By Jessica Albert

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Kennedy Krieger is hosting a two-day conference to teach professionals how to identify trauma in children.

The conference focuses on dealing with trauma kids may be experiencing after enduring the coronavirus pandemic, the battle against systemic racism and ongoing violence in the community.

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The goal is to prevent children from experiencing negative long-term effects from trauma.

“Interesting enough, three kids can witness the same homicide and two children may have coping skills to handle that experience and the third child may not and may feel a great impact, so trauma is not all the same,” Kennedy Krieger Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress Director of Training Danielle Gregg said. “It doesn’t fit into the same box in the same way. There are many different interventions and approaches that can help a child or family handle that trauma.”

Many families in Maryland and across the country are struggling with how to talk to their children about everything that is going on in the world right now.

“It’s just rough,” Baltimore resident Herman Woody Lee said. “I just hope things switch around and we can get back to somewhat normal.”

Parents WJZ spoke with like Herman Woody Lee said it’s been tough. A 15-year-old girl was shot and killed in his neighborhood last month.

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“Course it’s difficult for everyone,” Lee said. “Some of the old people scared to come out (and) don’t want the kids to come out and play because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Kennedy Krieger’s conference also addresses how to get resources in underserved communities, including communities of color.

Local parents want to see more conferences like this one in the community.

“That’s a good thing,” Baltimore resident Delores Johnsons said. “You know what, to make it even better, they can open the door up, they can train some of us: the parents, the aunts, even just a regular everyday person. It will help. We understand better. We can help others understand better.”

Kennedy Krieger’s conference wraps up Friday.

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The hospital hosts workshops like this regularly that can be attended by community leaders and individuals.

Jessica Albert