I remain forever grateful that my long felt and seeming innate knowledge (actually garnered from personal experience, work with traumatised animals and people) has been evidenced and validated by the amazing work of Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda. They created the peg I, we, can hang our experience and expertise on and work to best apply our skills to assist others.
With ACEs I am now able to communicate my knowledge with clients, colleagues and communities with the additional confidence of empirical research to back me up.
Their research and evidence extended my awareness way beyond what was my original domain in relation to ACEs (of understanding trauma, being aware and informed whilst working to effect change with 'troubled youth' and 'complicated adults'). I was stunned to silence on learning that, unresolved, these childhood traumas can shorten lives in the most common of ways by double figures.
But now I'm stuck.
Whilst many ACEs are covered in the 10 questions, many are not.
Colleagues often talk of the ACEs questionnaire being a diagnostic tool, and I understand many of us are currently engaged in conversations and deliberations as to how to apply ACEs knowledge and research to benefit our clients, colleagues and communities - even ourselves, the best (I am).
I admit having a score out of 10 is useful, shorthand, memorable, but in some clients experiences, and in some communities, individuals feel their experiences are invalidated by the limitations of the questionnaire.
Reassuringly, I've read blogs stating that not all ACEs are covered by the initial research. So what else should be included? If we were to extend our awareness and understanding of ACEs what would / could / should we include?
As I continue to deliver community education projects with schools and organisations around ACEs for the remainder of 2019, and work with clients who have experienced childhood adversity beyond the scope of the questionnaire, but who are struggling, despite a low score, what do I say, what do I include and reference?
I aware there's more and want to step up and include more of what affects us.
So I'm curious. I wonder what would you include? What have your clients / communities reported that you know to be an ACE, a childhood trauma?
I would really appreciate you sharing what these hidden ACEs are so we can develop a comprehensive list, reflective of more of our experiences.
As I reflect now, is it a peg that Vincent and Robert created, or a rung? A rung that offers opportunity afresh for each and every one of us to step up and gain vantage from a new perspective, a different perspective from which we can see the landscape and navigate our best, showing others the way.