Cathy Malchiodi's recent article in Psychology Today's blog discusses the topic of resilience among traumatized children and how engaging the senses through a variety of activities, combined with positive relationships and environments can make a difference.
As a school psychologist, I work with occupational therapists, and over the years, I've learned how important it is to address sensory issues with children and teens who have autism spectrum disorders. Cathy Malchiodi wrote her post while attending the 4th Annual Childhood Trauma Practitioners Assembly. According to the conference website, the following topics were covered:
"Areas of interest include intervention approaches, research, and resource specific to:
- Posttraumatic Growth Resilience
- Complex Cumulative Trauma: Research/Interventions
- School-Based Programs
- Community-Based Programs (hospitals, mental health agencies, family services)
- Interventions for Special Populations (special needs students, children immigrating from war torn countries, Native American Indians – other diverse populations).
- Interventions using Expressive Therapies/Interventions
- Interventions for other trauma related behaviors (OCD like behavior, agoraphobic like behavior) or anxiety disorders – separation anxiety disorder, shyness, social phobia, agoraphobia, etc.
- Research which supports practice (versus theory). Evidenced based research on interventions with traumatized children is limited at this time. "
Cathy's post provides a good overview of research among those who focus on sensory and somatic interventions, which includes addressing support for three regions of the brain - the cortex/thinking brain, the limbic system/emotional brain, and the brain stem/survival brain.
For more information, read the post, and follow the related links:
Resilience Matters in Traumatized Children's Lives -- and Sensory Activities Make the Difference (Cathy Malchiodi, Psychology Today, 7/14/09)
It would be interesting to see how multi-modal technologies could be used to address some of the sensory issues among this group of children!