Special Education M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Strand, Charles

Second Reader

Jan Mrozinski;


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have been shown to have life-long consequences. The trail of trauma often associated with negative childhood experiences can impact students as they go through the developmental stages of adolescents all the way through adulthood. Research shows that fallout from the experienced trauma and traumatic experiences can be magnified, especially if an individual has experienced multiple traumatic events. Educators can support all students using a Trauma-Informed mindset or approach. This thesis focuses on the effects of trauma on special education students, specifically within certain disability categories such as selective mutism, autism and other health disabilities. Evidence strongly suggests that educators can optimize their impact and effectiveness in the classroom when taking a whole-child approach to the profession. Besides focusing on delivering exciting and compelling content, educators should also be mindful of the social-emotional wellbeing of their students. Research indicates that educators should focus on helping each student reach their greatest potential, not only academically but also socio-emotionally. This capstone project reviews how special education teachers can approach this Trauma-Informed work to support students with different and often specific disability needs.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis