Attachment and impact upon Brain Development

attachment brain dev image from flyer

Attachment and the Impact on Brain Development

Provided by: Dr Wendy Thorley, National Teaching Fellow and Senior Lecturer,

University of Sunderland

This unit introduces the impact of trauma or loss on brain development in the early years and then at key further developmental stages (6-8 and teens).

The unit explores how such impact manifests and influences children’s overall development including language, cognitive functioning, social and emotional development and ability to function successfully within normative environments such as a classroom.

The unit includes the theoretical basis from which to appreciate how this impacts upon a high percentage of children and young people both Nationally and Internationally and what this means for those working with these children and young people.

This unit will be available from the new CEL&T Website from this summer

What is included in the unit

  1. a single login which will take you to the main page where you will find everything you need- including a quick access email link to the tea
  2. a series of MP4 format presentations that can playback on any device including mobile phone
  3. easy to use student handbook, available in word or pdf where you can add notes and ideas to keep these together for later use and ease of storage
  4. easy links to additional resources pertinent to the unit
  5. a listed webliography (providing additional resources for any further reading or viewing you may want to do)
  6. the option to purchase a full parchment certificate posted  to your home address from the University of Sunderland listing achievements (pdf format certificate is sent electronically as part of the unit fee
  7. support available throughout including an admin team: cape@sunderland.ac.uk alongside wendy.thorley@sunderland.ac.uk, the admin team at Cape are also available via telephone Mon-Fri- from early until 5pm

FEEDBACK FOR THIS UNIT: (thank you to everyone for letting us know your thoughts)

From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……..gained a better understanding of how the human brain responds to certain situations it is faced with. I was taken aback by how complex the brain really is and completely unaware of the processes that took place within it. The TED talk’s video was of particular interest to me and I will be looking into similar videos to find out more. Truly fascinating. I think most interestingly, the different typologies have given me a better understanding of why some children have different behavioural tendencies to other children in ways I hadn’t even considered before. For example the child I have described above was a child I had previously just thought to be ‘a difficult/needy child’ and didn’t give any consideration as to why they may be presenting themselves in that light. I am really grateful for taking part in this unit as I feel that it has given me such an eye-opening insight into how children react to distress and upset in their life and is something that I will take into consideration from now on in my teaching practice. I understand now how important it is to search for deeper meanings behind the behaviours that children present in class and the ways in which I can support or help to support them through their time in the education system. Overall I was truly interested in the content of this module and feel as though I have been equipped with incredibly valuable information that I will bear in mind throughout my future career working with children.
From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……..refreshed my memory on various attachment styles and behaviours of children and young people. This unit has supported my knowledge of understanding why children may act out or become withdrawn or have any other changed behaviour. This unit has also encouraged me to research into what I can do as a practitioner in order to support the needs of all children in feeling happy, safe and supported. This unit has supported me in ensuring children feel happy and engaged as stated by the Allen Report (2011); “By building a child’s social and emotional capabilities we enable children to be happily engaged with others and with society, and to learn, to develop fully, to attain and to achieve. In essence, it delivers school ready, life ready and child ready members of society” (Bath Spa University, n.d.). By ensuring I am approachable and supportive of all children I am encouraging them to attain and achieve throughout their childhood in adulthood. Overall this unit has been informative and very beneficial to my learning and future practice. I believe this unit works very well
I would strongly agree with the whole course being how it should be.  It was clear, concise and so interesting. All in all, I have so much passion for this now and its helped hugely with the students I see. Thanks again to your team who were patient when I couldn't start it the first time round Senior Learning Mentor (October 2016)

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed completing this unit. Since some of our yr 7 students have come in, we have recognized lots of the traits learned and I feel personally, it has helped me even though we are only into the first term of school  Senior Learning Mentor (October 2016)
From taking part in this unit I feel that I have …….. learned a great deal about attachment styles which I have never before encountered in such a structured and identifiable way. Not only does this information provide recognisable traits with which to identify attachment styles but it also provides strategies for helping children to overcome those difficulties that used to be present in their lives. I have a degree in Psychology and Child Development where attachment was covered but not in this detail. I am very grateful that this course exists and that I was able to take so much from it and share this information with others I know – adoptive parents, teachers, social workers and birth parents too. It’s extremely valuable. It was also rewarding to be introduced to the Neuro- sequential model of therapeutics which sounds like an incredible way forward for our children   Thank you for presenting the course. student completing in July 2016
I feel like I have gained really useful knowledge and information on this area. I will definitely always refer to this while working with children. I work in an afterschool club currently and have already shared what I have learned with other staff members and manager. This unit has showed me how important it is to nurture children in their early years otherwise it can have negative and serious long term impacts After School Support
From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……..Understood more about the different parts of the brain and the impact of trauma on the responses and development of the brain (and what exactly is going on in the brain to cause certain responses in children). Understood more about the different types of attachment and the importance of a secure attachment on learning and managing in school. Developed an awareness of helpful strategies that can be used to support learners who do not have a secure attachment. Developed an awareness that different behaviours in the classroom can be a consequence of different types of insecure attachment and that there is a need to look deeper than the surface behaviour or than the child’s learning abilities. Reflected more on some of the children who I work with and thought about how their behaviour and presentation in the classroom is influenced by their attachment style. Developed an interest in learning more about these issues and in particular implementing the strategies recommended. Trainee Teacher Final Ye
From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……..Understood more about the different parts of the brain and the impact of trauma on the responses and development of the brain (and what exactly is going on in the brain to cause certain responses in children). Understood more about the different types of attachment and the importance of a secure attachment on learning and managing in school. Developed an awareness of helpful strategies that can be used to support learners who do not have a secure attachment. Developed an awareness that different behaviours in the classroom can be a consequence of different types of insecure attachment and that there is a need to look deeper than the surface behaviour or than the child’s learning abilities. Reflected more on some of the children who I work with and thought about how their behaviour and presentation in the classroom is influenced by their attachment style. Developed an interest in learning more about these issues and in particular implementing the strategies recommended. Primary teacher
 From taking part in this unit I feel that I have ……..The nature of this handbook and the construction process has generated multiple opportunities to reflect on all areas of attachment typologies in a young person and child’s life; especially within the area of care-giver and relational health, which will enable me to transfer new knowledge and practice into my work.I have gained knowledge surrounding the area of relational health, early neurological impact and child development; how early life trauma impacts upon a child’s brain function and the implications of how this impedes on a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development. The literature surrounding different attachment types has enabled me to understand that there are children for whom vital secure attachment has not developed, therefore, understanding the theory behind this phenomenon has provided awareness as to why attachment patterns are an important factor with some children and a core to some of the problems practitioners deal with on a daily basis. This gained knowledge will enhance professional development and practice within my working environment.