ece353 week 2 discussion RESPONSE m.h.

Comment on your peer’s? view of a trauma with any additional suggestions or ideas on how to work with children from this perspective. Additionally, provide suggestions to your peer about how they can communicate effectively with families about the influence of trauma on their child?s cognitive development.

Part I: Using information from the textbook to support your response, address the following:

Discuss the impact of environment on brain development. Support this point with at least one scholarly source in addition to the course text.

There are various environmental factors that can impact or influence brain development ?such as peers, families, and cultural norms? (Farrar & Montgomery, 2015, p. 3.3). These environmental factors can have an effect on brain development, academic achievement, as well as behavioral outcomes (Farrar & Montgomery, 2015). Specific environmental factors such as poverty, families with mental health issues, abuse, trauma, and other stressors can have adverse effects on a child?s cognitive development (Patterson & Vakili, 2014). ?In terms of cognitive skills and affective functioning, prenatal and postnatal exposure to stress and growing up without adequate resources may cause issues with memory, executive functioning, linguistic skills, cognitive skills, and social-emotional skills? (Patterson & Vakili, 2014, p. 26). Exposing a child to negative environmental factors may cause issues with a child causing them to ?struggle with attunement and attachment and negatively affect the development of their child for several years to come? (Patterson & Vakili, 2014, p. 25). Children exposed to these less desirable circumstances may develop poor mental health, experience memory problems, exhibit poor academic performance, in addition to other issues (Patterson & Vakili, 2014). Specifically, ?childhood abuse and trauma can alter the brain in ways that render individuals more prone to mental health issues including addiction, mood disorders, PTSD, and personality disorders? (Patterson & Vakili, 2014, p. 26). Positive environmental factors, however, have the opposite effect providing children with the proper development needed ?develop psychological self-regulation skills? (Patterson & Vakili, 2014, p. 25).

Explain the concept of neuroplasticity as it relates to positive and negative life experiences. Please provide a specific example to support your thinking.

The concept of neuroplasticity is that the brain is adaptable and can be rewired by thinking differently, changing how you feel about something, taking the steps to eliminate a bad habit, or completing a task in a new and different way (Sentis, 2012). ?Although this question emphasizes the influence of nurture on development, it is also the case that nature (brain maturation) may be especially open to the influence of the environment on executive functions? (Farrar & Montgomery, 2015, p. 3.4). Executive functions of cognitive development take an extended amount of time to come to full maturation and has the ability to be shaped or modified by one?s experiences (Farrar & Montgomery, 2015). Negative factors or adverse childhood experiences such as being raised in an abusive or challenging home atmosphere can place a child at a higher risk for poor life choices, experience, and outcomes. Such outcomes affect children into adulthood and may include being ?unemployed, poor, homeless, and prone to committing violent crimes? (Patterson & Vakili, 2014, p. 26). In addition, Patterson and Vakili also state that ?the environmental experience of early childhood adversity has been linked with adult immune dysfunction, insulin resistance, and brain malfunctioning, which can lead to high-risk behaviors, emotional dysregulation, and chronic mental health problems? (p. 23). Positive life experiences like the kind experienced in ?a positive and structured environment at school can help improve children’s inhibitory control, perhaps because children gain practice in remembering and following rules and also in planning and organizing their daily routines? (Farrar & Montgomery, 2015, p. 3.4). Positive factors lead children to mature quicker cognitively and leads to positive outcomes contrary to the negative aspects previously listed.

Part II:
Read one article from the list below and use it to support your response to the following:

Based on the article you chose, discuss how poverty and/or a specific type of trauma impacts brain development and behavior. Make sure to also state the article you read.

The article that I chose to read for this assignments was Article 4: Traumatized Children: How Childhood Trauma Influences Brain Development (Perry, 2000). According to Perry (2000), ?children reflect the world in which they are raised? (p. 1). If a child is raised in an environment that is ?characterized by threat, chaos, unpredictability, fear and trauma, the brain will reflect that by altering the development of the neural systems involved in the stress and fear response? (Perry, 2000, p. 1). Trauma has been linked to many neurobiological responses that have been found to have negative consequences such as affecting memory, cognition, and other neural systems (Perry, 2000). The result following traumatic stress ?is a cascade of associated changes in attention, impulse control, sleep, fine motor control and other functions mediated by the catecholamines? (Perry, 2000, p. 1). ?As these catecholamines and their target regions (e.g., amygdaloid nuclei) also mediate a variety of other emotional, cognitive and motor functions, sensitization of these systems by repetitive re-experiencing of the trauma leads to dysregulation in many functions? (Perry, 2000, p. 1).

Explain how you will use this ?trauma informed? perspective in understanding and working with children.

?To provide trauma-informed care to children, youth, and families involved with child welfare, professionals must understand the impact of trauma on child development and learn how to effectively minimize its effects without causing additional trauma? (Child Welfare Information Gateway, n.d., para. 1). I believe that it is imperative that educators have proper resources on hand, establish a good line of communication with the guidance counselor, collaborate effectively with families, and also attend workshops and seminars to educate themselves on this topic better. One of the resources on the Child Bureau website that I found, ?presents a project that uses research to create practical strategies for preventing adverse childhood experiences and treating their consequences? (Child Welfare Information Gateway, n.d., para. 2).

Discuss what you would do differently as a professional now that you have this knowledge and if your view of ?trauma? has changed?

I am a product of many years of physical, mental, and emotional abuse in addition to neglect. I feel that by overcoming such an environment, that this experience will help me in my professional career as I can empathize. I have personally experienced numerous traumatic events and firmly believe that the key factors in this type of situation are to provide a safe and welcoming environment that is not over stimulating. The child must feel safe first. Then present yourself as the caring, compassionate, kind individual you are. Let them know through verbal and nonverbal communication that you are a safe person to talk to in order to develop a trusting bond. Once the child has established that sense of security and trust in your classroom, learning will then come.

Describe what approach you might take when you need to talk to a family about a situation where the child?s academic performance and/or behavior is being impacted by trauma. What specifically would you want to discuss with the family?

I believe in a situation like this; it is important to establish a meeting. I would ask that the guidance counselor at the school sit in as well as they would be able to offer valuable input, information, and strategies. In this meeting, we can cover various daily tasks and routines of the family that may contribute to the impact on the student?s academic performance. I am a firm believer that there is great importance in not only educating our students but also their families. Newsletters and informational sheets can be sent home or attached to a parent board outside your classroom to educate parents on various developmental aspects in addition to what they can do to assist their child(ren) outside of the classroom.


Child Welfare Information Gateway. (n.d.). Trauma-Informed Practice. Retrieved from…

Farrar, M. J. & Montgomery, D. (2015). Cognitive development of children: Research and application [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

Patterson, J. E., & Vakili, S. (2014). Relationships, Environment, and the Brain: How Emerging Research is Changing What We Know about the Impact of Families on Human Development. Family Process, (1), 22.

Perry, B. D. (2000). Traumatized children: How childhood trauma influences brain development. The Journal of the California Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 11(1), 48-51. Retrieved from

Sentis. (2012, November 6). Neuroplasticity [Video file]. Retrieved from

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