids," said Griffin. "When in fact, a trauma response would be a very different approach.  It would focus much more on safety and helping them feel safe."

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