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July 2018

Lisa Speckhard Pasque: Arts Program Gives Kids with Incarcerated Parents a Stigma-Free Place to Create and Learn

Damien Smith Jr. wasn’t always embarrassed that his father is in prison. Just this winter, when playing with a giant checker set at the Monona Public Library, he readily told a little girl that he played the game with his dad in prison and beat him all the time. But Damien's grandmother, Pat Dillon, saw the look on the little girl’s face. At 6, Damien doesn’t want to talk about his dad’s incarceration anymore. He gets teased or talked about. This summer, he was bullied. “I knew that there...

Public health strategies, ACEs, and much more to learn []

What does a legislator do when not in session? Last month, I was asked by the Speaker to attend a regional meeting of key state policymakers with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It seems the committee chairmen of our health-related committees couldn’t attend, so I was afforded the opportunity to learn about something not exactly in my wheelhouse. The meeting was sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, and is the third such specialized session they’ve...

Rapaport: Parents' Childhood Trauma Tied to Behavior Problems in Kids

Parents who had a lot of traumatic or stressful experiences during childhood may be more likely to have kids with behavioral problems, a U.S. study suggests. Adverse childhood experiences can include witnessing parents fight or go through a divorce, having a parent with a mental illness or substance abuse problem, or suffering from sexual, physical or emotional abuse. These childhood experiences have been linked to "toxic stress," or wear and tear on the body that leads to physical and...

Dorman: Reducing childhood trauma may affect addiction, incarceration rates []

With the upcoming task force formed by Senate Bill 1517, I am confident Oklahoma has taken a major step forward in overcoming the high rate of adverse childhood experiences that affects our residents. For those of you not familiar with ACEs, this is the study of childhood trauma and the associated health-related conditions that follow into adulthood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on...

Early Childhood Is Critical to Health Equity

The first few years of life are crucial in establishing a child’s path toward—or away from—health and well-being across the entire lifespan. A report, produced in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco, examines some of the barriers to health equity that begin early in life, and promising strategies for overcoming them. Key Findings Poverty limits childrens’ and families’ options for healthy living conditions. Poverty can limit where children live, and can lead to...

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