National statistics tells us that if a child has experienced 4 or more adverse life events, they are 32 times more likely to have behavior problems in school. There is increasing evidence that early life stressors, such as abuse and/or witnessing intimate partner violence, cause enduring brain dysfunction that, in turn, affects health and quality of life throughout the lifespan. The “stress response” can cause the areas of a student’s brain that control fear to become over developed, overpowering other areas of the brain that are required for positive academic learning. Adverse experiences have the power to undermine the development of language skills, attention to classroom tasks, and the ability to remember new information. The good news is the presence of a supportive adult or environment provides a powerful buffer to students from the intense stress or anxiety that may occur when they are exposed to violence and trauma. This workshop will introduce participants to the impacts of exposure to adverse experiences, will offer examples of how and why this impact manifests itself as behaviors, and will share resilience building strategies.