Got Your ACE Score Yet?

An ACE Score? What with all the new test names out there (e.g., SBAC, PARCC) – did I miss this new test that is coming out?

The answer is no, it’s not “a test” you missed. But it is something that might be even more significant than any “test score” could ever be.

As many professionals are learning, a number of significant findings around the prevalence of and adverse impacts resulting from child abuse and neglect have emerged from a research project known as the “ACE Study .”   The ACE Study provides adults a way to compute, or “score,”  the degree to which their own childhood may have been adversely impacted by childhood trauma and neglect. It is a very simple set of questions to which you respond. The implications of the scores, however, are enormous.

For most people it takes 1-2 minutes.

To learn what your “ACE Score” is, go to: 

Got Your ACE Score?

What’s Your ACE Score? (and, at the end, What’s Your Resilience Score?)

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. So a person who’s been physically abused, with one alcoholic parent, and a mother who was beaten up has an ACE score of three.

To read more about the ACE Study, go to “ACES 101” section of the ACES Too High web-based newsletter:


It is becoming increasingly important to find ways to connect with students in meaningful ways. Research studies support the idea that the teacher-student relationship is central factor in assisting students to overcome adversity, feel a sense of school connectedness, and be willing to persevere in the face of adversity when it occurs.


But if we don’t have any sense of what our diverse learning population has actually endured – that is problematic. What might be just as problematic is that often we – as adults/professionals – have not had a way of determining how significant events in our own childhood may have (or still are) impacting us.


A great first step to understanding the adversity facing our learners is to reflect on our own resiliency within the context of an ACE Score that reflects to varying degrees the adversities we’ve faced.  Knowing your own ACE Score is a step in that direction.


Do you know your ACE Score?


Steve Dahl (M.Ed) Director of Curriculum Development


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s