Jamie Howard, a clinical psychologist at the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute in New York City and the director of the center’s Trauma and Resilience Service, said that educating teachers about signs of trauma can help them see students’ behavior through a different lens.

“Kids that may seem like they have ADHD because they’re really spacey may actually be distracted by the trauma that’s happened. And then kids who are avoidant of certain things or who have an exaggerated startle response might look oppositional,” she said. “We’ve had kids who refuse to go to the front of the room and write on the whiteboard because they’re afraid to have their back to something they think is dangerous.”