* * NOWHERE TO HIDE * * Andre’s Fear; What are “Adverse Childhood Experiences”?

Sometimes Andre’s bi-polar uncle rages and screams threats and beats Andre’s mother.   He’s abused her since childhood.   She drinks a little too much to try to forget.  Other times when his uncle is depressed, he scares Andre to tears by trying to kill himself.  Meanwhile, Andre’s father has been “away” 4 years.

Andre has at least three ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) . . . at the age of seven.    Chronic, intergenerational trauma.

Trauma during childhood, or Developmental Trauma can be defined as a response of overwhelming, helplessness or fear to a painful or shocking event, or to chronic, toxic stress, including ACEs (adverse childhood experiences).

ACEs include physical, emotional and sexual abuse, physical and emotional neglect, a missing parent (due to separation, divorce, incarceration, death), witnessing household substance abuse, violence, or mental illness and more.

Trauma during development is especially heinous.

Some adults normalize the pain and fear of the injured child, thinking “they’ll get over it.”  It’s actually the opposite.  Young children have fewer coping mechanisms and their immature brains are still developing.  The impacts of trauma are actually  greater on the still-developing brain.



ACE-impacted kids are more common than seasonal allergy sufferers.

Two out of 3 children have at least one ACE.  Experts call it an ‘epidemic’, a ‘crisis.   Public health research points to early death by as much as 20 years.  


The CDC found that about one-fourth of the middle class, mostly white, college educated, working folks with medical insurance had THREE or more ACEs even in beautiful suburban San Diego!


Three or more ACEs is significant because it correlates with doubled risk of depression, adolescent pregnancy, lung disease, and liver disease. It triples the risk of alcoholism and STDs.  There is a 5X increase in attempted suicide.



Trauma-Informed adults CAN make a difference.
Get Informed.  Click on the links below.


Informed already?  Then, please “share” the blogpost.  Help grow awareness of this secret epidemic destroying childhoods.



Center for Disease Control-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study   HERE

What are ACEs?                                                                                   CLICK HERE

How prevalent are ACEs ?                                                              CLICK HERE

Calculate your own ACE score                                                   CLICK HERE


ACE Study Overview from the Producer of Paper Tigers film  (five minute Vimeo video)    CLICK HERE




Look for other parts of this series “Nowhere to Hide” on LucidWitness.com  for more information.



Trigger warning:  the children’s experiences in the vignettes are unvarnished.  Their traumatic responses may trigger painful memories.


Nowhere to Hide the Elephant in the [Class]Room   (overview)


Nowhere to Hide.  Maria Fight, flight or freeze?

Nowhere to Hide.  Andre’s fear.   What are Adverse Childhood Experiences?

Nowhere to Hide.  Jamar’s Hyperarousal

Nowhere to Hide.  Roberto’s Dissociation

Nowhere to Hide:  Danny’s Memory

Nowhere to Hide:  Ashley’s “Normal” Education?   Part 1

Nowhere to Hide:  Ashley’s “Normal” Education?   Part 2



Click below for more “Peek Inside a Classroom”;

The  original series, “Peek Inside a Classroom”, provides much more detailed looks inside my classroom, primarily focused on specific students: Jasmine, Danny and Jose.  Other vignettes are captured in broader looks at education reform concepts: “Failing Schools or Failing Paradigm?” and “Effective Education Reform.”

Peek Inside a Classroom:  Jasmine

Peek Inside a Classroom:  Danny

Peek Inside a Classroom: Jose

Peek Inside a Classroom:  Failing Schools or Failing Paradigm?

Peek Inside a Classroom:  Effective Education Reform (with Dr. Sandra Bloom, M.D.)



“Like” us at  “Trauma-Informed Pedagogy” on Facebook



Want more ?    
CLICK FOR MORE RESOURCES:  Developmental Trauma


1.   Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Studies:   CLICK HERE

 2.  Impacts of Childhood Trauma: Overview               CLICK HERE

Click for Resources: Social Media on Impacts of Childhood Trauma

Click for Resources: Journal Articles on Impacts of Developmental Trauma

 3.   Trauma-Informed Schools                                               CLICK HERE 

 4.  Trauma-Informed Social Services                                CLICK HERE 

 5.   Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice                             CLICK HERE

 6.  Trauma-Informed Public Policy                                   CLICK HERE

 7.  Childhood Trauma Training and Tools                     CLICK HERE

 8.  Book and Publication selections                                CLICK HERE

9.   #800 phone numbers                                                         CLICK HERE



“Like” us at  “Trauma-Informed Pedagogy” on Facebook


23 thoughts on “* * NOWHERE TO HIDE * * Andre’s Fear; What are “Adverse Childhood Experiences”?”

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