It has been well documented (ACE, 2016) that adverse environmental conditions have severe and lasting effects on a person’s intellectual, emotional, psychological, as well as physical (healthy) development. A chief indicator is academic and/or occupational performance and frequently the ability to focus, attend and concentrate evidences significant negative environmental reactivity (impulsivity, processing and retrieval of information interference):
That is, when a child (or adult) is constantly operating in “stress mode”, their physiological system is flooded with excessive stress-based hormones: for example cortisol, adrenalin, norepinephrine; these occur when the human system has experienced a trauma (or ongoing/repetitive levels of trauma) and is in the fight, flight or freeze mode. Such physiological preparation, however, effects neurological functions and eventually warps cortical development and functioning.
The result is often learning impairments, emotional immaturity and impulse problems; in turn these can often mask as behavior disorders (e.g. conduct and open defiance), mood dysregulation (e.g. depression/anger) and various types of anxieties (separation, attachment disorders, hyperactivity). Probably always present, but not accurately diagnosed, ADHD (ADD) is prevalent among children who are exposed to stressful living conditions and can be the result of neurological changes and/or emotional responses to the negative conditions and deprecating feed-back from others (parents, teachers, other authority figures—police officers).
Often children (and adults) who are not performing well, are aware of it, regardless of how they may present (as compensatory disinterest or defensive hostility), and so damage to their self-esteem, motivation and desire to succeed all negatively interact with subpar cognitive functioning, even though base intelligence may often be stable, they will not perform to the best to their ability.
And so the cycle is set:
Adverse (Trauma-Ridden) Living Environments >
Impaired Brain Development (excessive stress hormones) >
Impaired Learning Capacity (ADHD/LD/ED/OHI) >
Compromised Functional Capacity for Later Performance >
Poor Occupational Readiness and Missed Opportunities >
Retention in Adverse Living Environment
Because of the current increase in frequency and intensity of these stressors, Lassiter and Associates has taken, as one of our commitments to the Hampton Roads community, Our Mission to provide the best, comprehensive care, including accurate and research informed clinical assessments combined with the most up-to- date evidenced-based therapeutic interventions for the recuperation and rebuilding of our clients’ emotional stamina and resilience.