Bounce Back Covers Younger Children

Bounce Back is designed to help students in kindergarten through fifth grade, but there is some flexibility, says Audra Langley (bio).

Bounce Back was really designed because as we were working with middle schoolers and high schoolers, there was an obvious gap with our younger children who are also experiencing traumatic events and who we didn't really have a school-based mental health intervention for. And so it is designed to cover the kindergarten through fifth grade range. Within the manual, there are different activities that could be used for different age groups. So some might be more developmentally appropriate for your 5- to 8-year-olds and others for your 8- to 11-year-olds. So there are options there, although I think oftentimes group leaders find that some of the older kids even like the activities for younger kids and that some of the younger kids are really able to access some of the other activities as well.

So there's some flexibility in there, because obviously, there's a huge range in development between 5-year-olds and 11-year-olds. It also is something that was designed to be inclusive for kids who have experienced a variety of traumatic events, and so this is for boys and girls who have had different types of life experiences and activities. Because the group is very skill-based, there's not sharing of their individual stories, and that's done in the individual trauma narrative sessions with the group leader alone and with a parent or a trusted adult.

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Excerpted from an interview conducted May 2015 in Los Angeles, CA.