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A trauma-informed approach to helping challenging students: Strategies for success in the classroom

This is event is for teachers and school staff only.


We’ve had years of determining “how” to teach students but we haven’t asked the simple question of, “Are our students ready to learn?” The national trauma-informed movement has shed light on understanding the impact that trauma has on the brain and has clearly answered this question: No, many of our students are not ready to learn. Children impacted by trauma come to school stressed out, emotionally charged up (or completely shut-down), and in a state of survival. Understanding our students’ ACE scores is a start but this is only half of the equation. Learning how to apply this knowledge in the daily interactions with students is the other half and often the most difficult and most misunderstood.

This training will discuss why a trauma-informed approach is needed, the benefits, and how start the process of implementing a trauma-informed platform. Strategies for connecting with students “in the moment” when they are highly aroused and escalated will be disused and demonstrated. Strategies for helping students overcome deficits in the areas of their social/emotional development due to their trauma along with ways to help students tap into their own internal drive to learn and succeed will be explored.

Participants will leave this training with loving and innovative ways to apply the concepts of neuro-science into real life and will end the day by saying, “Now I get I understand how to put science into action!”


  1. Understand what defines trauma for a student and how this impacts a student’s ability to learn.
  2. Understand the nature of survival mode and the impact it has on the brain and body system as it relates to academic achievement.
  3. Be able to comprehend what it means to be regulated or dysregulated.
  4. Understand the concept of “window of stress tolerance” and how to help students expand these windows to improve their learning capacity.
  5. Have an overall plan of how to begin the process of implementing a trauma-informed platform at a school.

Keynote Speaker

Heather T. Forbes, LCSW is the owner of the Beyond Consequences Institute and author of numerous books on the topic of working with children impacted by trauma. Coming from a family of educators, Heather has a passion for helping children in the classroom. Trauma robs children of their curiosity and her passion is to help these students return back to their innate love for learning. She consults and lectures extensively with both general and special education schools around the nation. Her signature style is to bridge the gap between academic research and “when the rubber hits the road” classroom situations, giving teachers and school personnel the understanding and tools they need for even the most challenging of students. Heather has worked in schools with trauma-impacted students and knows first-hand how challenging it can be on a day-in and day-out basis with these students. Additionally, much of her insight on understanding trauma, disruptive behaviors, and developmental delays, also comes from her own experience of raising two internationally adopted children and mentoring a severely trauma-impacted young adult.

Training Details

  • Please note, only teachers and school staff (educators) may attend this training.
  • No CEU's available
  • Clock hours available
  • Dinner will be provided
  • Plenty of FREE parking
Date and Time: 
April 18, 2019 - 4:00pm to 7:30pm
NEWESD 101 - Talbot Center, 4202 S. Regal, Spokane, WA