Area schools work to identify, treat childhood trauma
Teachers and school administrators are learning how to identify childhood trauma to better address student mental health and behavioral issues.
he Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACE, Questionnaire is designed to determine a child’s risk due to childhood trauma. Things like divorce, neglect, violence, drug or alcohol abuse and physical or sexual abuse can cause an ACE score to go up. The higher the score, the more at-risk the child is considered.
Julie Bertram, coordinator of health services for Wood County Schools, said ACE was developed in the late 1990s to identify factors that could predict health outcomes.
“We’re noticing more and more, and there are other studies that indicate this, these behaviors we are seeing with our children, they have really high ACE scores,” Bertram said. “The higher the ACE score, the less the coping mechanisms, the decreased resiliency.”
Cathy Grewe, coordinator of assessment and student services for Wood County Schools, said the ACE questionnaire is not given to students except in specific counseling situations with parental permission, but Wood County Schools is using ACE as a training tool to help identify areas of trauma among students.
“Right now it is an educational tool for principals, counselors and teachers to build awareness of how students struggle based on their life experiences,” Grewe said. “Informally they can look for indicators of trauma. The survey puts language to that.
“But at this point, it is more of an awareness and educational tool” for educators, she said.View Full Article