Adverse Childhood Experiences are negative experiences in childhood that can dramatically affect how our brain grows and develops and how our body develops. Studies have found that the more experiences we have throughout our childhood the more likely later in life we are to incur health problems, diseases, substance misuse problems, mental health issues, and learning disabilities. The original ACE Study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente from 1995 to 1997. Over 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization members from Southern California receiving physical exams completed confidential surveys regarding their childhood experiences and current health status and behaviors. These surveys led to knowledge of how childhood experiences can impact our future health, mental health, choices, relationships, and success in life. The 10 ACEs the researchers measured were: Physical, sexual and verbal abuse; Physical and emotional neglect; A family member who is: depressed or diagnosed with other mental illness, addicted to alcohol or another substance, in prison; Witnessing a mother/family member being abused; and losing a parent to separation, divorce or other reason.
Complex childhood trauma is when children grow up in homes and communities where multiple traumas occur throughout their lifetime and are chronic. The good news is trauma’s effects can be reversed when communities and families learn to put a child’s safety first and put in place other protective factors that will increase a child’s resiliency. Resiliency is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties. Resiliency is evidence that our brains can adapt and recover from traumas. We at the Family Center believe that increasing resiliency in families and children is key to preventing and treating childhood trauma. All of our programs are designed to do just this, increase resiliency! Give us a call at 336-227-5601 if you would like to enroll into our services or want to learn more about how to prevent trauma and increase resiliency. Please help us to make Childhood trauma a thing of the past!