Thanks for generously sharing your wisdom. As the Exec Dir of Attachment & Trauma Network, I get this question frequently from families of traumatized children. I struggled with this issue with my own daughter; it was a major component of our own due process case, but I have no good answers.

What can/should a parent use to help convince the school that traditional reward-based (and punishment-based) behavior modification approaches won't work. Some of our children manipulate these systems. Some of them hold it together until they get home and then melt down. Some just remain dysregulated, never earning points, with their shame and misbehaviors growing.

What research, evidence, information should parents be bringing to the schools to advocate that their child not be placed in a program that uses these strategies, but should be in a trauma-sensitive environment where emphasis is put on regulation and modifying the environment?

In other words, often we know what works best at home, but we have no "studies" to bring to the table to get the school to hear why their approach is making the situation worse.

Julie Beem
Executive Director
Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc.