Many of you will be familiar with the work of Bruce Perry. Certainly, I came across him quite early on in my adoption preparation when The Boy who was Raised a Dog was suggested as a good book to read. Despite the harrowing stories it contained, it was a book of immense hope and helped me realise that whatever lay ahead, it would be worth it.

Earlier this year I found out about a project in Stirling that was taking Bruce Perry’s research into schools and improving the educational experiences of children, particularly those children who are care experienced. Keen to know more I got in touch with Deborah Lee from the Virtual Head team who was leading the project.

You can hear our conversation in the NME Podcast.

The Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) is a classroom-based approach to support school staff and children to learn more about brain development and the impact of developmental trauma on a child’s ability to function in a classroom.

What I love most about NME is its simplicity. It doesn’t cost money. It doesn’t cost vast amounts of time. It doesn’t need specialists. And it fits with both therapeutic parenting and non-violent resistance!

Understanding a bit more about how the brain works, and that its development is influenced by its environment, helps us to see how the small daily interactions we have multiple times a day can be therapeutic moments. And that these moments can be more powerful than therapy once a week!

These therapeutic moments can straddle the home and school environments. Knowing about Bruce Perry’s 6Rs and 3Rs will enable teachers to structure their lessons and tailor their interactions so that learning can be optimised. Discipline issues can also be reframed when these are viewed through the lens of NME.

Given the current lack of funding and long waiting lists for services, the Neurosequential Model in Education is an attractive one.

Listen to the podcast to find out more about NME and if you are a reader, and would like to know more, I recommend What Happened to You? By Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey as a good starting point.

Author: Adoption UK staff member