GREENSBORO, N.C. – There's been an uptick in school violence and threats across the state these last several weeks, and a trauma therapist addresses why this is happening and what caregivers can do to stop this trend.
What You Need To Know
Trauma therapist Ashlyn Hodges says she's seen an increase in anxiety and irritability in her clients with the recent uptick in school violence
Hodges believes multiple factors are contributing to the increase in violence
She says caregivers need to pay more attention to children and their behavioral changes
Ashlyn Hodges has been a trauma therapist for almost five years, and she got into this career because of trauma she endured.
"When I was younger I endured quite a bit of trauma myself, and so I was lost, and I was confused. I was angry. I had a bunch of different things going on," Hodges explained.
Hodges says her therapist growing up changed her life, and she hopes to do the same for kids and teens who come to her.
"The growth that you see and the empowerment they find within themselves is just so rewarding," Hodges said.
She says driving to work is easy and relaxing but coming home can be a lot harder after a difficult day, which she says she's had a lot more recently.
"We've been seeing a lot more of the symptoms and stuff in our clients from all of the things that are happening in the world," Hodges said.
Hodges addresses these symptoms with clients and gives them fidget toys to ease their minds.
She added she's seeing a lot more anxiety in her clients who have been through a lockdown experience.
"We've helped them process the specific situations that they've been in. We give them the tools to de-escalate any anxiety," Hodges explained.
Hodges believes multiple factors are contributing to the recent increase in violence amongst teens.
"Youth are spending more time with video games, with social media, doing more things that maybe adults aren't supervising, so you may not know specifically what is going on, what the youth are experiencing, what they're hearing or what they're seeing," Hodges said.
Hodges adds children are feeling isolated by the pandemic, they're being exposed to stressful situations at home, and they have a desire for attention.
"Even if they are not getting any attention at all, they'll still seek and act out like in a negative way to get that attention, so negative attention is better than no attention a lot of the times in a kid's mind," Hodges said.
Hodges says she and her team are working hard to help these kids, but she says caregivers also have to step up.
"If we can identify those changes in behavior and in mood and kind of get to the bottom of really what's causing it, it could really eliminate some of these bigger incidents that are happening," she said.
She says this preventative care will hopefully help stop kids from experiencing trauma at school.