Experts speaks on traumatized, maltreated children
Understanding traumatized and maltreated children was the topic of discussion at an event hosted by the Family Support Council of Douglas County in partnership with General Electric to kick off National Child Abuse Prevention month.
More than 300 participants gathered Friday at GE Energy to hear Dr. Bruce Perry, a senior fellow of the Child Trauma Academy, a nonprofit organization that promotes innovations in service, research and education in child maltreatment and trauma.
Local and California mental health specialists, school counselors, law enforcement, foster parents and children’s advocates attended the workshop.
Perry has more than 200 published articles and journals on the subject of how childhood experiences of neglect and traumatic stress change the biology of the brain and its impact on a child’s health and functioning.
Tammy Taylor, the Parents and Children Together Coordinator at Family Support Council, first learned of Perry’s research at a Governor’s Conference on Child Abuse a few years ago. She played a key role in bringing Perry to the area.
“I was so amazed at what I was hearing on the subject at that conference,” said Taylor, who began to use the new research in her parenting classes in Gardnerville. “I began to read every paper Dr. Perry wrote on the topic that I could get my hands on.”
Taylor began to use Perry’s research while speaking to various service groups. She met Perry in 2003 and wanted to bring him to Douglas County to advance training and knowledge in family abuse.
“I wanted to provide a quality professional development opportunity for members in Douglas County and surrounding communities that work in child abuse prevention and intervention fields,” Taylor said. “Seeing him in person was even better than reading the material. He has such a down to earth way of presenting what might be very complicated brain science. People understand what he says about how science corresponds with our instincts about healthy ways to raise children.”
CASACoordinator Linda Cuddy attended Perry’s speech.
“Dr. Perry explained in layman’s terms how pervasive the damage is to a child’s brain who has suffered maltreatment,” Cuddy said. “Dr. Perry concluded with encouragement for all of us to continue advocating for these innocent victims. The Family Support Council masterminded an extremely professional presentation that benefitted all in attendance.”
According to a Nevada Department of Human Resources, Division of Child and Family Services’ 2002 Child Abuse and Neglect report, Douglas County cases dropped 3.9 percent from 207 to 199.
Perry’s speech in Minden was a sell-out. General Electric donated the facility and lunches. Raley’s, Scolaris and Costco provided breakfast items. Walley’s Hot Springs Resort provided accommodations for Perry.