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Mitigating Toxic Stress Response in Students Identified with Traumatic Childhood Events

The District recognizes that the impact of early childhood traumatic events may be immediate and the cause and subsequent response may be easily identifiable. However, events and reminders of a traumatic event may bring back fears, intense physical reactions and post-traumatic stress reactions long after the traumatic event occurred. As educators, it is our responsibility to not only identify the traumatic events, but to anticipate and mitigate the potential negative behavioral response(s) the event might elicit, regardless of when the event occurred.

Pursuant to the Crisis Prevention Policy 613

  1. Within two (2) days of a physical restraint event, the District will conduct a systematic review of the student’s FBA and BIP in accordance with District Procedure 616a, “Requirements for FBAs/BIPs Following Physical Restraint Event.”

The review of the BIP will include the identification/addition of strategies designed to mitigate the response to toxic stress and anxiety. Considerations for strategies in the BIP include, but are not limited to:

  • Create a Meaningful Connection
    • Create personal space for the student in the classroom
    • Reduce sensory overload
    • Connect with the student through play, drawing, writing
  • Build a Purposeful Structure
    • Set boundaries that create security
    • Allow the student to help create the structure 
    • Allow for flexibility in the structure
    • Communicate change in routines to reduce anxiety
  • Manage Conflict
    • Be selective and consistent about correction reasons and methods
    • Create rules to eliminate power struggles
    • Engage the student in identifying their thoughts and feelings when conflict is emerging
    • Respond to what is happening in the moment – model composure

  • Approved: 10-26-2022
  • Documents: 616b

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