This is a public page. Updated Autumn 2019.
ACEs: Adverse Childhood experiences
On this page we will collate information we find about ACEs which is a relatively new scientific concept impacting early childhood and our work. The more we find out about ACEs, the more we can apply it in our practice.
The science is clear, early adversity dramatically affects health across a lifetime...The single most important thing we need today is the courage to look this problem in the face and say this is real and this is all of us. (Dr Nadine Burke Harris)
This is vital information for every leader and every setting and school in terms of applying the knowledge to support and inform practice and understanding of attachment, trauma and stress and how adverse experiences in childhood can affect behaviour, brain development, stress, mental health and physical health.
Supporting the attachment needs of young children in whatever ways we can is imperative in our areas of work.
Information about ACEs
There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study. Five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment. Each type of trauma counts as one. (Taken from ACEs too high website - see link below)
- How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime video, Nadine Burke
- Nadine Burke Harris' website says
Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on explains Burke Harris in her now viral TedTalk video, "How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime," which has reached over 1.6 million views.
- Adverse Childhood Experiences: A conversation with Dr Nadine Burke Harris
- Resilience film documentary: the biology of stress and the science of hope
- Resilience trailer video
- Resilience screenings by Dartmouth films - look up where you can view the film
- Resilience film screening and discussion - video
- Adverse Child Experiences (ACEs) in Hertfordshire, which states
ACEs are stressful events occurring during childhood that directly affect a child (e.g. child maltreatment) or affect the environment in which they live (e.g. growing up in a house where there is domestic violence)
- Adverse Childhood Experiences in Hertfordshire, Luton and Northamptonshire, May 2016
- Hertfordshire Childrens' Centre Bulletin presentations about ACEs
- Public Health Wales Welsh ACEs study
- Lisa Cherry's blog
- Dr. Claudia Gold: Empathy & Listening as ACE-Informed Practice and other ACEs connection presentations
- ACEs too high website for finding out your ACE score and resilience score
- A realistic and hard hitting animation (with an optimistic ending) Adverse childhood experiences from Blackburn with Darwen council
Other helpful links for support and further information
- All Beacon House resources on trauma and a wealth of amazing information - all free on their website
- Education Scotland’s Nurture, adverse childhood experiences and trauma informed practice: making the links between these approaches
- Center for Youth Wellness, San Fransisco
- The children's sleep charity videos on youtube
- A stressed out childhood could seriously ruin your kids brain (New York post, July 17)
- Follow Nadine Burke @DrBurkeHarris, Lisa Cherry @_LisaCherry, Beacon House @BeaconHouseteam, Suzanne Zeedyk @suzanneseedyk, Stuart Guest (Headteacher of Attachment Aware school) @stuart_guest and Jane Evans @janeparenting2 on twitter / facebook
- Jane Evans' blog
- How can schools buffer toxic stress for young children? by Erikson institute about mindfulness
- Resilience facebook page
- Five to thrive - an attachment based approach to parenting
- Kate Cairns KCA training
- Transitions, trauma and resilience, KCA
- Balancing adverse childhood experiences with HOPE (health outcomes of positive experiences) (USA, 2017)