I have written consistently on the topic of the impact of Adverse Child Experiences. This is a body of research originating in California where documented ACES have had impact to the general physical and emotional health of adults. The research is quite compelling and is shaping most of the trauma-informed movement in our country.
Often we do not do a great job of helping our parents and caregivers understand some of the signs of ACE scores and impact in their own children. Alana Bracken wrote an article in Parents that helps parents look for the signs of ACES in their children. Here is a quote from the article:
ACEs, such as abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction, can be damaging. While experiencing four or more ACEs is considered most troublesome, even one instance of trauma can subject a child to a variety of physical and mental health issues without the right intervention. ACEs are credited with causing dozens of different kinds of negative health outcomes, including depression, heart problems, and reproductive issues, down the road. They can also lead to violent behaviors, smoking, alcoholism, and drugs.
With the proper support, though, children can work through their trauma. But, to offer that support, a parent must first understand how this trauma affects the body and how to detect if a child is struggling despite not voicing it.
What we do know is that if ACES are identified early enough, there is a much better chance that interventions and therapy can be effective to help mitigate the symptoms. Here at Lakeside our Neurologic Initiative helps school professionals identify and provide coping mechanisms that can help students with high ACE scores to better regulate. It is so helpful to know how to regulate a child’s brain who is dysregulated by adverse experiences that are creating disequilibrium in their lives.
If you wish to read the entire article, which I recommend, here is the link.