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90% of brain growth occurs before age five. Childhood trauma and stress interrupts brain growth and causes impairments across the developmental domains– physical, cognitive, social-emotional, and language and literacy.
Left unaddressed, these issues can have an affect well into adulthood. Nearly 30% of mental disorder incidents are associated with adversities and trauma in childhood. By the time a child enters Kindergarten, it will be too late.
Our Developmental & Behavioral Health team specializes in various services for children and parents. The use of mental health consultations for infants helps determine and correct delays. The team trains staff on trauma-informed care practices in the classroom, and equips parents with behavioral intervention tools for at home.
Counselors and Therapists help the children process and cope with physical, emotional, and psychological trauma. Onsite sessions in private therapy rooms and Telehealth therapy is offered to the parents as well. Play therapists work 1:1 with the children and in a group setting in The Vogel Alcove Sensory Village, Dallas' first sensory lab for children experiencing homeless.
These services repair the hearts of children and families of Vogel Alcove.
of homeless children
exhibit depression, anxiety,
of homeless preschoolers
have mental health problems
requiring clinical evaluation.
Homeless children have 3X more developmental, emotional,
and behavioral problems.
Children who experience chronic childhood trauma have brains wired to always keep them safe, even when safety is not an issue, like at school. This automatic brain response can result in children expressing their fears and emotions in ways that are unsafe to themselves and others.
Vogel Alcove’s Behavior Intervention Team aims to use Action Based Learning strategies to improve the health, wellness, and education of the children at Vogel Alcove through movement. Through climbing, jumping, swinging, and bouncing on specialized equipment, children are building brain structures needed to fill in developmental gaps caused by adverse childhood experiences like homelessness.
A child’s first natural form of communication is playing, their language is play and their words are toys.
Our Play Therapists help children explore emotions and deal with unresolved trauma. Through play, children can learn new coping mechanisms and how to redirect inappropriate behaviors. With toys, children are able to play out different situations in their life that are causing concern.
The therapists offer support to teachers in the classrooms and provide parents with useful parenting tools and skills. Our playrooms are stocked with toys in the following 5 categories:
· Expressive toys (craft supplies, easel & paints)
· Aggressive toys (weapons, toy soldiers, foam bat and ball)
· Fantasy toys (doctor kit, a cash register, dress up clothing, puppets)
· Scary toys (reptiles & dinosaurs)
· Nurturing toys (dollhouse, babies, kitchen play set)
Obstacles such as being unhoused, food insecurity, health uncertainty, family instability & other factors are all sources of stress for individuals experiencing homelessness.
Children living with a depressed parent have poorer physical and mental health. We provide access to free behavioral health services for parents to help them cope with stressful life events. Parents can schedule on-site with our therapists and counselors or via Telehealth.