It is widely accepted that adopted and fostered children struggle in school and often don’t achieve their potential. Children who have had traumatic early experiences and find it hard to trust adults often struggle in the classroom for a range of reasons, from finding the classroom a sensorily overwhelming environment to being preoccupied about other worries in their life, or even being scared to put pen to paper in case they fail. For adoptive and foster parents, if school stops functioning well for the child or even on occasions excludes the child, this can put considerable extra strain on the family as a whole. In this way school is important for the child’s future potential and self esteem but also crucial to the outcomes for the family as a whole.
It is therefore very important for the system around the adoptive family to also support the child in school. This module looks at the impact of developmental trauma on a child’s cognitive development and on their capacity to learn. An assessment of the child’s difficulties with learning helps to make sense of their behaviour in the classroom, of peer relationships and their behaviour at home. Understanding how your child learns is key to understanding how they live.