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How Early Childhood Trauma Effects the ability to Learn in a Traditional Educational Setting

The cognitive and emotional development of a child is a very fragile process that can be negatively altered through any traumatic event.The effects of trauma are greater the younger the child.The purpose of this paper is to try and explain how a traumatic event, as experienced by a child, may result in long term educational barriers.

Brain Development

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The brain begins to develop from before we are born.Already at this stage our brain development may be effected if pre-natal care is not properly administered.The functions of our brain are extensive, ranging from thoughts and emotions to our ability to learn.From the time of our birth our brain performs all of the necessary tasks such as regulating our heartbeat and our breathing.The rest of the development is dependent on our continued experiences throughout our childhood; the most critical time period for brain development.These experiences will eventually shape and mold the way we think, learn, and react to the environment around us.The more a specific skill or area of our brain is used, “the more it will'build-in' this neural state” (Perry, Marcellus P. 1).The brain therefore develops through a use dependent method that makes “an'internal representation' of the external or internal world [as] the basis for learning and memory” (Perry, Marcellus P.1).Beca!
use our brain is actively developing most during our childhood, this is the time that our brain is the most “plastic (receptive to environmental input)” (Perry, Marcellus P. 1).

Trauma and the Brain

Under the best circumstances “the brain develops healthy, flexible and diverse capabilities.When there is a disruption of…normal developmental experiences…there may be a devastating impact on neurodevelopment-and, thereby, function”(Perry, Marcellus P. 2).During a traumatic event, the brain goes into a “state of fear-related activation” (Perry, Marcellus P.2).In this state the b…

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