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            February 2015 Newsletter
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Sexual Exploitation Report
   The ChildTrauma Academy has developed an approach to clinical problem-solving, the Neurosequential Model of Therapuetics (NMT).  This Evidence-based Practice utilizes a set of metrics - the NMT Clinical Practice tools.  These web-based instruments allow the clinician to organize a client's complex developmental history of adversity, exposure to trauma, resilience-related factors and current functioning in cognitive, social, emotional and physical domains to create a "picture" of the client's brain organization.  This helps the clinical team select and sequence appropriate enrichment, educational and therapeutic efforts.  In order to ensure adequate inter-rater reliability and fidelity, the CTA conducts two Fidelity Exercises each year. The original Fidelity exercise 4 years ago involved a handful of "certified" users.  Today there are more than 1500 individuals in 10 different countries and over 60 different organizations participating in the current Fidelity Exercise.  Each of these users will "rate" the same client;  the results will be analyzed to help us improve the certification process, and ensure consistency and reliability among our users.
Berry Street Childhood Institute Report on Sexual Exploitation of Youth 

Annette Jackson, the Director of Take Two Berry Street, and a ChildTrauma Academy Fellow, has recently completed an excellent review on Youth people at risk for sexual exploitation, absconding and other significant harms.  This excellent free resource is available through the Berry Street Childhood Institute's web-based Knowledge Hub (click here).  The Berry Street Childhood Institute is based in Melbourne, Victoria in Australia.  It is an excellent resource for anyone working with children and youth.  The variety of resources, programs and training activities provide very useful and practical content for multiple disciplines.  Annette's recent review (click here) is one example; this comprehensive review helps clarify and address the range of issues in this complex area. 
Tasmania's RADAR Implementing NME With Success

RADAR, situated in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, is an education program for disengaged students - students who are either unable or unwilling to attend mainstream school. Students range in ages from 14 to 17 and are referred by their school. Many of these students live in struggling communities, and most have experienced trauma. Through RADAR, students participate in devising their own education programs which include Literacy, Numeracy, Pathways for senior students, personal interests, and social-emotional learning. All students have an IEP (Individualized Eduacation Plan). As participants in the NME Trainers Program, RADAR is currently incorporating information from the students' mini maps into their IEPs - identifying strengths and strategies to target vulnerabilities. Lisa Drinkwater, RADAR's Program Manager, says, "We consider these as life-long strategies. They will not only benefit the student whilst at RADAR but will be shared with mainstream teachers if/when a student transitions back to a traditional education setting - to give the student, and teacher, the best chance of success. A recent change in our referral process involves meeting with the student's mainstream teachers to complete a mini map, so that scoring is based on comparisons to same grade/age peers in the mainstream setting."

     Drinkwater also adds, "Relational regulation is our primary strategy, and students work in small groups of 4:1. Many of our students arrive dysregulated, and their timetable is structured in such a way that somatosensory regulatory activities are a focus, particularly early on in the school day." Additional regulatory opportunities are also available to students throughout the day, with frequent sensory breaks and access to 'regulation stations' such as table tennis, basketball, mini trampoline, down ball, and mandalas. There are also strategies during lesson time to keep students regulated and focused including the option of replacing traditional classroom chairs with rocking chairs, hammocks and fitballs. Students are explicitly taught about their brains and what regulates/dysregulates each of them individually. Incorporating the NME core concepts into RADAR's practice and program is ongoing, and we are currently developing lessons to inform students of the arousal continuum and its effects.  



If you are interested in attending the 2nd NMT Symposium in Banff next June, stay tuned for more information on programming and registration!  Also, our friends and colleagues in Berry Street Take Two will be hosting Dr. Perry for a two week speaking tour of Australia beginning October 19, 2015. More information to come on those events as well.
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Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.
The ChildTrauma Academy