As providers, it is important to be able to identify when there is a trauma and/or anxiety response behavior occurring, how to respond to these behaviors without causing more trauma, de-escalating behaviors, and develop antecedent strategies to prevent trauma induced behaviors.
- Define trauma and common topography of trauma response behaviors
- Define anxiety and common topography of anxious response behaviors
- Antecedent Strategies to prevent trauma and anxiety
- Reactive Strategies to de escalate trauma responses
Nyetta Abernathy is a self diagnosed Autistic person, which means she has not received an official diagnosis due to the barriers as an African American Adult Female. Her official diagnosis is Generalized Anxiety Disorder with Sensory Processing Sensitivities. Being a teenager was very difficult for Nyetta as she had difficulty relating to and understanding other kids. She had a lot of anxiety when it came to social interaction, and would easily get overwhelmed with frequent emotional outbursts.
In High School she was introduced to theatre and acting. In theatre, her emotions could be expressed however she needed them to be. It finally felt like she was praised just for being herself. She struggled as a slow reader with low reading comprehension skills until she took Cold Reading Acting Classes. Theatre also helped her understand others through discussing motives for character development, current events and history. Even though she still gets anxious when interacting, Theatre has helped her with social and communication skills.
Nyetta is a (BCBA) and has worked in the field 3 years, with 15 more in Human Services. She administers (ABA) therapy while utilizing expressive arts such as improv, painting, dance, and music. Nyetta has a Bachelor’s in Human Services, a Masters in Education, and is currently an Expressive Arts Therapy Student. She teaches life skills courses such as financial literacy, self esteem workshops, communication skills, and social emotional learning.
She has 15 years of experience mentoring children who’ve experienced trauma through various roles such as foster parent, teacher, psychosocial rehabilitation behavioral specialist, case manager of a transitional housing program for homeless youth, and academic counselor for underprivileged youth. She works as director of the youth department for a faith based organization and group counselor for homeless adults with IDD by offering hands-on experiences from her own childhood traumas.
Nyetta has an Autistic son with ADHD. He struggled with emotion regulation until she enrolled him in a Creative Arts Magnet School and he is so much happier now. His favorite creative art is Drama, just like Nyetta. She believes her life’s work is to use Expressive Arts and ABA to help young people heal, grow and have the tools they need to be successful and to love themselves.
Nyetta clearly has the both the lived and professional experiences to speak with us today. We are so honored to host her for her topic: Identifying and Responding to Trauma and Anxiety.
CEU: 1 general