How to Help Others Understand
‘Tis the season! It’s that time of year when we realize summer is winding down and it’s time to start thinking about sending the little darlings back to school. For some of us, that thought brings great excitement and anticipation. For others, it causes a deep shudder and evokes a marked sense of fear. Perhaps you’re more like me and you feel a little (or a lot) of both.
Regardless of how you might be feeling about things, there is one thing I know for sure. If you’re sending a child who struggles with complex developmental trauma back to school in the coming weeks, there are new teachers to train, new administrators to educate, and new services to seek. That, in and of itself, can be a daunting and full-time task!
In an effort to make that a little easier (and hopefully a little less scary), I want to share some of my favorite resources for sharing with teachers, administrators, and others who work with my own kids.
My Favorite Educational Resources
I’ve been at this parenting tough kids thing for quite some time. I’ve tried lots of different options over the years. Some have worked well. Some have been flops. I’ve also collected a lot of different resources as well. Below are some of my favorites.
- Classroom Fact Sheets – Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health.
These are a fantastic resource for sharing with teachers as they are designed especially for that purpose. Each fact sheet fits on a single page and offers suggestions for teachers on how to manage these issues in their classroom. They have many fact sheets available covering a wide range of mental health conditions, including RAD, FASD, PTSD, ADHD, anxiety and more.
- FASD Fact Sheets – NOFAS
This organization also has some great single page fact sheets specifically geared to issues related to FASD. They are great for helping people understand the long-term impact of prenatal alcohol exposure and have different fact sheets geared for different audiences.
- Developmental Trauma “At-a-Glance” – Serenity Links Coaching
I originally created this chart to help my own kids’ schools better understand the impact of early childhood trauma. It has now been widely shared and used by many others to do the same thing. The video below explains how I personally use this resource.
- Child’s Information Packet – Serenity Links Coaching
This is another resource I created for my own kids’ schools. After many dismal flops that came before it, I finally got it right and have used this same setup for many years now simply because it works. It worked when they were in elementary school and it still works in high school. It works because it inspires people to pay attention and learn.
As a general rule, I don’t generally just hand stuff to teachers and expect them to read it or understand it. I find a much more direct and hands on approach works better. The video below explains more about how I use both my chart and my information sharing template…and also how to easily create another valuable resource for yourself that integrates these and other resources. Check it out!
I hope these resources help you help others understand these very complex issues. If you need more resources, hop on over to my “Resources for Help” page. I have gobs of resources listed over there to help with parenting, school issues, addiction recovery and more. Happy Advocating!