I've been asked to speak to a group of students about ACEs. They are aged 16-18, participating in IMPAACT Academy (https://www.gsil.org/impacct-program/get-involved/). 1/2 the class is on the life skill track with limited cognative ability and the other half are bright and bored, diagnosed with ADD/ADHD (but, teacher says they have Trauma/PTSD). My question is about appropriate curriculum for this group. Is it appropriate to give them the ACE quiz so they know their scores and explain the outcomes shown in the study, then explain the strategies for building resilience? Are there existing presentation materials for this demographic?



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I am also interested to know Jocelyn.  If you get any responses from other members I would be keen to hear.  As a youth worker I would have little hesitation in raising awareness, knowledge, and understanding of ACEs and improved coping strategies, if that's where interest and conversation about peoples lives led, but having it as part of a formal programme I am not sure.

Hi Jocelynn!

What a great honor to share ACES information with adolescents!

You asked about whether it would be appropriate to share the information, have them get their scores, etc.  I guess I can see your hesitation.  I think it all depends upon how you present it:  if you bring in the ACE AND the resiliency piece?  If you maybe you certain psychodrama techniques, such as the spectogram - which could be useful to ask questions like "how many of you grew up with an alcoholic family member?"  You'd have predetermined responses on the ground, and then everyone would cluster near their number.  You could then ask everyone to look to see how many OTHERS grew up the same way.  You could ask for volunteers to talk about what that was like, etc.  That would make the ACE study answers less personal and more group-related, and you could still make points and educate without doing anything personally harmful (you'd not ask someone for responses without volunteering to give them first).  If this at all sounds interesting, I recommend the book "The Living Stage" by Tian Dayton, PhD, which provides wonderful information on the psychodramatic approach.  For this age group, it might spark connection, open dialogue, and an upbeat atmosphere.  I hope this helps.

I am a motivational speaker and Trauma Informed Care Trainer and would love to help out in anyway. I have been working in a Detroit High School for 5 years now and in education for 20. I am currently working on working towards creating educational change through the country revolving around TIC.

THere are so many benefits to TIC whether the kids have experienced toxic stress or not. The Methods that I have been teaching are things that all people can use, Problem Solving, Coping Strategies, Behavioral-Cognitive Approaches, MEditation, Yoga and more. Empowering our youth is critical.

Brian Frick lionheartmotivation@gmail.com

I don't believe you need a specific curriculum, more of a guideline. Once they take the the survey turn into replacement skills. Use the group to give you ideas about this. Turn to celebrities with positive and negative community behavior and discuss it. Who will be your accountability partner. How does prayer and sin intertwine for those who are Christian? I can go on and on. Don't know if you also do private practice? At the end of the day it's not a mystery but a mindset to change. 

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