The effects of school based interventions for six adolescents with post traumatic stress disorder

Research indicates that post traumatic symptoms and witnessing violence affects classroom performance socially, emotionally, and academically. This study continues research pertaining to the affects of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) for six high school students. The research question asked in what ways classroom environment and ongoing school-based counseling affect the symptoms of PTSD for special needs students with emotional disturbance as their qualifying handicapping condition. School-based interventions that were put in place since a diagnosis ofPTSD occurred, such as placement in special education, therapy, and other support services, were examined and evaluated for effectiveness in helping students succeed in school. A mixed-method quantitative and qualitative study design was employed for this study with a retrospective examination of school records for the six students. Pre and post data were collected regarding school success and performance before and after the informal, qualitative interview process took place. Findings support the hypothesis that a carefully implemented special education program will result in positive outcomes for students with trauma. Fewer disciplinary actions and higher attendance were reported. Findings also support the conclusion that support services lead to an increase in social skills and a decrease in social-related problems such as fights. Results indicate that the studied program led to a decrease in PTSD symptoms with less anxiety, less feelings of isolation, and more feelings of control. KEYWORDS: counseling, depression, emotionally disturbed, post traumatic stress disorder, school psychology, special education, support services, therapy