ACEs Connection

If you’re working to lower ACE scores in your personal, work, play, faith-based or community life  — and this includes any endeavor, from art to politics — please consider joining  ACEs Connection. It’s the companion social network to ACEsTooHigh.com.

ACEs ConnectionACEsConnection.com is for people who are implementing — or thinking about implementing —  trauma-informed and resilience-building practices based on ACEs research. As of October 2014, more than 3,000 people had joined.

If you join, you automatically receive a daily digest with summaries and links to the latest news, research and reports about ACEs research and implementation, plus a weekly roundup of activity within the network. ACEsConnection members post blogs, photos, videos, and events; they can find, message and chat with others who are working on similar projects. They participate in groups. There are topic-based groups….for pediatricians, educators, people in criminal justice, for the faith-based community. There are geographic-based groups….for cities, counties and states.

To join, just head to ACEsConnection.com and sign up!

52 responses

  1. I also think that the work that Nadine Burke Harris is doing in San Francisco with a more locally-oriented ACEs screening is exciting and reflects some of the newer thinking and approach to ACEs in today’s world.

    • Thanks for your comment, Trish. The ACE Study asked only those 10 questions.

      There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver (grandmother, mother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, witnessing a grandmother abusing a father, or medical trauma, as you suggest. The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature.

      The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of health consequences.

      There are some subsequent studies that have added other questions — e.g. the Philadelphia Urban ACE Study, and some pediatricians have added types of trauma that are common in the communities where their patients live.

  2. Where do I get help? I am a mother of 5, a few years ago at the age of 8 I lost custody of my eldest daughter when her father challenged my move to another state and the judge changed her primary parent to him. At that time she had a sister who was 3 and in my home permanently and I was pregnant with my third. I’m seeing signs from all of my children that I’m greatly concerned about and after reading some of your articles concerns me even more. Where can I get help for my family? I live on the outskirts of a small town in ND.

  3. Hi Daun, In talking with Dr. Felitti, he would describe these conditions of abuse/neglect as quite severe … the questions themselves in the ACEs survey point to this as well. Dr. Felitti would sometimes describe the physical abuse as “bone breaking.” I too urge you to contact him directly. He is very generous in responding to inquiries such as this.

  4. Does anyone have a short answer or a “link” to the details of how “Neglect” categories(Emotional and Physical) were defined and determined in The original study ?

    • If I can figure out how to do it, I’ll attach for you the original 4-page ACE Questionnaire used in the Study. It is not to be confused with the one-page version we later created to enable people to more easily experiment with its use. The same 10 categories are at issue, but in the original ACE Study Q we have more than one question relating to each category.

      Separately, Bruce Perry is very highly regarded.

      Damn! I can’t figure out where to attach the Q, so I’ll send it to Jane Stevens and ask her to post it. I apologize for my delayed response, but I’ve been swamped recently.

  5. Where can I find a link to valid research on altered brain development related to ACEs study, ideally with images ? Does CDC have pubs ? Is B Perry work (and sidebyside radiology imagery) broadly accepted ?

  6. My wife and I have been blessed to start teaching The ACE Overcomers curriculum in the Mission at Kern County . What a privilege to be a part of the network which is ACE. I want to thank Dave Lockridge of Merced California for preparing us both for the opprtunity to serve.

  7. This initiative sounds interesting.

    However, society as a whole is functioning to keep trauma levels high, and that’s first through economic insecurity and economic/status hierarchy.

    So in the end, it’s like the story of the town that kept finding babies in the river & started all sorts of programs to nurture the babies, but never bothered to go upriver to find out who was throwing all the babies in the river in the first place.

    Ameliorative actions are holding actions; better than available alternatives, but in the end serving to maintain the status quo.

    Jobs and justice.

    • Thanks for your comment, hb: Walla Walla and a few other communities realize that the answer is indeed up-river, as you point out, and have started efforts for the entire community to become trauma-informed. That includes jobs & justice!
      Cheers, J.

  8. Alaska is embarking on a journey of developing our own response and initiative to the ACE study. One of our first steps is to complete a statewide assessment of: (1) current knowledge level of ACEs, and (2) who is currently utilizing the study and how they are using it within their organization/program/system. Has anyone else completed a similar assessment and have designed a survey tool to collect this information? If so, would you be willing to share with us?
    Thanks!

    • Trevor, you might also think about going to ACEsConnection.com, and copying and pasting your question in two places: as a blog post, and on the State ACE Response group, which has 22 members, some of whom I am sure can assist.

    • Hi Trevor, Maine completed a similar inventory in 2011, the link is here: http://mainecgc.org/ACES_Report_Final.pdf Out of this, a new group has formed, the Maine Resilience Building Network-and website is currently under development. The idea is to harness all the amazing work providers and agencies are offering around the state.

    • Trevor,
      I have developed a comprehensive assessment tool that includes the ACE Study questions in the process of collecting ACE data within the AI/AN communities with which I work (18 tribes). I am also working with another Indian Health Service clinic that is using my tool as part of their effort to integrate behavioral health into primary care, decrease suicides and substance abuse (Methamphetamines – MSPI Grant). I would be interested in discussing the possibility of serving as a consultant.
      Please contact me at your convenience.

      Dr. Leon Altamirano

  9. The Academy on Violence and Abuse has created a fine DVD of a presentation and discussion of the ACE Study, its history, and its implications. The DVD is almost 4 hours long and is an excellent overview of where we are at present, including the resistance to incorporating this information in routine clinical practice. A very favorable review of this DVD is in the August 15, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association; it may be read on the AVA web site. Members of this blog wishing to obtain a copy will find details on the AVA web site.

