SiLAS and Trauma Informed Care

Asking what happened to a child is far more effective than asking what is wrong with the child. This paradigm shift is heavily influenced by Trauma Informed Care.

According to Rethink

  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. 
  • ​56% of adults in the US with a mental illness did not receive treatment
  • 27,985 children aged 14-21 with autism, emotional disturbance or other health impairments including ADHD drop out of school each year.

What are we doing to combat this issue?

 With more and more students facing adversity, a child’s mental and emotional health has suffered. Trauma informed schools; search for understanding the impact trauma has on the brain, learn how to recognize trauma in students and families and what types of interventions can support the individual(s). Using the Adverse Childhood Experience Screener (ACES), educators can gather information on what a child has experienced. They higher the score, the more traumatic incidents a person has often leads to more social, emotional and mental health support they require. 

When a student’s emotional needs are not addressed, the likelihood increases that they may drop out, participate in deviant behavior and struggle finding employment. This is a direct correlation to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Trauma Informed Care’s principles include; a feeling of safety, support, trust, empowerment and collaboration. Once these pillars are in place healing is able to begin.   

SiLAS is excited to offer a Trauma Informed Toolbox that will be ready for fall 2021.  The toolbox includes pre-recorded professional development trainings that offers four modules relating to trauma; 

  • Neuroanatomy
  • Trauma Informed Framework
  • Executive Functioning
  • Brain-Aligned instruction 

In addition to the modules, users will have access to the last research information, lesson plans, consumables and resources supporting. SiLAS continues to be committed to providing the most relevant and meaningful content in the world of education. Our team will continue to provide free professional development and technical support pertaining to current content. Our team will also add Trauma Informed Care training to existing clients at no additional cost!

SiLAS April Newsletter

April News

Something to think about…

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.” 

-Captain Jack Sparrow

As we enter the month of May, we are reminded as the weather improves, it’s common for behaviors to decline. That truth does not only apply to children. Often, we as adults, find our patience dwindling and responses sharp with a bit of snark. The finish line is in sight, but there is SO much to do before that fateful day. Until then, take a look at some Focused Attention activities to help both teachers and students make it through to the homestretch! 

Applied Educational Neuroscience: Understanding the brain can make a noticeable difference in how our days play out. A student’s school picture can help us physically identify who a student appears to be. That picture does not tell us what they have been through…what they need from us. A person’s brain scan provides us with a snapshot of what parts of the brain are firing and how some may be underdeveloped. Experiencing trauma, especially at a young age, rewires our brain. When this happens, children often have little control over their reactions when they do not feel safe or backed into a corner. It is important to know your students and their prior experiences, especially if they are at risk or are a part of an underserved population. 

Focused Attention Practices: Now that you are aware trauma can rewire the brain, what can you do about it? Fortunately, there are a number of activities designed to assist individuals in repairing their brain. One strategy to implement is Focused Attention activities. According to Dr. Lori Desautels, “A focused-attention practice is a brain exercise for quieting the thousands of thoughts that distract and frustrate us each day.” When we are able to intentionally focus on our brain state, we have a better chance at regulating our emotions. When used with students, we are able to assist them in finding practices that help to calm and regulate their emotional state. Taking time to pay attention to our thoughts, feelings and actions can help us make healthier and more productive choices. Below are just a few focused attention activities for you to try for yourself and students!

  • Energizing Breath: Have students pant like a dog with their mouths open and their tongues out for 30 seconds, and then continue for another 30 seconds with their mouths closed, taking short breaths with one hand on the belly. Take three energizing pant breaths per second.
  • The Deep-Dive Breath: Have students inhale for four counts, hold for four, and exhale for four counts. You can increase the holding of breath by a few seconds once the students find the rhythm of the exercise.
  • Movement: This one is for younger children. Direct students to stand and, as they inhale, lift an arm or leg and wiggle it, exhaling it back to its original position. For younger grades beginning these focused-attention practices, it’s good to include an inhale and exhale with any type of movement.

DeSautels, L. (2016). Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices. Retrieved April 25, 2021. 

Share the Love: SiLAS LOVES helping teachers to engage students in the learning process.  We are looking for excellent teachers that can help us expand our client base and reach more students.   Please show your love for SiLAS and help spread the word.  For any district that signs up with SiLAS by June 30th, 2021 from your referral, you will receive a commission. 

Just send them to and to request a Demo Today!

Looking to make some extra $$$ this summer?

SiLAS is looking for two brand ambassadors to help sell SiLAS to schools this summer.  If interested, Please contact 

Mark Your Calendars!

  • May 1st: School Principal Day
  • May 3rd-7th: Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 4th: Teacher Appreciation Day
  • May 7th: School Lunch Hero Day 

ACES (Adverse Childhood ExperienceS)

There is not a single person on Earth who has not experienced some form of trauma. Some people experience more traumatic events than others. The wayWhat we go through shapes who we are and how we interact with the world. This is important to remember this, especially when your work involves children. Trauma is difficult for adults to manage. We must remember children who are experiencing or have experienced trauma need empathy, compassion and to be taught how to handle big emotions. As professionals working with youth, knowing where our students come from and what they have experienced is key in helping them to achieve success in school and life. 

One tool to better understand a child’s history is the Adverse Childhood Experience(s) (ACES) scale. These adverse experiences include abuse; physical, emotional and sexual, neglect, a history is mental illness in the family, violence and substance abuse. For every incident a child has encountered their score increases. A high ACES score does not mean one is doomed for failure. What it does mean is an individual is at a higher risk for substance abuse, mental illness, and chronic health problems. Fortunately, in upcoming posts we will discuss ways to change our thinking patterns-actually rewiring our brain-to increase a person’s quality of life and future success. 

Click on here to take the ACES screener for yourself or students. Use this information to develop an appropriate action plan and to understand a child’s past. What experience have you had with ACES and/or Childhood Trauma? (We could post Stats for ACES Data on Social Media to accompany this if you want).