Tomorrow’s Forever Family is delving into more science: a biological explanation for why some of our kids are wound more tightly than others and the effect that has on their ability to function in the world.
I wish I’d had Help for Billy when I was teaching…it really does give you a new perspective on why students can react so differently to the same environment. Visit RFTM tomorrow to discuss kids and stress tolerance.
…[Heather T. Forbes] isn’t just talking about school being more difficult for Billy because his life is hard; she contends the trauma affecting him dates all the way back to the womb.
When a pregnant woman is stressed (as Billy’s mother clearly was while he was in utero), her body produces elevated levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These stress hormones constrict blood vessels, decreasing oxygen to the fetus, and negatively influence the fetus’ ability to develop (p.11).
Kids like Billy spend nine months baking in stress, exposure that causes long term effects on their nervous systems. Being wired at elevated levels produces children who can have difficulty with problem solving, paying attention, or simply being able to sit still. In other words, these kids enter the world already at a developmental disadvantage.