4 Ways Childhood Trauma Changes a Child’s Brain and Body



Children don't magically "get over" trauma when they turn 18. Trauma, toxic stress, and adverse childhood experiences permanently change a child's body and brain, which can have serious, lifelong consequences, according to a recent report from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. Here are four ways trauma can overload a child's developing system: 1. Hormone level changes: Cortisol and adrenaline are the "stress hormones" that help you react to a perceived threat or danger by directing blood flow to major muscle groups and bypassing the thinking part of the brain to activate the survival part. High levels of these hormones keep your blood pressure elevated, which weakens the heart and circulatory system; keep your glucose levels elevated, which can lead ...

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Philly Tackles Childhood Trauma with Philanthropy



More kids in Philadelphia experience four or more childhood traumas (21.5%) than kids across the nation (14.3%). Multiple traumas like abuse, parental death, racism, fear of deportation, and others—known as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)—can significantly impact a child's brain development, academic achievement, and physical and mental health into adulthood. Latino kids are at high risk of multiple traumas, and acting out. That's why we are excited to see three philanthropic groups team up in Philadelphia (14.4% Latino) to create a new guide to help funders and groups focus on bringing trauma-informed care for local kids. Trauma-informed care shifts the outlook from "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you and how can we help?" "Understanding the ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 2/6: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Improve Latino Health



Neglect. Abuse. Domestic violence. Living in foster care. Racism. Civil unrest. Fear of deportation. These traumas can severely damage children's minds and bodies. In fact, childhood trauma—also called adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)—can increase risk for health conditions like diabetes, spur risky behaviors like substance abuse and smoking, and cause depression and other mental health issues. These problems, which can last into adulthood, affect Latino children at a much higher rate. A trauma-informed approach can help educators and caregivers recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma to help children heal. Let’s use #SaludTues on Feb. 6, 2018, to Tweet about a trauma-informed approach to improve Latino and all kid’s health. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “A ...

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Infographics, Videos, and Reports to Understand Childhood Trauma



More than 2 in 3 kids report at least one traumatic event by age 16. It's even worse among Latino kids. In fact, 28.7% of Latino kids have experienced four or more traumatic experiences. The impact of childhood trauma can last well beyond childhood. In order to suspend judgement and help children heal, it is important to recognize the signs of traumatic stress and understand the short- and long-term impacts. The infographics can will help: Understanding Childhood Trauma from SAMHSA's National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative Entendamos el trauma infantil from SAMHSA's National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative Language Matters from The National Council How to Manage Trauma from The National Council Why Trauma Matters in Primary Care from The National ...

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Promotoras to Tackle Child Abuse on San Antonio’s West Side


City Council Member Shirley Gonzales participates in a promotores training session (via District 5 Council Office)

Did you know eight of every 1,000 Texas kids are victims of child abuse? Sadly, that number is even higher in certain parts of San Antonio. That includes San Antonio's District 5, a largely Latino district on the West Side where families struggle with domestic violence, pregnancy, and other trauma, according to Texas Public Radio. Shirley Gonzales, the City Council representative for District 5, wanted to help. Gonzales teamed with Victoria Salas of Family Service Association to find an innovative way—promotoras—to prevent trends that lead to child abuse. The Need for Child Abuse Prevention Across the U.S., 78% of Latino kids suffer at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE), such as poverty, neglect, and child abuse, according to a recent Salud America! ...

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Building A Trauma-Informed Care Network in South Texas



In the midst of the national opioid crisis are children. These children are dealing with traumatic events and often placed in foster care or with relative caregivers. Traumatic events hinder early childhood development and negatively impact school performance, lifelong physical and mental health, and professional success. Sadly, many Latino children do not get the services they need to heal and overcome the harmful effects of trauma. High rates of opioid and illegal substance abuse in Texas in 2015 sparked a small trauma-informed committee in San Antonio (67% Latino) to plan a trauma-informed conference to build a network of trauma-informed care in South Texas. They believe it is critical for counselors, teachers, caregivers, mental health professionals, and medical personal, ...

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Wisconsin Leading the Nation in Trauma-Informed Care



An initiative by the First Lady of Wisconsin to prevent and reduce childhood trauma has grown to become a dynamic collaboration, putting Wisconsin in the lead to be the first trauma-informed state. Trauma during childhood negatively affects development and physical and mental health into adolescence and adulthood. Traumatic events include: physical and emotional neglect; physical, emotional and sexual abuse; parental divorce, separation, incarceration, and substance abuse; and poverty. These are also called adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and were first studied in the 1990s. The more ACEs a child experiences, the higher their risk of chronic disease, mental illness, substance abuse, violence, teen pregnancy, incarceration, and dropping out of high school. Since the ...

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Ex-Coach Creates Trauma-Informed Program to Reduce Absenteeism in San Antonio



John Hernandez coached football in three disadvantaged school districts in Texas. When a player missed practice, Hernandez took it on himself to visit their home. He knew many players faced poverty and other home problems. He would check in on them and offer rides, so the players wouldn’t miss practices and games. Today, Hernandez directs student services at East Central Independent School District in San Antonio. He continues to see students facing poverty and trauma, resulting in missed school, which has disciplinary and even criminal consequences. However, his district didn’t have a program to identify, support, or counsel these students. Hernandez took it on himself to start one. The Problem of Chronic Absenteeism As director of student services, Hernandez is in ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Reduce Trauma


sad latino boy with mom and doctor

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » The Importance of Preventing, Mitigating Trauma Preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and/or mitigating their harmful effects is critical for improving prospects for early child development, and many programs and interventions have been implemented in this regard. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends early screening for developmental and behavioral problems starting at age 9 months through 3 years.38 The Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! initiative is a federal effort to promote healthy child development through care collaboration and a system-wide approach, and provides screening resources for families, educators, and various healthcare providers.39 Home ...

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