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The Impact of Trauma on Growth and Development

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

The Impact of Trauma on Growth and Development

Presented by Barbara Sorrels Ed. D., Executive Director, The Institute for Childhood Education
Sponsored by Gryphon House


In our current culture of accountability and standardization, the learning struggles of young children are typically attributed to the need for more rigorous standards, more accountability, a different curriculum, or more “highly qualified teachers.” The premise of this webinar is that one of the primary reasons a child isn’t learning is due to the experience of trauma in the first five years of life. We live in a child illiterate culture and the developmental needs of children have been compromised due to the many forms of trauma experienced by more than half of children.

In this recording viewers will:

  • Learn the definition of trauma and the many types of adverse experiences of the majority of children. The most toxic form of trauma is to suffer harm at the hands of those who are supposed to love and protect, putting the child in an impossible psychological dilemma.
  • Recognize the characteristics of children who have been exposed to trauma. Trauma and loss in the earliest years of life changes children from the inside out. Many are diagnosed with ADD, ADHD or oppositional defiant disorder when the root of the issue is trauma.
  • Describe the multi-system failure that is the signature of trauma. Trauma results in the failure of the attachment, regulatory, social, sensory processing and learning systems.
  • Understand the impact of trauma on learning. It is not that the child won’t learn – it is that the child can’t learn.

This webinar will give teachers and caregivers a different lens through which to look at children’s struggles in the classroom.

Join the Early Learning Book Chats community to participate in online discussions with peers, for invitations to upcoming webinars, to view past webinar recordings, to take a quiz and receive a CE certificate for a past webinar, and for access to more resources.


Sorrels-Barbara_Headshot_150x150_20150917Dr. Barbara Sorrels’ passion for children at risk began as a teenager growing up in Washington D.C. during the 60’s. Her involvement with inner city programs for children sparked her desire to understand how growing up in adverse circumstances impacts healthy development. Committed to providing the most up-to-date research available, she brings insight into the impact of trauma on children’s growth and development, and provides practical strategies for childcare providers, teachers and parents on how to create healing environments for vulnerable children in her book, Reaching and Teaching Children Exposed to Trauma.

She is currently the Executive Director of the Institute for Childhood Education, a private consulting firm that provides resources and professional development to state agencies, school districts, child care centers, and parents. Over the last 40 years she has worked in the field of early childhood education in a variety of capacities: classroom teacher, founder and director of two early childhood centers, university professor, consultant and parent educator. She holds a B.A. in early childhood education from the University of Maryland; a master’s degree in religious education from Southwestern Seminary; and a doctorate in early childhood from Oklahoma State University.


A CE certificate will be emailed to live attendees within 24 hours of the live event.
If you miss the live session, a link to view the recording will be sent within 24 hours of the live event.



Gryphon House, Inc. is an award-winning publisher of early childhood resources for teachers and parents.




Wednesday, October 7, 2015
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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