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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL disconnected from her body as the body “plays dead” in preparation for injury (Perry 2004). When the brain and body go into this “emergency mode,” other areas of the brain that deal with things like language, logic, and abstract thought are not primarily used. A perceived threat can generate a fight/flight/ freeze reaction that is survival driven and automatic (Szalavitz and Perry 2010). It can be said that the brain’s emergency response “hijacks” other, possible, slower or more rational responses. While the body can have a variety of reactions to traumatic events, what is important is that all of these reactions are a physical, neurological response that the body experiences and the brain remembers. The body’s response to trauma is a normal reaction to an abnormal experience of insecurity. Levine and Kline say, “Vulnerability to trauma differs from person to person depending on a variety of factors, especially age and trauma history. The younger the child, the more likely she is to be over- whelmed by common occurrences that might not affect an older child or adult” (2007, 4). The stressed child in the following story presented an automatic survival reaction to a perceived threat: the teacher’s tone of voice and what he interpreted as angry words. He needed his teacher to use her own powers of self-regulation to help him reclaim his self-control. A kindergarten class in an urban school had been practicing writing their full names. A very tense and overactive boy had begun to draw and color, when a teacher’s aide noticed he had not written his full name on his paper as directed. She sternly stated that he had not followed directions and needed to write out his full name. The student began to scream, “No,” ran around the room, and threw his chair at the aide. This shocked and frightened the entire class. The aide took him to the office and maintained he had to learn the conse- quences of his behaviors. None of the children in that class was able to focus on learning for the rest of the afternoon. Trauma That Lasts: Automatic Survival Reactions to Fears, Threats, and Shame Humans are born with one hundred billion neural cells. The majority of these cells are not immediately incorporated into synaptic networks—the COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Early Traumatic Stress 19