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Graphic Chart

Traumatic Stress Scenario

This scenario is part of the Post Work for Understanding & Recognizing Child Traumatic Stress. After reviewing the scenario here the questions can be answered inside your guidebook.


Vanessa is a 15-year-old tenth grader. She most often appears distracted and disinterested. She is often truant. In class, she often fidgets, avoids eye contact, ignores teachers when questioned or responds inaudibly. There doesn’t appear to be anything that interests or motivates her. She seems to understand the material and sometimes does well on assignments but refuses to engage with others during the school day. If she doesn’t look bored then she often puts her head down and sleeps during class. 

Vanessa doesn’t respond well to being redirected or corrected so disagreements with her teachers who dare to call her on her behavior usually result in her walking out of class. 


Background that staff may not be aware of: Vanessa has an extensive history of trauma. She was removed from her home in fourth grade and placed with her aunt due to experiences of severe abuse and neglect. Over the years, there have been several failed attempts to reunite Vanessa with her mother--who struggles with addiction--and her two younger siblings.

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