Distressed or Deliberately Defiant?

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Managing Challenging Student Behaviour due to Trauma and Disorganised Attachment


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It is not unusual for educators today, whether in the early childhood, primary or secondary sectors, to be confronted with severely challenging student behaviour - students who fly into unexplained violent and oppositional outbursts with little warning; who respond poorly to tried-and-true behaviour management processes. Such behaviour has considerable impact on the delivery of teaching and learning programs and the emotional wellbeing of the teachers themselves as well as raising safety risks for the entire school community.

This book explains the basis for such behaviour as the neurological, physiological and behavioural outcomes of "disorganised attachment" due to prolonged exposure to a traumatic home life and provides practical advice to educators on ways that schools can effectively manage these students. By examining the science behind attachment theory, the neurobiology of behaviour, and the manifestation of disorganised attachment in the school context, this book will help educators:

• minimise such challenging behaviour,
• manage crises and disciplinary responses such as suspension and expulsion,
• improve student compliance,
• enhance education and overall wellbeing, and
• deal with parents.

Covers early childhood, primary and secondary settings.

About The Author

Dr Judith Howard is a senior lecturer and researcher with the Queensland University of Technology. She also has an extensive history with the State Education System in Queensland during which she has worked as a teacher, a school counsellor, a child and adolescent behaviour specialist and has held both Regional and State positions overseeing behaviour support processes in Qld schools.  Dr Howard has a passion for educating educators and other professionals from government and non-government agencies who are involved in the support of children and young people presenting with challenging school behaviour. She is particularly focused on the concerns of students from attachment/trauma histories. She continues to work hard to research, publish and speak in the area of an informed, neuroscience-based approach to student management and support - to which she believes every educator in every school in Australia and New Zealand needs to access.


MediumPaperback 104 pages
AuthorJudith Howard


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