ACES – Info we all need

I recently finished The Deepest Well by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and the implications of the work of Dr. Harris are something that every community needs to consider. The book delves into the work Dr. Harris has done in looking at the impacts that childhood trauma have on the the longterm health of individuals. The terminology that she uses for these traumatic events is Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). The fact of the matter is more of us have them than not. Research show that nearly 70-percent of us have had some type of Adverse Childhood Experience. In addition, they have a proven impact on our health outcomes, 4.5 times more likely fo have depression and 12 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts.

What’s your score on the ACE Screening for Adults?

For those working in schools it is important to understand the research on ACES because of the effect of adversity on both brain structure and function in children. Children with ACES are over 30 times more likely to be diagnosed with learning and/or behavioral problems. With this in mind, how could ACE screening and subsequent interventions help us support students and their families?

As Harris states in her TED Talk below, “This is not a social problem or a mental health problem. As Robert Block, former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has been widely quoted as saying,

‘Adverse childhood experiences are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today.”‘

The 15-minute TED Talk below from 2015 is well worth the time, as is an investment in reading The Deepest Well.

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