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ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

  • 1.  ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-11-2018 08:08 PM
    60 Minutes covered adverse childhood experiences tonight. The science of trauma-informed care clearly holds the answers to a lot of questions that challenge early childhood educators, including preschool explosions and challenging behavior in general. Here is a link to the video. Using ACEs as a lens has the potential to intervene early, when it counts. And it might just change your mindset about challenging behavior, your classroom practices, and your implicit biases. Take a look at this example of the Adverse Childood Experiences Questionaire.

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    Fran Simon, M.Ed.
    Engagement Strategies, LLC
    Early Childhood Investigations Webinars
    Early Childhood Investigations Consultants Directory
    Washington, DC Metro
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  • 2.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-13-2018 07:09 AM
    Yes!  Because this has the opportunity to be a trans disciplinary approach, used by social work, the courts esteem, and potentially other systems/disciplines, it has the added benefit of providing a common framework of care for children and families across services.

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    Joanna Grymes
    Arkansas State University
    State Univ AR
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  • 3.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-13-2018 09:27 AM
    Yes, when looking at challenging behavior from the Pyramid Approach, we need to consider form and function of the behavior. Teachers should determine if stress and trauma need to be addressed as a function of behavior.  When people are stressed or have experienced a traumatic event, the "form" or what the behavior looks like could be either withdrawn (flight) or aggressive (fight). When considering the "function" or why do children use the these behaviors, if it stressed or trauma related our strategies would be different than addressing a competence or performance deficit  behavior. It is an ethical issue if we just assume challenging behavior is a child's or parent's fault when the cause is the result of traumatic event and or has been subject to toxic stress. Our preschool system in many cases have no idea what has happened to a child in their first 3 years. If this child has experienced adverse childhood experiences during that time their cognitive growth and capacity will be impacted. Instead of thinking they are a "bad kid" we need to approach this situation as we would any child who has challenges, with love, empathy and the courage to help them.

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    Steven Erwin
    Chico CA
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  • 4.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-13-2018 09:52 AM
    Right on, @Steven Erwin! That's where I was headed. We often just want to "fix" the behavior without considering where it is coming from. If only we could dig deeper, we might be able to intevene to find and solve the root of the problem early.  ​

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    Fran Simon, M.Ed.
    Engagement Strategies, LLC
    Early Childhood Investigations Webinars
    Early Childhood Investigations Consultants Directory
    Washington, DC Metro
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  • 5.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-14-2018 07:19 PM
    Thank you all for this very important conversation. I am in total agreement with getting to the root of these traumatic situations, as best we can, rather than just introducing an SEL curriculum into the preschool (and other grades) classroom and hoping for the best. That won't develop understanding of the real issue.  Thank you!

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    Kate Ross
    Kate Ross, MS, CCC-SLP, Consulting & Writing, LLC
    Middlesex VT
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  • 6.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-13-2018 10:01 AM
    Hi @Joanna Grymes, That's exactly the point. Early intervention using all of the specialists we can may be the answer to changing the trajectory for children experiencing trauma. Challenging or otherwise atypical behavior may just be a symptom of actue traumatic events that with early intervention and "hands on deck" we may be able to stop before it becomes chronic. I believe we need to change our thinking to take a proactive approach to mental health early in and throughout children's lives, just like we do physical health. There is so much potential to impact mental health in early education. I think it's far deeper than just teaching SEL.  ​

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    Fran Simon, M.Ed.
    Engagement Strategies, LLC
    Early Childhood Investigations Webinars
    Early Childhood Investigations Consultants Directory
    Washington, DC Metro
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  • 7.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-14-2018 09:21 AM
    This is why I changed my focus from ECSPED to ECMH over 20 years ago. The only new point I'd add to the discussion is don't forget the babies. Trauma can occur right after birth. If the mother suffers from post-partum depression you could well have a depressed baby. If there is no primary caregiver for the baby to form an attachment with you have a baby with a possible attachment disorder. There are trauma-informed therapies for baby/caretaker as well. Just because the infant (or young child) isn't acting out it doesn't mean everything is ok.

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    Deborah Abelman, M.Ed., Ph.D
    Director of Early Learning and Coaching
    The Dimock Center
    Roxbury, Massachusetts
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  • 8.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-14-2018 11:00 AM
    @Deborah Abelman, we need more mental health practitioners in our profession, as well as in elementary schools. We must change our thinking to proactive and early intervention.​​​

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    Fran Simon, M.Ed.
    Engagement Strategies, LLC
    Early Childhood Investigations Webinars
    Early Childhood Investigations Consultants Directory
    Washington, DC Metro
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  • 9.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-13-2018 09:01 AM
    Thank you for sharing this video and information. I would also add information about a movie that is currently showing at film festivals (at least in my area) entitled Resilience:  https://kpjrfilms.co/resilience/    Go to that link to find out more, but the focus is ACE.

