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Thu, Jun 15


Online Event

Indigenous Perspective: How Trauma Impacts Speech & Language of System Involved Youth

Nima Novak

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Indigenous Perspective: How Trauma Impacts Speech & Language of System Involved Youth
Indigenous Perspective: How Trauma Impacts Speech & Language of System Involved Youth

Time & Location

Jun 15, 2023, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM PDT

Online Event

About the Event

Nima Novak

Training Description

Acute, ongoing, and generational trauma has been shown in research to cause very harmful consequences to system-involved youth speech and language skills. In this 2-hour training, the presentation will include definitions; research on the impact of trauma on the brain, learning and speech and language skills; and what to do to improve outcomes for system involved youth who are disproportionately youth of color, and all too often negatively affected by barriers in the learning environment. Participants will be guided through a sequence of learning activities to explore and understand the negative impact of trauma on the brain and to gain increased awareness of how to identify, refer to, and learn somatic strategies to support system involved youth through co-regulation. Learning activities will include: self-reflection, storytelling of real life examples, large group exercises, and participant question time.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

● Identify & explain how trauma affects speech and language skills and identify at least 2 negative impacts for system involved youth.

● Explain at least 2 somatic movements for fight/flight/fawn response & co-regulation.

● Explain at least 2 strategies for teaching speech and language skills after trauma.


1:00-1:05pm Welcome, Introductions, and Expectations

1:05-1:10pm Resourcing the body activity

1:10-1:40am Definitions:

● Communication

● Speech and Language- different elements

● What is trauma

● Adverse Childhood Experience scores

● The brain before/after trauma

● Fight/ flight/ fawn response

● Poly vagal theory

● Co regulation

1:45-2:10pm Why and how speech and language is negatively impacted by different types of trauma

2:10-2:25pm Somatic movements for fight/flight/fawn response & co-regulation

2:25-2:45pm How to teach speech and language skills after trauma

2:45-3:00pm Questions & key takeaways

Meet Our Trainer

Nima Novak is an Indigenous Speech Language Pathologist from the Mohawk Tribe of the Iroquois Nation. She holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology. She has worked extensively in marginalized communities, specifically in Oxnard with Indigenous preschool population and on the west side of Chicago, where she has seen first hand the negative effects of trauma on speech, language and fluency development. She is currently studying somatic therapies, Polyvagal Theory, Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) and Reiki to promote healing across the communities she serves, with the intention of loving kindness for all. Her focus on evidence-based practices and empirical research serves to bridge the worlds of healing and science which are often relegated to different categories. Nima’s holistic approach of resilience and education teaches how research-based mindfulness practices can be used to manage trauma in the body for both her students and colleagues experiencing the effects of secondary trauma. She is dedicated to empowering her students and all womxn to pursue their passions through the cultivation of resilience and self-worth. In her school based speech therapy and basketball coaching Nima takes a trauma-informed approach to support BIPOC and all students at every level.

Nima is an advisor on Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Board and mentor's current students at California State San Marcos in the Students of Speech & Language, Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity Group. For her anti-racism work, she has been featured in Vice Magazine,, The Community Psychologist Special Feature, Authority Magazine and Thrive Global Magazine. She is a contributing founder and author of the anti-racism work group Living in Empathy. Nima has been featured in interviews on Evergreen State College, Educators for Justice IG live, SLPs Of Color IG live, the SLPs of Color podcast, the FAACT podcast and the Breaking Down Podcast. She has presented as a keynote speaker for The Rainbow Project, LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Chicago Minds, Women Trans Femme Bike Group, Bradley Street Bicycle Co-op, University of St. Augustine Health Sciences, Community Living Thunder Bay, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Northwestern University.

This course meets the qualifications for (2.0) BBS CE hours for LCSWs, LMFTs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences & is provided by Fred Finch Youth Center, CAMFT Provider #045295.

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