Trauma-Informed Care: The Professional Development Needs of Early Childhood Special Education Teachers

Mia Chudzik, Catherine Corr, Kim Wolowiec Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been well documented that experiencing trauma impacts all aspects of child development. Young children experience trauma at high rates, and children with disabilities are at an increased risk of experiencing trauma. One way to mitigate the effects of trauma is through the implementation of trauma-informed care, which requires a well-trained workforce. Yet, to date, minimal research has been conducted about the professional development needs of early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers related to trauma. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand ECSE teachers’ professional development needs related to trauma and trauma-informed care. Eighteen ECSE teachers participated in interviews. Results indicate that while ECSE teachers are familiar with the basics of trauma-informed care, more training is needed, specifically in the areas of working with families, implementing trauma-informed classroom strategies, and supporting children with disabilities who have experienced trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-129
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Early Intervention
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • early childhood special education
  • preschool
  • professional development
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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