Child Development Expert

Dr. Barbara Sorrels, EdD is a child development specialist, educator and consultant with a heart for “children from hard places.” As the founder of Connected Kids, she provides educators, parents and advocates with compassionate, evidence-based strategies for guiding children through trauma and other challenges. Her approach is based on the belief that when children feel connected to themselves, their families and the world around them, they can overcome even the darkest of circumstances and reach their fullest potential.

Dr. Sorrels’ passion for helping children began at the age of 14 in Washington, D.C., when she volunteered at a hospital caring for abandoned babies. In the decades since, she has used that passion to raise awareness about the needs of our society’s most vulnerable children. 

Prior to founding Connected Kids, Dr. Sorrels spent more than 20 years in education as a classroom teacher, a founder/director of early childhood centers, and a professor of graduate and undergraduate students in the Early Childhood Education program at Oklahoma State University.

In 2004, Dr. Sorrels founded The Institute for Childhood Education to provide consulting and professional development training for educators, professionals from state agencies, and other child advocacy organizations.

After recognizing the extent of need, she expanded her work to provide educational workshops through Connected Kids.

Dr. Sorrels lives in the Tulsa area with her husband, Bob, and is a proud mother and grandmother.


  • EdD in Early Childhood Education - Oklahoma State University
  • Master's Degree - Southwestern Seminary
  • Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education - University of Maryland
  • Trained in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)
  • Certified in Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics and Education
  • Certified expert witness in Child Development & Trama for numerous Oklahoma counties
  • Trained by Dr. Bruce Perry in using the Neurosequential Model in Education (NME)
  • Author of Reaching & Teaching Children Exposed to Trauma, Nurturing Healthy Attachment (with Cathy Chalmers) & Ready or Not Here Comes School