I work in human services and I was hoping to email the families I serve some information about ACES. Many of the families I serve are very young and have probably not been exposed to ACES study/concepts.

I am concerned with the rise of DV and child violence at home (during this COVID-19). I think it would be really helpful to share some info around ACES in a gentle way. If you have any basic resources that are geared towards educating parents about ACES (that you are ok with me redistributing to parents), please email me at cmaki@duluthmn.gov

Thank you, Kindly!

Cole Maki

Original Post

Here you go.  It's a story (with and without music) or done as a podcast. It explains social distancing, virus spread, impact of school closure, and strategies that work to ameliorate. Kids can write letters or send drawings to Wrinkles (the dog who starts in the video). Trauma responsive reading and tested by kids with success.

Use it, post it, what it, copy it, email it.  Share it.


All links are embedded here:


Hi,  We originally created two pamphlets for parents -- one focused on Childhood Trauma, and one focused on ACEs.  The parents in our two focus groups, however, preferred the Understanding Childhood Trauma pamphlet.   I've attached it in WORD, PDF and Spanish.  Please let me know if you think this works for your purposes.  I have also attached a one page flyer I made for a training with short video resources for parents.

Please let me know if any of these work for your purposes.  Thank you.


Katherine Hughes

I would be very hesitant to share the information during a time when many parents are not feeling safe and connected, and aren't necessarily in their 'learning brains'. This article was recently published describing some of the misapplications of the ACEs Study; one of the authors is Dr. Anda who was one of the lead researchers on the original study: https://www.ajpmonline.org/act...-3797%2820%2930058-1

If you can maximize support/information in a way that emphasizes safety and connection to the greatest extent possible, I think that the likelihood of unintentionally being harmful may be lower. 

I do agree that Harvard's Center on the Developing Child has many fantastic infographics and videos, in multiple languages, that are in language that is probably less likely to be fear or stress inducing as others that I have seen. 


A good video too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sutfPqtQFEc

I agree that safety and connection must be primary right now, and that the learning brain is likely offline.  At the same time, crises can be a time of growth.  It's crucial to listen to, hear and respond to your clients' needs at this point in time.  I did read Dr. Anda's article and agree with the misuse of ACEs to screen children.   I do think, however, that there is a way to talk to parents about childhood trauma focusing on hope, healing and post-traumatic growth.

I would encourage the sharing of basic information about ACEs science with parents and families, especially now, with links to dive deeper. Dr. Anda's article addressed screening only. He's all for sharing information, and has made hundreds, if not thousands of presentations around the world, and his current work with ACE Interface is all about that.

Here is a link to parent handouts in English, Spanish and Dari. Versions of this have been downloaded thousands of times and have been handed out to parents around the country and the world.

This resource is in the Parenting with ACEs community, which has many more resources. We'll post more resources next week that are relevant for COVID-19.


Please contact @Cissy White (ACEs Connection Staff)


Hi Everyone:
Love seeing the resources, links, suggestions, and questions. Thank you!

As Jane shared, there are some things in the Parenting with ACEs community that might be helpful.

I totally understand and share the hesitancy around using ACEs as a screening tool with families, but completely support the sharing about ACEs, the ACE study, and ACEs science. It's public health information and belongs in the hands of the public as much as info. about hand-washing, social distancing, and what causes COVID-19, etc. does while also knowing that different ages/stages will need different types and amounts of information.


I wanted to clarify my prior comment bringing up the recent article that Dr. Anda co-authored. I in no way meant to imply not sharing about ACEs in general. This quote is mostly what prompted my reply:

"Unlike recognized public health screening measures, such as blood pressure or lipid levels that use measurement reference standards and cut points or thresholds for clinical decision making, the ACE score is not a standardized measure of childhood exposure to the biology of stress. The authors are concerned that ACE scores are being misappropriated as a screening or diagnostic tool to infer individual client risk and misapplied in treatment algorithms that inappropriately assign population-based risk for health outcomes from epidemiologic studies to individuals."

I interpreted the original question - asking for a resource to provide information via email during this time and particular concern about DV - as not necessarily being the most appropriate (least harmful) way of sharing the ACEs information, imho. Considering that many families are experiencing a heightened state of stress, I think it is important to be mindful of the way we go about sharing the information with them, providing context and ensuring they have access to supportive resources should they find the information triggering. Drawing attention to the article was merely a way of pointing out that it has inappropriately been utilized to infer "individual client risk" when that is not the intention. 

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