“It was the most extraordinary thing. When this little boy’s stepdad came to pick him up, the boy would move his backpack from his back to his front. It was as if he wanted to protect himself. He was visibly terrified. He always made sure he stood where he couldn’t be slapped or hit or punched. It was clear that at the heart of this behaviour was the fact that this little boy was very, very frightened.” – Alannah & Madeline Foundation Early Years Trauma Consultant
Imagine being 4 years old and never having been hugged … a child who flinches away at the slightest movement, and always positions himself with his back to the wall because he’s frightened of having anyone behind him … who hits out first so he’s not caught out … and doesn’t even know how to say ‘good morning’ because no one’s ever taught him.
These behaviours can be incredibly confronting for teachers and carers who may never have experienced a child like this before. Early years teachers and carers of children like this need assistance and support to understand and manage their extreme behaviours. These kids need a special type of love and attention, and carers who are skilled at spotting when behaviour is the product of fear.
Kids like this little boy are not bad children. They’re badly treated children.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation needs to raise $219,027 for its Early Years Trauma Consultancy (TraCS) program to work with early years educators and children’s families.
Your gift will help early years educators learn ways to recognise and respond to traumatised children and to provide assistance to families of children at risk.
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