The question isn't whether our kids will or won't participate, it's whether they can or can't.
Last week, Tim Grove, the Chief Clinical Officer from Saint A's, a human service agency in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shared the idea above with Cunningham's staff at our annual Winter Workshop.
Grove talked about trauma and shared research that shows how it changes the way the brain works. He related it to our kids by explaining how the adverse events they have experienced before Cunningham have likely rewired their thinking so that even simple tasks seem difficult to perform. In some cases, and especially under stressful situations, they literally cannot make the connections necessary to do what is being asked of them. It's not that they won't calm down, it's that they can't calm down.
But there is hope! Research also shows that the impact of trauma on the brain can be reversed. Cunningham is aware of these successes. Through opportunities like the Winter Workshop, staff are learning about new treatment approaches and tools that they can use to provide trauma-informed care for our kids, their families and community members who need help with healing.