The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified that there are ten essential life skills:

·         Self-awareness.

·         Empathy.

·         Critical thinking.

·         Creative thinking.

·         Decision making.

·         Problem Solving.

·         Effective communication.

·         Interpersonal relationship.

·         Coping with stress

·         Coping with emotion

At-risk children do not often learn these skills at home but we know they can learn them.  Research by Bruce Perry, M.D. and others has demonstrated the relationship external trauma and neural development.  The parts of the brain governing fight or flight develop earlier and more fully in children exposed to trauma.  This causes them to be hypervigilant and easy to provoke.  The good news is that Dr. Perry has also proven that new “dendrites” or neural pathways can be developed to the frontal lobes to allow for learning life skills.