Albuquerque, NM: NM kids suffering trauma at home; 'toxic stress'...can impair learning/behavior

Jan 20, 2018, Albuquerque (NM) Journal: Suffering early trauma, many NM kids face devastating consequences Today, everyone should be talking about ACEs: adverse childhood experiences. That’s the view of a growing legion of experts who regard childhood trauma as one of the most profound and urgent public health challenges in the country. Hundreds of studies link adverse childhood experiences to a huge array of diseases, mental illnesses and lifelong problems. An ACE is defined as one of 10 kinds of trauma, including all the things that happened in Frankie’s life, and more. Among them: sexual, physical or psychological abuse; emotional or physical neglect; mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence; an absent parent or incarcerated household member. Exposure to these assaults at a young age can alter brain architecture, interrupt neurocircuitry, damage endocrine and immune systems and have lifelong harmful impacts on health and the human condition, potentially for generations to come. The “toxic stress” of trauma can impair learning and emotional regulation, undermine social functioning and even change the signature of DNA.... “You’re basically creating a group of kids who are going to have lifelong learning problems – they’re basically going to be like human road kill on the economic highway,” says primary care physician Andy Hsi, who co-wrote the report with specialists like George Davis, former director of psychiatry for New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department. …

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