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Safe, Connected and In Control:
Trauma is any experience or series of experiences that make the individual feel that he or she is in danger of dying, or of being emotionally “wiped out”
or annihilated.

Trauma can change the brain at the deepest levels. It may impact not only how we think and learn-areas conventional behavioral supports target-but also how we trust and connect to others, how we see ourselves, and how we feel, long before we’ve had the chance to think.

We believe that more research needs to be done about trauma and individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. But in terms of needing to feel safe, connected and in control, trauma is trauma, whether or not a person is very young or very old, has or doesn’t have an intellectual or developmental disability.

The Trauma Responsive Care model
Trauma Responsive Care is . . . 
TRC has two fundamental, interactive components:
The CALMER Skills teach staff the skills to recognize and manage their own reactions-and turn them into responses. This way they can help people feel safe, connected and in control all the time. When staff respond to individuals to help them feel safe, connected and in control, staff are being Trauma Responsive. The CALMER Skills can be taught throughout the agency, and has a management component as well.

The CALMER Course is a systematic approach to imbedding the CALMER Skills into the DNA of an organization. Based on implementation science, the CALMER Course plants and nurtures the seeds of feeling safe, connected and in control for everyone in an organization, equips managers for TRC supervision, and charts a course for sustainable change within the organization.

TRC is compatible with Gentle Teaching, Person-Centered Planning and even behavioral techniques such as ABA. We do not replace what agencies do; we weave our method into the existing, unique cultures of the agencies who work with us.

People can adapt, heal and even grow from traumatic experiences. According to child psychiatrist Bruce Perry, interventions and corrective emotional experiences may need to be repeated many, many times.

These experiences need to be consistent, predictable, patterned and frequent.

Staff need a simple, easy-to-do, easy-to-remember way to provide these relationships and experiences consistently.
  1. The next step after Trauma Informed Care. Trauma Responsive Care means responding actively to trauma rather than merely being informed about it.
  2. Making sure individuals feel safe, connected and in control before asking anything else of them.
  3. Applied as a universal precaution. Individuals may benefit from assessments, but do not need them in the TRC model.
  1. The CALMER Skills focusing on interactions with staff who are self-regulated, present and responsive.
  2. The CALMER Course is implementation strategies throughout the organization from frontline staff to the executive office to create and assure sustainability.
Click here to contact Aldridge Palay to get more information about TRC.

Click here to view outcomes from a previous project.