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Worcester, MA: Trauma from home causes bad behavior in school

Sept 17, 2017, Worcester (MA) Telegraph: As I See It: Addressing childhood traumas and their lifelong implications http://www.telegram.com/opinion/20170917/as-i-see-it-addressing-childhood-traumas-and-their-lifelong-implications By Janice B. Yost, Ed.D., of Worcester, is president of The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts in Worcester; Margaret LeRoux, of West Boylston, is assistant director of the Worcester Education Collaborative. The research is unequivocal: children who experience physical or emotional abuse or neglect; witness domestic violence; live with family members with mental illness, substance abuse, or an absent parent due to separation, divorce or incarceration - in other words, children who have adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) - often struggle in school ...

A groundbreaking study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and also Kaiser Permanente, a California based health maintenance organization, discovered the link between ACEs and chronic health issues in adults nearly 20 years ago....

ACEs affect health and behavior by keeping the body and mind in a state of hypervigilance - ready and waiting for trouble. The body responds by releasing stress hormones, creating immediate physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions - the fight or flight response. ...

Children can’t leave trauma at home; their attempts to cope can affect their learning and also put them at odds with schools’ disciplinary practices. Children whose minds are consumed with worry and whose bodies are ready to fight or flee are not ready to learn.... Recognizing the pervasiveness of ACEs and their impact on the health and education of our community and, indeed, our nation is groundbreaking. For medical and educational practitioners the recognition of the immediate and long-term effects of ACEs can be transformational. There is much work ahead of us to address this public health and education crisis.