ACEs is short for Adverse Childhood Experiences; the main concept of ACEs is to take a test and know your score. This score can help you understand your risk for health issues.
Your score is determined from ten (10) questions that cover topics from abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Typically, if your score is on the high end, ‘the higher your risk for later health problems,’ according to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study. (ACE Quiz. NPR. p. 1. 2015) The study states, ‘childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity.’ Unfortunately, many childhoods are experiencing adversity and this is contributing to our current public health issue. (Adverse Childhood Experiences, CDC, p.1. 2016.) Missing from the score are major health influences such as your current diet, whether or not there are illicit drug and alcohol use and your genes.
It is important to note that the ACEs score is nothing more than a guideline that has identified risks. These risks have been linked, ‘to a variety of adult conditions, ranging from increased headaches to depression to heart disease.’ The overall ACEs score does not take into account nurturing experiences from an individual’s early years that help to build resiliency and increases the ability to cope with any and all trauma from their childhood. As it stands, there are people with very high ACEs scores who live great and productive lives. It helps that these individuals may have had a positive influence in their life such as a grandparent, a teacher, or a coach. As life goes on, improvements can be made in all areas of resiliency even through just one caring and safe relationship.
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