The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released a national survey of children's health that shows almost half of American kids experience traumatic experiences.
The study was produced by CAHMI, the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative.
Martha Davis is Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is disturbed by the compendium in the 2016 edition of the National Survey of Children's Health and an analysis conducted by CAHMI. "What it shows is a state by state breakdown of how many kids have experienced ACES. Now ACES stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences, can be events like living with someone who is depressed or mentally ill, a parent who abuses drugs or alcohol, divorce, the death of a parent and witnessing violence in the home or neighborhood."
- National data shows 46.3 percent of kids (0-17) have had one or more ACE.
- 21.7 percent of kids (0-17) have endured two or more.
- 35 percent of kids (0-5) have had one or more.
Davis says there's been a great increase in the science and research about the impact of adversity on children. "It impacts physical development, brain development, and has consequences for lifelong health and well-being."
In New York, 45.3 percent of kids have had one or more ACE, 15 percent kids 0-17 have had two or more ACE (lower than national average) and 38.7 percent kids 0-5 have had one or more , which is higher than national average.
Davis says awareness training in schools is a great place to begin. Bill Wolff is executive director of Albany's LaSalle School: "I think the most influential thing that's happened to us is how it’s guided our actual work. We've been able to shift and transform the culture of how we approach children, especially from something that's a 'why aren't you complying with the rules?' kind of approach to 'let us all try and understand the things that have happened to you,' and how those contribute to what's happening in your life today."
Listen to or read the entire segment by DAVE LUCAS • OCT 23, 2017: http://wamc.org/post/survey-tr...hildhood-experiences
Photo: JESSE COSTA/WBUR