Come out to PJ Whelihan's on May 16th from 5pm-9pm and mention the Chester County ACEs Coalition to donate 15% of your check to our cause! Enjoy dinner and drinks while supporting our mission to bring awareness, knowledge, prevention, and initiatives throughout the county on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma, and toxic-stress.
Did you miss our radio debut?
Don't fret - you can catch it here!WCHE radio channel Good News Chester County is devoted to broadcasting good news about the organizations and people who are making a difference in our Chester County community – helping to make our community a better place to live, work, and raise a family!
Tune into channel 1520AM to hear co-hosts, Lou Beccaria and Vince Melograna bring good news in and around Chester County to WCHE radio Wednesdays at 3:30PM.
Your ACE score is the total number of "yes" answers to 10 questions regarding the occurrence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) prior to the age of 18. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) include:
· Abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)· Neglect (physical and emotional)· Household Dysfunction (mental illness, incarcerated relative, violence in the home, substance abuse, divorce)
Why it’s important.
In the mid nineties, Dr. Vincent Felitti and Dr. Robert Anda developed a study which established a direct association between childhood trauma and adult ill health. As the number of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) increases, so does the risk for negative behaviors including lack of physical activity, drug and alcohol use, early and/or risky sexual activity and missed work. These behaviors lead to serious health outcomes such as obesity, depression, suicide attempts, substance abuse, sexually transmitted disease, heart and lung disease, and premature death. The more traumatic and toxic events experienced by a child, the more likely the impact will be substantial and long lasting. These results have been replicated over and over, finding even more significant results in inner cities where bullying, living in a dangerous neighborhood, witnessing violence, living in foster care, and experiencing racism have all been added to the list of childhood adversities.
But there’s hope.
Science shows the effects of ACEs are not permanent. Childhood experiences can impact who we become as adults, but they do not have to.
Batman has Alfred, Luke has Obi-Wan, and Katniss has Gale, Peeta, and Effie.
The presence of a caring individual is the single most significant factor in developing strong children.
We can prevent and intervene, and create supportive systems. Research shows that children need stable, responsive, nurturing relationships as early in life as possible to have the best developmental outcomes.
Investing in quality programs aimed at the early years has impressive economic benefits. Early interventions mean better grades, less crime, less risky behaviors and lower teen pregnancy rates. Ultimately these early interventions lead to better jobs and work performance, greater mental and physical health, more stable relationships and less negative impact on future generations.
What else helps?
Recognize triggers. Respond with compassion.
First and foremost, we should try to avoid triggers that re-traumatize a child such as loud sudden movement, yelling and aggressive posture. We must work to change the conversation when a child is acting out from “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?”
Our immediate response must be, "You are Safe. I am here. How Can I Help?" Only then can we begin to earn a child’s trust and start to build the safe, nurturing relationships necessary to teach and encourage positive resilience skills.
-Written by Lynn Detwiler, Executive Director of Barnstone Art for Kids in Phoenixville, PA and member of the Phoenixville ACEs Committee and Chester County ACEs Coalition.
Dr. Vicki McGinley, in conjunction with staff from Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model on Education certification, for Trauma-Informed Education, will work with teachers directly to apply the NME minimap.
The NME minimap application provides a simple, rapid way for a teacher to assess the relative brain-mediated strengths and weaknesses of a student. It produces an executive functioning score that helps predict student success in the classroom and provides the basis for discussion on what interventions may be helpful to achieve that success. It is not intrusive to the student in any way and results in validation of current work and/or recommendations that will fit into the classroom routine to support student’s behavior and academic achievement.