There is not a single person on Earth who has not experienced some form of trauma. Some people experience more traumatic events than others. The wayWhat we go through shapes who we are and how we interact with the world. This is important to remember this, especially when your work involves children. Trauma is difficult for adults to manage. We must remember children who are experiencing or have experienced trauma need empathy, compassion and to be taught how to handle big emotions. As professionals working with youth, knowing where our students come from and what they have experienced is key in helping them to achieve success in school and life.
One tool to better understand a child’s history is the Adverse Childhood Experience(s) (ACES) scale. These adverse experiences include abuse; physical, emotional and sexual, neglect, a history is mental illness in the family, violence and substance abuse. For every incident a child has encountered their score increases. A high ACES score does not mean one is doomed for failure. What it does mean is an individual is at a higher risk for substance abuse, mental illness, and chronic health problems. Fortunately, in upcoming posts we will discuss ways to change our thinking patterns-actually rewiring our brain-to increase a person’s quality of life and future success.
Click on here to take the ACES screener for yourself or students. Use this information to develop an appropriate action plan and to understand a child’s past. What experience have you had with ACES and/or Childhood Trauma? (We could post Stats for ACES Data on Social Media to accompany this if you want).