ACEs are Adverse Childhood Experiences. Our ACE history counts experiences of abuse, neglect and household challenges that happened to us as children. But that number does not define us. It is simply an entry point to our own personal story.
Where it leads is up to you.
What happens when two powerhouse leaders team up to address one of the most pressing issues of our time? Find out here in this dynamic conversation between the legendary Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Nadine Burke Harris as they talk about ACEs.
Encompasses physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
And when the stress of that adversity doesn’t go away, that stress can literally get under our skin and become toxic if we don’t have adequate support from our parents or caregivers.
Stress on its own isn’t a bad thing. Our body’s stress response is designed to give us a boost of energy and increase focus so we can better tackle the task at hand.
SCIENTISTS HAVE DEFINED THREE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF STRESS:
As children, ACEs can cause us to develop a toxic stress response. Living in poverty, or in a violent neighborhood, or dealing with discrimination can also cause a toxic stress response. To learn more about these and other childhood adversities and how they increase children’s risk for toxic stress, click here.
It’s important for parents, caregivers, and other adults who care about children to know that we can buffer and support kids who are experiencing adversity. To learn more about how to help kids, click here.
Let’s say we spot a bear in the woods. Our heart pounds, our muscles tense, our senses spring to high alert.
Which is good. That’s our body preparing us to fight the bear, run away from it as fast as we can, or hold completely still in hopes it passes us without harm. This is often referred to as Fight, Flight, or Freeze.
But what happens when the bear comes through the front door night after night? It triggers our fight, flight, or freeze response again and again and overloads the system.