    Vincent

    • Ira Glass (of “This American Life”) just aired a wonderful hour-long piece on education called “Back to School” that covers the ACEs study and resilience research, including an interview with Paul Tough, author of “How Children Succeed.” I highly recommend it. You can listen to it at: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/

    • Dr. Felitti,

      I believe I have found the question(s) related to “Neglect” categories (Emotional Neglect in particular) as presented in your original ACEs study(as described in the Philadelphia “Urban ACE Survey”) : Did you often feel that no one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? Did you often feel that your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?

      I guess my first question would be whether I have the correct (or representative) version of the “Neglect” questions ?

      The second question would be why such a different result for “Neglect” in yet a third study, where “Neglect” was found in a dominating 75% respondents ?? from:

      U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, & Children’s Bureau. (2011). Child Maltreatment 2010. http://archive.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm10/cm10.pdf
      (as attributed in “Working Paper 12″ @ http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/reports_and_working_papers/ ??

      Thirdly, (maybe just a rhetorical question), could there really be a valid way to capture eatly, 0-3 yrs “Neglect” as in the “Still Face Experiment” (Dr. Edward Tronick) ?

      “Neglect” being a fascinating, frustrating , subjective aspect of this puzzle . . .

  10. We are working with our Department of Corrections to start collecting ACEs data in Alaska. We want to add questions on historical cultural trauma such as forced removal from the home and being sent away to boarding school. Does anyone know of additional questions that have been added to the core ACE questions to assess for childhood trauma that were frequently experienced by American Indians/Alaska Natives? Thanks, the Alaska Family Violence Prevention Project

  11. Are there ACE materials in Spanish?
    Is there a Spanish version of the mini ACE questionnaire?
    I will be conducting parent workshops in central CA and need Spanish resources.
    Thanks. Dave L

  12. Is the mini ACE survey available in Spanish? Are there ACE materials available in Spanish?
    I will be conducting parent workshops in central CA and would like resource materials in Spanish.

  13. I have not been sure where to leave this inquiry, so will begin in what appears to be this general category. Is anyone affiliated w/a general medical setting, such as a family practice, who might be interested in conducting a small pilot study correlating ACE scores w/applications for/allowance of Social Security Disability benefits? I know a researcer whose area of research interest is the expense to society of child maltreatment, and she said such a pilot – say w/100-150 sample size – would go a long way toward obtaining funding to do the project on a larger scale. My goal would be to do the pilot and hand the results off to someone w/the where-with-all to obtain funding, do the larger study, etc. By the way, I am a clinical psycholoist.

  14. Hi – Jane, we loved your fascinating coverage of Lincoln High’s new approach to school discipline. Are you available for an interview on our program Word of Mouth, broadcast out of New Hampshire Public Radio? Please email me, or send us a message through twitter @WordofMouth so we can set something up!

  15. What amazing work you are doing. I am a Life Design Coach with a Master’s in Education and a history of extreme ACE. My ACE score is 10 of 10 on your short quiz. My brother actually committed suicide in March due the PTSD and other issues he experienced because of the extreme abuse in our home.

    In my work with chronic disorganization, ADD, gifted and neurodiverse, I started noticing in 2005 that nearly 100% of my adult clients had experienced deep childhood traumas such as those you mention. Hundreds of clients later and the connect is clear.

    I also noticed that most of my clients have a chronic illness of some kind. A huge part of my work now is teaching the resiliency skills that are required to help people heal from the life traumas that result in what I am currently calling “achievement-related” addictions like information hoarding, time management, chronic overwhelm, perfectionism, procrastination, and other productivity related challenges.

    Since March I’ve been trying to figure out a way to highlight the connection between child abuse and education/school related trauma on how we function / organize our daily lives. What a gift to find your work here on this blog. So much depth and food for thought. I was working on a book about this…but it got so deep, so interconnected and so personal for me, I had to stop for a while. I’m so grateful you are writing this book. I am finding it so difficult to remain objective enough to write mine. THANK YOU!

    • Oh, I am so glad you found this place, too, Ariane!
      Much, much, much of the information here will provoke “AhHah’s”! Especially the radical shift in discipline-focus happening at Washington School in Walla Walla WA.

      Bright Blessings in your continuing efforts for all of us…

      Karen J

    • Hello Ariane,

      I am wondering whether you have any published material or presentation slides that I may peruse on your topic : “the resiliency skills that are required to help people heal from the life traumas that result in what I am currently calling “achievement-related” addictions like information hoarding, time management, chronic overwhelm, perfectionism, procrastination, and other productivity related challenges.” ??

      Daun

    • Hi, Ariane — Thank you for your kind words. I encourage you to join ACEsConnection. At this writing, more than 1800 people have joined this community of practice social network, for people who are implementing — or thinking about implementing — ACE, trauma-informed and resilience-building practices in their work and lives.
      Cheers, Jane

  16. I think the Shared Inquiry approach used in Great Books programs would be very compatible with this approach. We ask genuine questions about powerful written works that raise real questions for readers of all ages, and teachers are partners with students in real conversations. See http://www.greatbooks.org or contact me for more info.

    I had read some about stress and the brain and learning, but never heard of ACE concepts before. This fits very well with my experiences and makes so much sense. Such a powerful set of research and actions and my thanks to everyone who is doing such good work!

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