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Wife of governor of WI: We need to ask kids, 'What happened to you?' (at the hands of your parents)

April 6, 2018, Washington, DC, The Hill: We now know the importance of trauma-informed care, but there is more work to be done http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/381962-we-now-know-the-importance-of-trauma-informed-care-but-there-is By Tonette Walker, wife of WI governor, Scott Walker ***Oprah nailed it. During her recent 60 Minutes special on childhood trauma, she concisely defined the essence of trauma-informed care so everyone can understand it. She said, “It comes down to the question of not, ‘What's wrong with you? What's wrong with that kid?’ but, ‘What happened to you,’ which is a very different question.” This shift in perspective leads to solutions that get to the root cause of children’s issues, rather than a quick reaction that often stops at punishment. We call these traumatic events Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). There are several identified ACEs, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, mental illness of a household member, alcoholism of a household member, illegal drug use of a household member, divorce or separation of a parent, domestic violence towards a parent, and incarceration of a household member. In every corner of Wisconsin, and all across the globe, children are experiencing trauma like those above. Research shows when a person has one ACE, they are more likely to have another two or more. The most recent national data indicate that almost 25 percent of children in the United States have experienced at least one ACE and almost 22 percent have two or more. In Wisconsin, these rates are lower than the national average, at 21.2 percent and 20.3 percent, respectively. When trauma is experienced as a child, the unmitigated toxic stress created by these experiences can change brain chemistry, shape educational outcomes, and influence a person’s future health and well-being. … One change was to have students begin every school day using a digital whiteboard to privately tell their teachers whether they were feeling happy, neutral, or sad — a strategy that demonstrates elder support and encourages younger generations to trust and feel more comfortable asking for help. …