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Trauma Informed Care for Persons Who Are NeuroAtypical
~ Define Neuro-Atypical
~ Explore how they may experience the world differently
~ Reflect on experiences not traumatic to people who are neurotypical may be traumatic to those who are neuroatypical
~ Hypothesize about how common parenting practices might be traumatic and overwhelming to the infant/toddler who is neuro-atypical
~ ACEs in individuals who are neuroatypical
~ TIC for people who are neuroatypical

Define Neuro-Atypical
~ “Neurotypical” is a newer term that’s used to describe individuals of typical developmental, intellectual, and cognitive abilities.
~ People who are neuroatypical differ from the general culture in those areas. Examples:
~ Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder
~ Autism Spectrum Disorders
~ Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
~ Schizoid and Borderline Personality Disorders?

Sensory Abnormalities Impact on Safety
~ Physical
~ Pain or vulnerability to injury
~ Sensory overload: World may be painful, scary or underwhelming
~ Sleep disruption
~ Affective/Cognitive
~ Emotional lability
~ Difficulty processing stimuli to produce learning experiences (i.e. difficulty processing spoken information due to receptive or attentional deficits) School failure, frequent discipline, low self esteem (Chronic stress and increased glutamate levels)
~ Impaired development of healthy adaptive behaviors (especially for individuals unable to articulate or receive validation for their experiences)
Sensory Abnormalities Impact on Safety
~ Relational
~ Avoidance of activities and social interactions including primary attachment
~ Seemingly disruptive or defiant behavior
Overstimulation Causes
~ Sensory gating abnormalities or the inability to filter out irrelevant stimuli
~ People with sensory gating difficulties and PTSD demonstrate exaggerated responses to stimuli and reduced habituation. (startle response)
~ Sensory Processing Disorder (sensory integration) vs. Sensory Processing Sensitivity (neither is in the DSM or ICD)
~ Hyper-responsiveness
~ Hyporesponsiveness

~ Sensory processing differences can cause infants, children and adults to experience repeated distress
~ Unaware caregivers, professionals may not understand the communication and persist in exposing the person to the noxious stimulus or may view the person’s behavior as defiant.
~ Both situations lead to a sense of unsafeness and helplessness
~ TIC for people who are neuroatypical means developing an understanding of their neurological differences and working with them to create an environment that is safe, validating, supportive and empowering.

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