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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL are feeling with colored scribbles, lines, and shapes (Steele and Malchiodi 2012). Another option is to invite children to sit in a chair and push their feet onto the floor as hard as they can. Ask them, “Do you notice a sense of increased strength within you when you push your feet onto the floor?” When children have calmed, say, “Now you are safe, and I am here to keep you safe.” Understanding sensations permits children to be more intuitive and confident. Traumatized students can be calmed and open to deep learning when they sense their teacher is attuned to their inner thoughts and emotions (Bailey 2011). This enables the students to feel understood and results in a sense of security and trust. In early childhood education classrooms, tense and agitated children can be calmed by working with flubber—a cool, soft substance that is delightful and calming to touch. It can be offered as an incentive to help strengthen a child’s self-regulation skills (see the activity section in chap- ter 7 for a recipe for flubber). The longer a child stays self-regulated, the stronger the coping skills for managing unexpected changes in routine (Bailey 2011). Differentiating between Traumatic Stress Behaviors and ADHD Early child education classes are the critical times for recognizing and responding to persistent and troubling patterns of behaviors in children. Early child education sets the foundation for a child’s future self-understanding of school and being a student. Thus, it is imperative that classrooms and teachers provide resolutions to behavioral issues as opposed to engaging in labeling a child. Trauma-informed educators recognize that traumatic stress and attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) present very similar behavior patterns of acting out and disturbing the class (Perry 2004). Since there is no specific medical test for determining traumatic stress or ADHD, ADHD can easily be misdiagnosed when students actually are exhibiting symptoms of traumatic stress (Steele and Malchiodi 2012). While educators should not play the role of a diagnosing expert, they can contribute to the evidence-gathering process as caring adults trying to get children the help they need. Trauma-informed teachers recognize that hyperactivity following a single acute stress is a normal reaction that does not mean the child has ADHD. In addition, the current diag- nosis for ADHD is not effective for children living with chronic stress, according to the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (Steele and Malchiodi 2012). 26 Chapter Two COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL