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Grimwood: 'Oklahoma kids are suffering the most': Nearly 1 in 3 go through multiple adverse experiences, trauma


Nearly one-third of Oklahoma children have had multiple adverse childhood experiences, an audience of advocates for children was told Thursday evening.

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, in conjunction with the Tulsa World and Tulsa Lawyers for Children, showcased the film “Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope” on Thursday evening at the Circle Cinema. The film was a lead-in to the topic of adverse child experiences, also known as ACEs, and an hour-long discussion panel.

The national average for children experiencing four or more of 10 noted adverse experiences is 22 percent, said panelist Joe Dorman, CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.

“Oklahoma kids rank No. 1 in the nation for multiple adverse childhood experiences,” Dorman said. “Oklahoma kids are suffering the most.”

The figure is more than 32 percent in Oklahoma, said Dorman.

“Almost one-third of the kids have had long-term trauma in their childhood,” he said. “As they grow older, it impacts their ability to work, their health, even their life expectancy.”

Dorman was one of six Oklahomans — policymakers, pediatricians and child advocates — who began the discussion among a small group of Tulsans about trauma that can affect a child through adulthood.

The panel discussion, which followed the documentary, was moderated by Oklahoma first lady Sarah Stitt.

To read the rest of the article in the Tulsa World, click here.

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