Tovah F We have Experienced a Collective Trauma
We know because of the pandemic that we have all experienced a collective trauma together. And there are varying degrees of how we have all experienced that collective trauma there’s that old saying that we’re all on this boat together. And the truth is that during this pandemic, we’re not. All of our boats are so different. Some youth that you support or some youth that you may work with maybe enjoyed a yacht while they were on this boat, and some other youth that you support or youth that you work with have been on a canoe, rowing by themselves and paddling by themselves.
So it’s really important for us to acknowledge that the way that our children are coming back into the school year, coming back into our learning spaces is going to look different. And the thing that’s important to acknowledge about trauma is that oftentimes it gets misdiagnosed in our children and the way that trauma. And when I say trauma right now, I’m talking specifically about post traumatic stress disorder, gets misdiagnosed is with anxiety disorders, is with ADHD and is with oppositional defiant disorder. All of these disorders, we have seen a real significant increase in the past five to seven years or so with these being diagnosed for our students, for our children that come into the classroom.
So what’s important is when PTSD might manifest for some kids as anxiety, they might have fear.
Sometimes post traumatic stress disorder manifests as oppositional defiant disorder, which means essentially, if you’ve ever worked with any middle schooler or any middle school child that you’ve ever known, it’s essentially a middle schooler. They want to say no to us. It’s part of their brain development. Literally ODD is what the abbreviation is, gets really significant when there’s nothing that we can find to hook our child as an incentive.
So our child wants to gain our affection or gain our attention or gain some type of extrinsic motivators oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, depression. They often are intermingled. Comorbidity is what we call it when oftentimes many students that get diagnosed with one of these disorders, they’re also diagnosed with another disorder. So when we are supporting our students that are impacted by anxiety in the classroom and we know that they are diagnosed with anxiety, we have to be realistic and realize that there are maybe other things going on in that child’s life that are manifesting in ways that show up as anxiety.