ACE’s or Adverse Childhood Experiences are events from childhood that have negative impact on someone as they grow and develop. They can be from things we commonly expect such as trauma and/or abuse to the child in childhood, but also from things such as the child experiencing poverty, divorce, substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration etc in their family environment.
What sort of impact this has is variant dependent on the care the child receives as well as their personality type. Some children can experience a relative dying, or being incarcerated without a negative impact if they perceive love and protection adequately from other sources. It is all to do with the impact of toxic stress on the brain of the child. Some stress is normal, some can be mitigated as mentioned above, while in some children it becomes toxic.
What are the impacts of toxic stress or ACE’s? These can be multiple including things such as drug use, alcohol issues, smoking, obesity, depression, anxiety, suicide, but also physical issues such as increased risk of heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, stroke and lung disease.
ACE’s can be prevented by ensuring a balance between stress impacts (which can’t always be avoided and to some extent are a natural part of life) and providing a loving, safe, nurturing and stable environment to encourage and teach children to cope with adversity, to teach resilience and build confidence and encourage them to love and care, offer compassion and understanding.
Here is a link to a website that explains in more detail and offers the scientific information about the impact on the brain as well if you are interested in knowing more
If you’d like video, telephone or face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07598810304