The site for substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion professionals and volunteers.

Home » Understanding the child impacted by trauma: The root of “bad” behavior

Understanding the child impacted by trauma: The root of “bad” behavior

This training is open to the general public.


We often underestimate the impact trauma has on a child’s development. Unpredictable, unstructured, and emotionally or physically hurtful experiences can create heightened states of autonomic arousal, anxiety, depression, mood changes, irritability, agitation, non-reality thinking, and a general pattern of disorganized behaviors. Tokens and other non-effective behavioral strategies not only do not work, they often make it worse because this is a developmental trauma issue, not a behavioral issue. A love-based/relationship-based approach is needed to help these children heal. Explanations on how to do this from a scientific brain-based perspective will be explained and demonstrated in this session.


  1. Understand the impact trauma has on the developing brain.
  2. Learn how to interpret behavior and understand a child’s stress state behind defiance.
  3. Understand the concept of “window of stress tolerance” and how to help children expand these windows to improve their behaviors.

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

  • Light snacks will be provided
  • Plenty of FREE parking
Date and Time: 
April 17, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
NEWESD 101 - Talbot Center, 4202 S. Regal, Spokane, WA