PACEs Connection

If you’re working to lower ACE scores and increase positive experiences in your personal, work, play, faith-based or community life — and this includes any endeavor, from art to politics — please join PACEs Connection. It’s the companion social network to is for people who are implementing — or thinking about implementing — healing-centered/  trauma-informed and resilience-building practices based on PACEs (positive and adverse childhood experiences) research. As of April 2021, more than 50,000 people joined.

If you join, you automatically receive a daily digest with summaries and links to the latest news, research and reports about PACEs research and implementation, plus a weekly roundup of activity within the network. PACEsConnection 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 30+ topic-based groups….for pediatricians, educators, people in criminal justice, for the faith-based community. There are nearly 400 geographic-based groups….for cities, counties and states.

To join, just head to and sign up!

93 responses

  1. Greetings! I’m new to the world of ACEs and their impact and am fascinated by what I’m learning. I’m curious whether the types of school-based interventions that are shown to be successful have extended into the workplace at all? I have come across much information about the impact of ACEs in the workplace, but far less about what businesses are doing to address those impacts directly. Lots of information about service-oriented workplaces and secondary-trauma among staff, but I’m curious how regular businesses with employees likely to suffer from high ace scores (think restaurant industries, hotels, construction, etc.) are modifying business practices with trauma-informed care in mind. Thank you in advance for any insights!


    • Some businesses are, but not a lot yet. If you’re not a member of, the social network that accompanies, you can ask the question there and probably find some people in the business sector who are including ACEs science.


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    • Check out Somatic Experiencing! It is a bottom up approach, meaning working with the body in order to achieve neurological and cognitive changes, founded by Peter Levine. As opposed by cognitive based treatments, Somatic Experiencing goes only marginally into the story of the trauma but focuses on the sensations that accompanies experiences and feelings. Bessel van der Kolk, a psychiatrist who has done 30+ years of trauma research and founder of the Trauma Institute in Boston MA, found that the body holds the imprints of traumatic memory. The way we protected ourselves in times of threat or overwhelm, stiffening, clenching jaws, contracting the belly, tightening the throat, tensening shoulders, causes stress patterns that are associated with the trauma and these patterns and sensations can in turn cause retraumatisation. Somatic Experiencing is a gentle way to presence, understand and release the body memory and with this loosen the grip past trauma has. It helps the nervous system to learn to calm and regulate itself. It could be combined with or used in alternation with EMDR which is also a wonderful and highly effective treatment for trauma, to resource the nervous system with positive building up input and to process trauma.
      For further information

      Also, I can highly recommend the Safe and Sound Protocol. This is an ingenious, simple and non-invasive intervention of neuro-hacking, based on Steven Porges Poly Vagal Theory. It consists of listening on 5 consecutive days for 1 hour to filtered music. The music is recorded in a way to stimulate the vagus nerve via the middle ear. I have trialed it with several clients who felt very relaxed afterwards and reported that their anxiety levels were strongly reduced. It makes a great starting point to prepare working with negative beliefs that clients still hold about themselves and that cause unwanted symptoms or affect their behaviour in an unhelpful way.
      Find more information and how to locate a practitioner on the Integrated Listening Systems website

      A number of books that were recommended to me by clients to address trauma and anxiety are
      Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide and Map for Recovering from Childhood Trauma By Pete Walker
      Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry by Catherine M Pittman (Author), Elizabeth M Karle (Author)
      Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve: Self-Help Exercises for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, and Autism Paperback by Stanley Rosenberg

      I have complied a number of information about strategies, exercises, apps to help with anxiety on my Facebook site
      Feel free to read.


  4. The general question coming up here is what to do about having a high ACE Score along with various symptoms.

    First, it would make sense to carefully write the symptoms down and then see a physician to look into whether these symptoms might be early signs of some disease process that might or might not be related to the chronic stress related to distant childhood experiences. An internist or primary care doctor would typically be the best choice.

    Second, it would be useful to help yourself learn more about your ACEs. This can effectively and inexpensively be done by autobiographical writing in 5-year segments. James Pennebaker has studied and written about this process, and you can sample his book on Amazon. Basically, you want to write as detailed an autobiography as you can, five years at a time. A day or so later, you do the next 5 years, etc. Doing this on a computer is particularly helpful because of legibility and the ease of going back and inserting something new that you just remembered. This is usually very helpful in enabling yourself to discover relationships between distant events and their long term consequences in your life. Should you ultimately feel you need some sort of therapeutic help, two forms are worth considering because they often can provide improvement in a relatively few sessions, thus being more affordable. They are Hypnotherapy and EMDR. You can learn about Hypnotherapy and find local, experienced practitioners by looking at the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis website. For EMDR, just search the term on the internet. If you have a Psychological Association in your county, you can call them to inquire about local practitioners using this technique.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am 55 years old Special Education Administrator. I have a ace score of 9. I live in South Western, NH and also would be interested in talking with anyone on this issue. I feel that even though I have had a successful career I can feel the weight of these issues effecting my neurology and health. How can I find qualified support in my area?


  6. I am 72 years old and have an ace score of 7 and resilience score of 10. I live in Maine and would be interested in talking to anyone with these issues. I have had a long rewarding career as an RN but also have some chronic diseases. This scoring is new to me, but I have dealt with childhood trauma all my life.


  7. I would like a copy of the 200 questions please. I could not get to it by following the link. The idea of the ACE form the basis of my practice here in Cape Town South Africa. Thanks Vaughan


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  9. Hi I am a PhD student looking at how domestic abuse shelters are identifying and managing the mental health needs of children. I wanted to know if any research implementing ACES in a domestic violence shelter have been done. I have looked all over the site and although this presents as being a perfect fit I have not found anything.


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  12. How can I get more involved?
    I have more than four aces with a very high resilience score.
    I am a firefighter/investigator student. It is difficult to get into the field because I cannot afford the pay cut but I think that I could be a good advocate for those who have had similar experiences. I plan to go for a PhD because I wont stop fighting for the voiceless.

    Inspiring ideas are welcomed. When I complete my bachelors I will expand my job search nationwide and sell my house to make my support more available.


    • Hi, Jared: Join, a community of practice social network for people who are implementing ACEs, trauma-informed and resilience-building practices. You can find others from MN there.
      Cheers, Jane


  13. I am doing a ba in psychology and using ACE questions. Do you have information or research on validity and reliability of the questions list.


  14. I am deeply pleased to have found this information about this study. I’ve seen this issue present in so many lives including my own. I’m only nineteen but this study perfectly explains the core of “what” poses as a threat in so many of our lives. We don’t acknowledge the effects of choice and subjection. Our youth(s) suffer today because of what they are exposed to which later effects their individual growth both mentally and physically. This is so preventable and beyond measure treatable, all we need to do is address it.


    • 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.


  15. 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.


  16. 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.


  17. 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 ?


  18. 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 ?


  19. 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.


  20. 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.


  21. 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?


    • Trevor, you might also think about going to, 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.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Trevor, Maine completed a similar inventory in 2011, the link is here: 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


  22. 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.



    • 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.
      (as attributed in “Working Paper 12” @ ??

      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 . . .


  23. 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


  24. 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


  25. 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.


  26. 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.


  27. 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!


  28. 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.” ??



    • 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


  29. 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 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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