New book helps teachers in PTSD-stricken classrooms

International (MNN) — Any teacher can tell you that every classroom has its own unique challenges, but can you imagine trying to come alongside students who have spent the last few years running for their lives?

That’s exactly what instructors for Tent Schools International have to deal with, said Dale Dieleman. Many students suffer from symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and teachers don’t always know how to handle them.

“Because we are an educational institution, we really wanted to get to the bottom of this question,” said Deileman. “How does suffering from PTSD impact a person’s ability to learn?”

(Photo courtesy of Tent Schools International)

Enter Beyond PTSD. Occupational therapist Jessica Roost has been working with Tent Schools International to come up with a guide that can help people work with victims of PTSD even if they don’t have professional training. It outlines activities and therapies teachers and others can use, and provides several tips for instructors trying to control classrooms with students who have PTSD.

The book is especially helpful for catching PTSD symptoms before things get too severe. Dieleman said outbursts, withdrawal, and truancy can all point to PTSD, and the book gives tactics for handling those issues as they crop up in class.

Above all, Dieleman said it’s about how the teacher approaches the situation. It takes a lot of grace and mercy, and he thinks believers have an opportunity to model Christ in the way they approach these situations.

“The Gospel really needs to shine through here in the way people act and how they view and see these children,” he explained.

The battle’s not over, and there is a part for you to play. There’s no limit to the range of prayer, and your support can make all the difference. “These are God’s children,” said Dieleman. “We are not going to let the devil or any other forces rob these children from the seat of God.”

Find out more about the new book here.