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    Kate Ross
    Kate Ross, MS, CCC-SLP, Consulting & Writing, LLC
    Middlesex VT
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  • 10.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-13-2018 09:53 AM
    @Kate D Ross, Thanks for the recommendation! ​

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    Fran Simon, M.Ed.
    Engagement Strategies, LLC
    Early Childhood Investigations Webinars
    Early Childhood Investigations Consultants Directory
    Washington, DC Metro
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  • 11.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-14-2018 09:49 AM
    Thank you to everyone for this discussion! The 60 Minutes piece is great and I am incredibly interested in the Resilience film as well. I was very disappointed that the Resilience film is only offered to k-12 and public libraries at a discounted rate - so I sent them a message asking for them to include ECE in that offer. It would be great if others would do the same - https://kpjrfilms.co/resilience/contact/

    Trauma-informed care needs to start in the Infant room. This focus on meaningful relationships being the most important buffer against ACEs gives a whole new level of importance to continuity of care. I am already brainstorming how I can use this information to make the biggest impact possible on a systems level.....

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    Benjamin Planton
    Infant Toddler Outcome Specialist - Partnerships for Early Learners
    NAEYC Affiliate Advisory Council
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  • 12.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-14-2018 10:57 AM
    Hey, @Benjamin E Planton, action-oriented systems thinking is what it will take. You go...​​

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    Fran Simon, M.Ed.
    Engagement Strategies, LLC
    Early Childhood Investigations Webinars
    Early Childhood Investigations Consultants Directory
    Washington, DC Metro
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-14-2018 12:21 PM
    I am involved in a community coalition working to expand ACEs and resiliency awareness and support resilient and trauma-informed practices in our county. I'm thrilled that Oprah chose to highlight the issue on a national stage because I think it is key to ending generational cycles of poverty, addiction, abuse...it has so much power to change communities for the better.

    I would ask around to see if anyone in your community already owns Resilience. Locally, our Tribal partners own both Paper Tigers and Resilience with licenses that allow the films to be shown anywhere, any time. I know of some child welfare departments who own and show them and I'd also check with any local child abuse prevention groups or CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) programs. It's otherwise an expensive movie to screen.

    I gave an ACES/resilience presentation yesterday and it ends by asking people to invite us to give the presentation to other groups. I've now got invitations to give it to our Board of Supervisors, all Department of Health and Human Services managers, and juvenile probation officers. People are receptive!

    The other piece we are offering is the Brain Architecture Game, created by Harvard's Center for the Developing Child. It's a fun, hands-on way to have people understand how events affect brain development. You can watch a short video about it here.

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    Angela Glore
    Executive Director
    First 5 Del Norte
    California
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  • 14.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 03-15-2018 09:09 AM
    This is a good resource for Resilience from birth to adults https://www.centerforresilientchildren.org/

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    Steven Erwin
    Chico CA
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  • 15.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 04-05-2018 02:27 PM
    @Angela Glore I work in a Head Start/ECEAP preschool and we are hoping to bring ACES research into the eyes of the community and families in our programs. However, we want to do this with a piece that ties in resiliency. Would you be willing/able to share your presentation electronically? Or, if not the entire presentation, are there any details you could share for us to have a starting point? I am starting to go through resources available online that are already in order rather than trying to start from scratch. If you (or anyone!) have other suggestions for how to present the information to parents, specifically, I would welcome any guidance. Thanks!​​​​

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    Melissa McPheeters
    Franklin Pierce Early Learning Center
    Tacoma WA
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  • 16.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 04-06-2018 08:46 AM
    The neural-biological brain science has a fairly simple answer to the issue of dealing with children effected by trauma. All stressors develop neurons gathering information for fight or flight reactions, not to the executive areas of the brain (prefrontal cortex). That, and speeding them up (myelination)  leads to both withdrawal and aggression. Fewer and slower neurons to the executive areas of the brain means less thinking about behavior. Behaviors are energized by emotions and fight or flight emotions tend to run high leading to behaviors that are impulsive. The simple part is that treatment is to comfort, soothe, children who are acting out. Punishment for aggression and ignoring withdrawal does not develop learning. When a child is relaxed, trusting you to be safe, understanding, and not impatient, they can start the thinking about their emotions. 

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    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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  • 17.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 04-10-2018 10:07 PM
    Melissa MacPheeters you are on the right track.  Here in Idaho we are sharing ACE's research and I have done many presentations, as well as including ACE's research in our train the trainer events.  We can't let people feel defeated by ACE's information--the message is that ACE's are not destiny, and the Strengthening Families Protective Factors can mitigate the effects of ACE's on adults and can help prevent them in children. We are working on putting together a "HOPE Chest"--a training resource file based on the HOPE initiative (Healthy outcomes from positive experiences), the Resilience and Paper Tigers movies, our training book STRONG:  Teaching the Protective Factor Framework to Parents and Professionals, and several other resources.  My company is working in collaboration with the Idaho Children's Trust Fund to gather these resources.

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    Maureen Durning
    Owner/Director
    Butterfly Trainings that Transform LLC
    Boise ID
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  • 18.  RE: ACEs | Is trauma-informed care the answer to some of our most vexing questions?

    Posted 10-02-2018 05:18 PM
    Dr. Suzette Fromm Reed, at National Louis University, has been doing some fascinating research on ACEs. She found that community resilience has a greater impact in buffering the effects of ACEs than individual resilience. She is presenting her research this Saturday at the Symposium on Urban Early Childhood Education, hosted by the Chicago Chapter of Illinois AEYC.

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    MICHAEL B. ABEL PhD | Director of Research and Evaluation
    McCORMICK CENTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD LEADERSHIP
    AT NATIONAL LOUIS UNIVERSITY
    Wheeling, Illinois
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