California (Nightmare) Dreamin’

Do you know  the degree at which major childhood trauma occurs in the State of California? Do you know what constitutes “childhood trauma”? Have you ever heard of the “ACE Study”? Do you have any sense of what your own “ACE Score” might be as an adult?

To get answers to these vital questions-  read the following as reported on Nov 5, 2014 on the ACEs Too High news site  by Jane Ellen Stevens:

Most Californians have experienced childhood trauma; early adversity a direct link to adult onset of chronic disease, depression, violence

Nearly two-thirds of California adults have experienced at least one type of major childhood trauma, such as physical, verbal or sexual abuse, or living with a family member who abuses alcohol or is depressed, according to a report released today.

The report – “Hidden Crisis: Findings on Adverse Childhood Experiences in California” (HiddenCrisis_Report_1014) – also reveals the effects of those early adversities: a startling and large increased risk of the adult onset of chronic disease, such as heart disease and cancer, mental illness and violence or being a victim of violence.

Ten types of childhood trauma were measured. They include physical, sexual and verbal abuse, and physical and emotional neglect. Five family dysfunctions were also measured: a family member diagnosed with mental illness, addicted to alcohol or other drug, or who has been incarcerated; witnessing a mother being abused, an losing a parent to separation, divorce or other reason.

Each type of trauma counts as an ACE (adverse childhood experience) score of one. The more ACEs a person has, the higher the risk of facing physical, mental and social problems.

As the article states, the level of ACE’s is staggering, impacts individuals for a lifetime, and requires a response from all levels of society that ultimately loses human capital, resources, and funding due to the lack of coherent response to this “hidden crisis.”  If you read the report being released TODAY you might be more informed about what you could be doing to help prevent this from remaining a hidden crisis in our society, our neighborhoods, our families, and in our schools.

Regardless of what state you work/teach/live in – if you are an educator and are interested in exploring what professional development options exist for you and your colleagues intent on ending the hidden crisis, or nightmare, in your context – please don’t hesitate to contact us at CE Credits Online. We are here to help and this is demonstrated by the number of online courses already developed and available to you.

We’d also love to hear from educators who have taken any of our courses that provide strategies to support children/adolescents impacted by childhood trauma – and discuss ways which we might partner to design entire systems that help ensure that each child’s needs are understood and met every day.

  • Steve Dahl (M.Ed) Director of Curriculum Development

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