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Adverse Childhood Experiences…The Marring of Adulthood

The Centers for Disease Control has what’s called the “Adverse Childhood Experiences ” a process, wherein an ACE template score is a tally of different types of abuse, neglect and other hallmarks of childhood trauma one experienced. The higher the risk score the higher one’s risk for subsequent health issues.  Poor physical or mental health begets a sundry of ancillary issues that may be detrimental to personal wellness.

WHAT’S TRENDING HERE?  Well, now it seems in vogue that we are going out of our way to lessen a youngsters’ prospective trauma. As wonderful as that sounds there are drawbacks. Even now, this “best practice” has been promulgated to ensure that school officials should be highly cautious and extremely guarded to not carry out school expulsions. Conversely speaking, we know all too well there are times a disruptive child should be suspended from school, if for no other reason, but for the greater good of maintaining classroom decorum to aid and abet the educational process. Whether expulsions are properly used, fairly and judiciously as the last resort is another story altogether. To effectively deal with a child in an appropriate manner and without initiation or exacerbating trauma has to be a highly lauded art form. As we learn more and more about Nickolas Cruz, the alleged Marjorie Douglas schoolhouse shooter, who on February 14th, 2018 invariably shot and killed 17 people and injured 17 more,  he had been suspended time after time only to have his suspensions reinstated.

Healthy children are typically vibrant and resilient wherein children who rate high in the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) score chart are beset with daunting issues, such as economic hardship, which is the most prevalent but, least culpable of precursors. And although economic deprivation is not a principal driver with a strong causal relationship with crime; it may in conjunction with other contributing factors serve as a promulgator towards aberrant behavior. Children with higher ACE scores may be more susceptible to becoming violent. In fact, there were approximately 3.6 stressors experienced by the attacker, before the attack. A higher ACE score has a correlation with sensitivities. Therefore, it is imperative to work with the school’s threat assessment teams inasmuch as multidisciplinary approaches are the best way to interrupt pathways to violence. Baring an intervening factor virtually every child will grow into an adult who will likely reflect the nuances of his or her experiences and coping skills. Quality investments in the nurturing of our children have the potential for producing laudatory outcomes, which greatly benefits all.

These unhealthy experiences may go a long way towards cultivating amoral individuals who lack compassion and empathy and don’t fully understand how to effectively interact with others and when interactions wane so does our ability to coexist. For loneliness begets loneliness and negative emotional flooding and isolation may contribute to an atmosphere totally devoid of anyone’s ability to embrace and benefit from otherwise healthy ‘sounding boards’. It goes without saying, many youngsters overcome and displace their adverse experiences due to their personal will and commitment and tenacity to get beyond issues that are emblematic of a troubled upbringing and furthermore, the gravity of the trauma comes into play when analyzing and getting beyond the scarring effect, too.

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