“ACEs are not destiny, and early trauma does not have to dictate a life story. Research shows that protective factors—chiefly, the presence of a nurturing adult—can cushion the impact of adversity in a child’s life” (1).
When children act out or are inattentive in school, cannot control their emotions, threaten themselves or others, or exhibit any other potential behavioral effect of living Adverse Childhood Experiences, many times the question is “Why are you doing that?”. However, recent research says that the question should instead be “What have you gone through?”.
It is the responsibility of concerned communities to practice Trauma Informed Care.
Educating community members to create a sense of safety for children who have experienced ACEs slowly overrides overactive stress responses and helps build the resilience of children.
TIC should not only be practiced by schools, but also by health care professionals, emergency response personnel, concerned citizens, and any other organization who works with or reaches out to those effected by ACEs.
At the 2013 National Summit on ACEs in Philadelphia, Robert Anda stated “our job in doing this work is to help people find meaning in what they’ve experienced so they can take responsibility in changing their own lives, in healing themselves, their families and people around them, in interrupting the intergenerational transmission of toxic stress.”
Here is the full video of Robert Anda’s speech, which is very engaging and informative: