We are getting better and better at screening for ACEs. But it is not as encompassing as it should be. The ACEs questionnaire accounts for visible and measurable trauma. But what about the trauma that happens in the context of a relationship, that is not visible? I know, every trauma happens in the context of a relationship, but I am referring to the trauma that derives from parental unresponsiveness and emotional neglect.
So, what about the trauma that results from a parent who is unresponsive to a newborn or infant's cries? What about the trauma of a parent who leaves the newborn or infant home alone all day because they have to go to work, but when they are home and with the infant, they are loving, caring and responsive? How do we measure and address that? Asking the parent is not enough because most times they don't even know that they are traumatizing their kids. They are trying to survive.
I work at the CCTC in Philadelphia and I see a lot of parents who reports no trauma about the kids (the measurable ones we ask about, as per the questionnaire) who are clearly traumatized and showing behaviors.
I am not sure if anyone ever thought about this, but I have been going around with this question in my mind and I would love to hear if any of you has come up with something to address this kind of trauma?